The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees has created a four-step plan to help close the gender savings gap at retirement, calling for policy action from the government.
The institute noted that Australian women are currently retiring with 47 per cent less super, with an estimated two out of five single women retiring in poverty.
It has called for the removal of the monthly threshold that precludes some women from receiving super payments, super to be paid on parental leave and more accurate government reporting of the financial gaps between women and men.
“The longer the government waits to address the gender savings gap, the more women will retire with inadequate incomes,” Eva Scheerlinck, CEO of AIST said.
AIST wants the $450 monthly income threshold for compulsory super payments abolished.
It has also asked that low-income earners, most of whom are women, to be provided with an additional super contribution as outlined by the Women-in-Super advocacy group.
The AIST said modelling shows that a low-income provision would make the largest difference to closing the gender retirement gap.
The institute’s final step in its plan is a commitment to move from 9.5 per cent to 12 per cent compulsory super, in accordance with the legislated timetable, to improve retirement outcomes for women.
Ms Scheerlinck said AIST had long advocated for these changes, including calling for the measures to be part of this year’s federal budget.
Recent research from Fidelity showed 35.6 per cent of Australian women do not know how much they need to retire and of those who are certain they know, they would aim for a third less than what men predicted they would need in retirement.
Sarah Simpkins is a journalist at Momentum Media, reporting primarily on banking, financial services and wealth.
Prior to joining the team in 2018, Sarah worked in trade media and produced stories for a current affairs program on community radio.
You can contact her on [email protected].
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