Industry Super Australia has urged state MPs to push for the increase to mandatory super contributions, warning a freeze would amplify the gender retirement gap.
New research by Industry Super Australia has projected the average South Australian woman is retiring with almost $44,000 less than her male counterpart.
Half of South Australian women retire with a super balance with less than $161,200, below the male median balance of $204,900.
Women’s median balance was found to lag men in all ages, but the gap widens to more than 30 per cent when a woman is in her 50s. The divide is smallest for people in their mid to late 20s – when women are retaining 4 per cent less super.
Industry Super has raised concerns around the government’s previous signals of it potentially abandoning the legislated increase to the superannuation guarantee (SG) rate, scheduled to increase to 10 per cent from its current 9.5 per cent in July.
According to the body, freezing the rate could see women in South Australian on median wage lose out of $85,000 in retirement.
Recent media coverage around the upcoming budget has reported the government will proceed with the increase, although Treasury has refused to confirm or deny the speculation.
Georgia Brumby, advocacy director for Industry Super Australia commented South Australian MPs should be barracking for the SG increase, for the sake of their female constituents.
“There is little more important to women’s economic security than super. Superannuation Minister Jane Hume was right when she said the ‘longer the increase is delayed, a generation of women will face economic insecurity as a direct result of inadequate savings’,” Ms Brumby said.
“As the new minister for women’s economic security we hope she acts on her own sage advice and delivers the promised super boost for all South Australian women.”
The South Australian figures have followed other projections around the gender super gap in Queensland, where Industry Super found the average woman has $55,000 less at retirement.
Queensland women’s median super balance on the cusp of retirement is $131,500, 30 per cent less than their male counterpart’s $185,700.
Time away from work is a primary contributor, with a recent Industry Super survey finding women on average spend 12 years less in the full-time workforce than men.
But regardless of the gap, Industry Super has ruled both male and female median balances across South Australia and Queensland are less than its recommended $545,000 threshold for a comfortable 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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