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Gender pay gap is hurting women in retirement

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4 minute read

Men are much more likely to have a higher super balance.

After Labor recently put gender equality front and centre in its first budget, a new survey has revealed that the superannuation balances of Australian women have suffered significantly as a result of the prevailing gender pay gap.

The survey, conducted by online financial broker Savvy, found that 24 per cent of Australian women currently have a super balance above $100,000 compared to 44 per cent of men.

Furthermore, the proportion of women surveyed who had a super balance of $50,000 or less (45 per cent) was higher than it was for men (32 per cent).

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“Our survey highlighted that the clear issues relating to the difference in pay between men and women in Australia are being felt not only in terms of savings but also superannuation and setting up for the future,” said Savvy money expert Adrian Edlington.

“This is a clear symptom of the gender pay gap, which currently sits at more than 14 per cent. Women in Australia earn $263.90 per week less than men, a disparity which can put acute pressure on them in times of aggressive inflation and interest rate rises.”

According to the survey, 19 per cent of women and 13 per cent of men currently have less than $10,000 in their super. At the other end of the spectrum, 16 per cent of men were found to have a super balance between $200,001 and $400,000 versus 9 per cent of women.

This gender gap also extended to those with higher super balances including those with between $700,001 and $1 million, of which 7 per cent were men and 4 per cent were women.

Men were found to typically contribute more to their super than women, with 17 per cent of men contributing between 1 and 5 per cent compared to 14 per cent of women. 

Additionally, 10 per cent of men contributed 6 to 10 per cent, and 6 per cent contributed more than 10 per cent, compared to 7 per cent and 2 per cent of women, respectively.

Savvy’s survey also investigated how confident Australians are about their super balances. Fifty-two per cent of those aged 45 to 54, and 40 per cent of those aged 55 to 64, were unconfident or not confident at all that they’ll have enough in their super when they turn 65.

AMP recently found that three in five workers are concerned that they won't have enough to retire with a $200,000 gap between how much Aussies think they will need and how much they actually expect to have.

Overall, Savvy reported that 38 per cent of men, and 25 per cent of women, felt confident or very confident that they have saved enough. Meanwhile, 35 per cent of men felt unconfident or not confident at all, increasing to 44 per cent for women.

“With our survey finding that 57 per cent of Australians make no voluntary contributions, it’s clear that more needs to be done to educate adults (particularly those between the ages of 18 and 44) to grow their super so they can more comfortably set themselves up for retirement,” Mr Edlington concluded.

Gender pay gap is hurting women in retirement

Men are much more likely to have a higher super balance.

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Jon Bragg

Jon Bragg

Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.

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