New figures show that the superannuation gender gap is worst in Western Australia and Queensland, and best in the Territories.
Figures released by Women in Super and the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees have the average super gender gap – the difference between the average super balances of women and men – ranging across the country from 16% to 39%.
Western Australia was the worst state for the super gender gap, at 39% – based on females aged 30-59, who had an average super balance of $51,000, compared to $83,000 for males in the same age bracket.
Queensland is the second worst state or territory, at 34%. The Territories have the lowest super gender gap – 16% for the NT and 20% for the ACT. Nationwide the super gender gap is 30%.
Cate Wood, national chair of Women in Super, said it was unfortunate the gap was so high across all states.
“Better policy is needed if we are to make a difference to the retirement outcomes of all Australian women,” Wood said.
“We have tinkered around the edges for too long.”
“It is time to implement structural changes that deliver real improvements for women.”
AIST CEO Eva Scheerlinck said there was an urgent need for real change, as it is estimated that 40% of single women retire in poverty.
The gender savings gap has been sitting around these levels for a long time. We need brave and substantial, systemic reform that redresses this imbalance once and for all,” Scheerlinck said.
WIS & AIST are both calling for the abolition of the $450 monthly income threshold for Super Guarantee, paying super on paid parental leave, an additional super contribution for low income earners and a “firm commitment” to a 12% Super Guarantee rate.
The research was commissioned by Women in Super, and was conducted by Rice Warner. It was based on an analysis of the super accounts of 4 million members across five large industry super funds.