What is 'The Gender Gap'?
Women have come a long way in society in regards to 'gender equality', but these are some of the alarming statistics that still exist in regards to income, superannuation and retirement:
Why is there a gender gap?
There are many issues that have led to the superannuation gender gap.
Statistically, Australian women earn an average of 18%* less than men in full-time employment. If you consider part-time employment, this gap widens to a difference of 35%.
This pay gap means many women cannot accumulate as much wealth, have less choice about their lifestyles and have significantly lower superannuation balances than men.
Many Australian women have had a career break at some stage, to care for children or to care for elderly parents, for example. So many women have not been in the workforce long enough to accumulate a sizeable superannuation balance.
An employer may not have to make Superannuation Guarantee contributions (the compulsory contribution employers make on behalf of an employee) if the employee:
earns less than $450 per month
is under age 18 and works 30 hours or less per week
is paid to do domestic or private work of 30 hours or less per week
These conditions mean that many women miss out on compulsory superannuation because they often work part time in lower paying jobs.
There are also restrictions on the amount of money you can put into your superannuation account each year (contribution caps). This means that women who return to the workforce after a career break are limited in the amount they can contribute to ‘catch up’ on their superannuation savings.
What can we do to close the Gap?
Retirement may seem like a long way off, but there are some small things that you can do now that will help ‘close the gap’ and give you the financial freedom you deserve in retirement.
Take control of your superannuation NOW
Your superannuation is YOUR money. And even though it may be a long way before you can access it, you need to pay it some attention and make sure it is working for you!
There are so many different superannuation options available, and one size definitely does not fit all! You need to make sure your fund has good investment options, a competitive fee structure, binding death nominations available and what kind of insurances they provide.
Consolidate your superannuation
If you have more than one superannuation fund, you should look into consolidating these. This can reduce your fees, make it easier for you to keep track of and make sure your not paying for fees for things you don't need.
Make additional or extra contributions to superannuation
You don’t need a lot of spare cash to start a regular savings plan. Even if it’s only $5 to $10 a week, the important thing is to get into the habit of saving regularly early on. Because the earlier you start saving, the more you will accumulate. Plus you get the benefit of compounding; this means that over time you start to earn interest on your interest.
You can make additional contributions before-tax (concessional contributions) or after-tax (non-concessional contributions). Depending on your level of income, you could save on the amount of tax you pay by making concessional contributions through salary sacrifice or you could give you savings a boost with non-concessional contributions.
Seek advice! We are here to help!
We are here to help you stress less and achieve more! That means helping you sort out your superannuation, and making sure it's right for YOU!
Firstly, we find out first what's most important to you - what your values are, then discuss your goals. Once we know what it is you want to achieve and that your values and goals are aligned we will be able to make the most appropriate recommendations for you - including what to do with your super and how to get it working for you.
Make an appointment right here on our website with one of our financial advisers to design your financial future!