Women lose over $1 million to gender pay gap over a lifetime

Nest egg, superannuaiton, SMSF, retirement
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Gender gap, ACTU Gender Pay Gap - Over the Life Cycle, superannuation, retirementThe gender pay gap means women lose more than one million dollars over their lifetime, with implications for retirement savings, according to a new report.

“It’s a cumulative process that occurs at each stage of a woman’s life. It includes gender-specific factors, discrimination and is evidence of deeply entrenched inequality in Australia,” says the ACTU’s Gender Pay Gap – Over the Life Cycle report.

The gender pay gap means that “in retirement women have significantly less savings in their superannuation funds, or often nothing at all”, with Superannuation Guarantee contributions a percentage of salary and wages.

“The gender pay gap translates into significantly lower lifetime earnings and high levels of economic insecurity for women in retirement.”

“We have generations of women earning less than men despite working just as hard over their lifetimes. They might have taken time off to raise children, become trapped in low paid or insecure work, lost a job due to pregnancy discrimination or they could have been under- promoted in their workplace. Either way, Australia has a long way to go before we have wage equality between men and women. ”

The report says a 25 year old man can expect to earn a total of $3.66 million over his lifetime, “more than 1.7 times the prospective earnings of a woman with equivalent qualifications”, or an additional $1.52 million.

The ACTU points to statistics showing that women have less than half as much superannuation as men, with around 60% of women aged 65-69 having no superannuation at all.

“The majority of women will not save enough to achieve a comfortable retirement standard. Single women are particularly vulnerable. It is estimated that 63% of single women retiring in 2035 will not achieve a comfortable standard of living and 38.7% of single women will retire in poverty.”

“While some women’s superannuation balances are growing, there has not been any improvement in the overall share of superannuation assets held by women relative to men since 2009/2010.”

“Twice the amount of superannuation tax concessions from government flow to men than to women, despite women clearly needing the most financial support.”

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