Call for $1,000 low income government super contribution in Budget

Advocacy and networking group Women in Super has called for the 2018/19 Budget to include an additional $1,000 government super contribution for low income earners.

Women in Super (WIS) used its 2018/19 pre-Budget submission to call for the additional government contribution to “better support those with inadequate retirement savings”.

The proposed scheme involves an annual $1,000 super contribution for Australians aged 25 and over who earn less than $37,000 and have super balances under $100,000.

“One in two working women currently earns $37,000 or less per annum so clearly this is a measure that would benefit a substantial number of women, as well as men,” says WIS.

WIS calculates this could add $30,137 to the retirement savings of a woman aged 25 who earns $25,000 a year. This additional 14.7% “could mean the difference between retiring in poverty or not”.

It is estimated this would cost $2.7 billion a year, which WIS says is “small when put into the context of the estimated $30 billion the Government currently spends on super tax concessions annually”.

The submission also recommends tracking the super gender gap and publishing ‘gender impact statements’.

“A number of factors act against women reaching the best possible retirement outcomes, and the impact of tax, economic and social policy proposals and measures can have different consequences for women as opposed to men.”

“As part of our Make Super Fair policy, we recommend that the government measure and publish the super gap each year, and assess the impact that any future legislative changes to the retirement income system would have on women.”

WIS also calls on the Government to consider how superannuation rules interact with the gig economy.

The WIS pre-Budget submission makes a number of Superannuation Guarantee related recommendations, including no further delay to increases in the SG rate, paying SG as part of the Paid Parental Leave scheme and removing the $450 monthly threshold for SG.

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