ANZ Smart Choice Super Investor Update : Member Update Winter 2014
15 15 “ While most women now have superannuation, we don’t have nearly enough to fund 25, 30 or more years in retirement.” Why it costs more to be a woman Wage disparity or a career break to have a family can affect women’s super funds – but there are ways that may help fix it. Most women have long suspected that life is more expensive for them than for men. From make-up and skin care to work clothes and haircuts, we just seem to need more maintenance. But as the saying goes, you haven’t seen anything yet. If you think it costs more to get by now, just wait until you’re older. Women live longer than men and tend to retire earlier. On average, a woman aged 60 today can expect to live until she’s 86, compared with 83 for the average man. If we make it through to 80, the odds of living longer are even better. On average a woman aged 80 can expect to live for another 10 years. Life expectancies are also increasing. So if you’re younger now – 20, 30 or even 40 – you could easily find yourself living until well into your 90s. But don’t break out the champagne just yet. How will you pay for it? The government has already signalled it wants to restrict access to the age pension. And while most women now have superannuation, we don’t have nearly enough to fund 25, 30 or more years in retirement. “ The average woman’s superannuation account balance has improved, but they’re still only about half those of men,” says Pauline Vamos, the chief executive of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia. “Women are retiring now with about $112,000 in super versus nearly $200,000 for men.” It’s not hard to see why. Women are still the ones more likely to have interrupted working lives as they have and care for children. While you’re out of the workforce, your employer won’t be making regular super contributions, though the government’s proposed parental leave scheme will include the superannuation support payment if it is passed. Even when they return to work, Vamos says many women work part- time and may not earn enough to be eligible for the 9.50 per cent super paid by employers. And for all the talk of workplace equality, women’s salaries still lag behind men’s – so that 9.50 per cent is being calculated on a lower amount. You might think having less in super doesn’t matter if your partner is squirreling money away, but is that a risk you’re prepared to take? Leaving aside unpleasant possibilities such as death and divorce, governments are always fiddling with the super rules and having your own account can reduce the risk of being hit by possible future changes – such as limits on how much an individual can take out of super tax-free.
Member Update Spring 2014
Member Update Autumn 2014