Can you help the government solve this mystery? 37

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The government has launched yet another senate inquiry as a knee-jerk reaction to new figures that are, quite frankly, unsurprising.

The Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry into women’s superannuation is looking to discover the reasons women typically have far less superannuation than their male counterparts, and what to do about it, Sky News reports.

This comes following new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing that women aged 55 to 64 have accumulated $70,000 less than men the same age, and that the gap is widening.

Representative from Industry Super Australia, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, Australian Super and the ANZ bank gathered to nut out the problem, however it seems to us they might be better off asking Starts at 60 readers for the true reasons behind the discrepancy.

Because, even when you take into account the fact women have lower paid jobs and take extended breaks from the workforce, we still end up worse off.

The average superannuation balance for males, based on 2012/13 figures was $150,000, while women had just over half that, and this poses a huge problem for women in the near future.

Cate Wood, chair of Women in Super told Fairfax the increasing gap meant “women [are] facing a real danger of living in poverty at retirement”.

She added that women who have divorced are at greater risk and that too many women “slip through the super system”.

“That’s exacerbated if they are not a homeowner and they retire with very little superannuation and even worse — if they have health issues they are in dire straits,’’ she said.

Some of the ideas floated by the inquiry are compulsory super contributions for the self-employed and for low-income earners.

Let’s Talk: Do you feel you’re at a financial disadvantage? What would you like to tell the inquiry into women’s superannuation? What needs to be done to improve women’s position?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Women have less super because they earn less in their live. They earn less for the work they do, they are still the ones taking time off for families. They are still doing most of the unpaid work..the day we value care, women will be financially equal.

  2. get over it

    7 REPLY
    • It’s obvious Gayle you are not effected by this, that’s good for you however for most of us women it’s a reality so you get over it!!!!

    • Gayle – all your short sometimes pithy answers intrigue me. I must say, most of the time I don’t actually “get” what you are really saying. Like now for instance. Short answers are often ambiguous.

    • Mmm Gayle we have been asked to provide input to an issue that is important to many of us and all you can say is ‘get over it’…we would not expect this sort of arrogant remark from the sisterhood but from our fearless and clueless leaders 🙁

  3. Another Senate inquiry will not change a damn thing, this is not not new they have had this information for many years yet they have never done anything about it and I doubt they ever will.

    2 REPLY
    • pst here is something for us to look forward to haha sorry had to tell you this..a Christian group in the USA says the world will end today, so make sure you eat lots of chocolate before you go haha

    • Thanks for the heads up Libbi, I’ll no longer have to worry if I can afford to live this life.

  4. I did read somewhere that women in their 60s are the new poverty stricken section of the Australian community. Sounds like this confirms it. I know I have no super because I have been a stay at home mum for 27 years. I don’t know what the solution is.

  5. I remember going to a meeting where the super people told us to csdh it in to pay for maternity leave. I did that for a variety of reasons and was lucky enough to get back in very late. Always told it wasnt really necessary.

  6. I don’t think they need a senate inquiry to understand the issue. It is obvious why women have less super & especially those around 60! I’m 59 & I wasn’t allowed to do super. For most of my working life. I had to quit every time I had a child & after divorce had to retrain. I became a teacher & have been working for 17 years so now I have $70k approximately in super . (& a hers debt) Whoopie do! How to live in retirement on that! At least I own the house I’m in but that is after down sizing so hope they don’t expect me to downsize further!!!! Haha!

    1 REPLY
    • My story exactly but I’m not divorced…however, the two of us are expected to live on one minimum wage, so we may as well be.

  7. Make a submission to the Senate Enquiry.
    It’s the what to do about it that’s crucial.

  8. Women have always been at the bottom of the pile it is no wonder we have next to no money behind us, I worked all my life and got very little and very very little in super I am now going to have to sell my house and get something smaller so I can have some money in my pocket. Our system is very one sided and it is time it is changed to make things more even for male and female

  9. I am now 63 and still in the workforce. 47 years….i am tired….. but how can i retire… pension for another couple of years…..

  10. I am now 71. Even here in NZ, iris a struggle to live on the National Superannuation, (pension), without other income. I have sold my home, now renting, realised a reasonable price. I have invested half the proceeds, and have the rest on call. With a bit f judicious managing, I should be able to live comfortably for many years, and even manage a trip or two. Saving for retirement was not such an urgency during my working life, so really was quite unprepared for managing on just the pension…

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