Mind the gender super gap!



You’ve heard of the gender pay gap, but are you aware of the gender superannuation gap? While the national gender pay gap currently sits at 14.1%1, the gender gap in retirement incomes is far worse. Right now, women’s superannuation balances at retirement are on average 47%2 less than their male counterparts. In short, when it comes to being financially secure – today and tomorrow – women are drawing the short straw.

What’s causing the super gender gap?

Women face some unique challenges when saving for retirement. Females have more fragmented work histories and often earn less than men throughout their careers. This results in less super contributions, fewer savings and lower retirement incomes. With less money and longer life expectancies, the super gender gap has the potential to significantly impact a woman’s quality of life in her later years.

How to bridge the divide

For many women, retirement may seem like a distant concern. But being vigilant and keeping tabs on your superannuation will help narrow the gap and improve your future financial independence. In this article, we outline some steps you can take to boost your own super and improve your retirement income.

1. Get your super together

Making regular contributions can help build your nest egg thanks to the power of compounding returns. While the below strategies may mean you get a little less in your pay now, there can be tax benefits, and you’ll have more money to enjoy when you retire.

2. Boost your super savings

Make pre-tax super contributions

A concessional contribution, otherwise known as a salary sacrifice, involves paying a portion of your pre-tax salary as an additional contribution to super.

Make after-tax super contributions

Non-concessional contributions, or after-tax super contribution, involves depositing your own money into your super.

Government co-contributions

If you make after-tax super contributions and earn less than $52,697 per year before tax, you may be eligible for bonus contributions from the government.

3. Partner contributions

If you’re a stay-at-home parent or working part time, chances are your super is falling behind. Luckily, your spouse - husband, wife, de facto or same-sex partner – can step in to balance things out by contributing to your super. By topping up your super, they could be eligible for a tax offset too. Alternatively, they can choose to have some of their own super contributions put into your super account.

4. Check your mix

Look at your investment mix and decide whether it matches your needs, timeframe and risk appetite. If you try to avoid risk altogether, you might not have enough savings to provide the lifestyle you want in retirement. Remember, super is a long term investment and for some people retirement can last for 30 years or more. Your investment mix matters.

5. Knowledge is power

If you haven’t reviewed your super in a while, take a moment to access Member Online, check your balance and update your account. You can also take advantage of our complimentary financial advice service. The VISSF Advice Team are on hand to answer any super or retirement questions you may have. To arrange a telephone advice appointment simply call 1300 660 027 weekdays.

Did you know?

Back in 1958, VISSF was founded by a group of female teachers at independent girls’ schools in Victoria who realised they would not have a sufficient income stream in retirement. To secure a better future, they fought for all women who needed an option that wasn’t their husband’s bank account. And they became pioneers in a movement that would see superannuation become a compulsory right for all Australian workers, regardless of gender. This is the spirit that founded VISSF, and the reason we continue to fight today.

Find & combine

Consolidating your super into one account makes your money work harder because you save on paying multiple sets of fees.

Learn more