$450 SG threshold a barrier preventing women from a dignified retirement

The $450 monthly threshold to receive Superannuation Guarantee is a barrier preventing women from reaching a dignified retirement and should be removed, says Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) and Women in Super.

Data from an Essential Media poll, commissioned by AIST, suggests 18% of women have a job that pays less than $450 a month.

“This is nearly twice the number of men affected by the threshold limit, with the highest proportion of women affected between the ages of 18 and 35 years old,” said AIST.

“Nearly half (42%) of women earning less than $450 a month from one employer are not receiving super. Under current legislation, employers are not obliged to pay the Superannuation Guarantee if the employee is paid less than $450 a month.”

AIST Acting CEO Eva Scheerlinck said the superannuation system should be universal, and that removing the $450 SG threshold is made easier given modern payroll systems.

“We need to remove all barriers that prevent women saving enough super for a dignified retirement,” said Ms Scheerlinck.

“With the increasing casualization of the workforce, the $450 threshold will continue to impact on both women and men – many of whom are low income earners and need all the super they can get.”

AIST and Women in Super are calling on the Government to implement the recommendations of the Senate inquiry into the economic security of women in retirement.

Women in Super Chair Cate Wood said the inquiry report, A husband is not a retirement plan: Achieving economic security for women in retirement, is too valuable to be forgotten.

“We have tinkered around the edges for too long” said Ms Wood.

“One in three women currently retire in poverty and it is time to break with the past and take the fair and rightful step forward by implementing structural changes that deliver real improvements to women.”

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