Women’s super parity still a generation away

The gap has narrowed between men’s and women’s superannuation savings, but women will still have to wait another 45 years before seeing parity, according to new research.

Are we there yet?

The Financy Women’s Index found that growth in super savings was a major factor in women’s improved economic progress for the June quarter, increasing 5 points over the 2018-19 financial year.

The index draws on the latest superannuation data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics to show that in the 2017-18 financial year, the super gap narrowed to 28%, from 34% in 2015-16.

It claims that other factors boosting women’s economic progress in the June quarter include improved workforce participation, improved underemployment, a fresh low in the gender pay gap, and higher tertiary enrolments.

The number of women employed full-time in the Australian workforce held relatively steady at a seasonally adjusted 3.27 million in June, while the female underemployment rate fell by 0.8 percentage points to 10.3% in January, from 11.1% a year ago.

What can we do?

Women’s economic security in retirement has long been a concern of National Seniors Australia.

In 2015, we put forward a number of recommendations as part of a submission to the Inquiry into Economic Security for Women in Retirement. Many of these recommendations are still relevant.

One of our key recommendations was that the Australian Government conduct a comprehensive review of the retirement income system examining the interrelationships between the social security, superannuation and taxation systems.

We were very pleased to hear the Federal Treasurer announced a review of the retirement income system shortly after the 2019 election.

Superannuation will undoubtedly be a key topic of the review and with it, hopefully, the issue of women’s economic security in retirement.

National Seniors Australia will look to advocate for practical ways to reduce the super gender gap to ensure a more financially secure retirement for women, as it did back in 2015.

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