Women and super

A brighter future

When it comes to super savings, women in Australia are likely to have significantly less than men. The average Australian woman retires with around half the balance of the average man.1

women and super

This is because women (still!) earn less than men for equivalent jobs and they’re more likely to have a career break to raise children. Combine this with a longer life expectancy and women are less likely to have enough for a comfortable retirement. Only 12% of women think their super will be enough for retirement, and half of all women don’t know how much they’ll need for a comfortable retirement.2

A few small changes could help set you up for a more comfortable retirement. Here's how:

Save early

Whilst retirement might seem like a lifetime away (especially if you’ve just started working) getting into good habits when you’re young is a great way to set yourself up for a comfortable future.

When you first start work and have financial freedom, it can seem like the money will always be there but saving for your future early means less to worry about later. Managing your super is easier than you think – it just takes a few smart moves early on in your working life.

What you can do now

Women in super

Women & super: the facts

  • The average super balance for men still adding to their accounts is $71,645 while women hold an average of just $40,475.3
  • The average retirement payout (determined by the average savings for those aged 60-64) was $112,600 for women and $198,000 for men.3

Planning a career break

For many women, life with work and children is a juggling act. With the pressures of work and family, focusing on your super can easily be overlooked.

Cutting down your work hours, taking a career break, going through separation or divorce, or adjusting to a single income, can all have a big impact on your ability to save for retirement. But by adding to your super – even small amounts - you can prepare yourself for a drop in your income – and you can do it now.

Take control of your super.

What you can do now

  • Get to know your super – check your statement online
  • Catch up for lost time
  • Consider getting income protection for your partner if you’re on a single income
  • Work out how to add to your super, reduce tax, and get government co-contributions
  • Download the 'Brighter Future' guide
Women in super

Women & super: the facts

  • Women's super balances ‘flat-line’ between the ages of 38-42 and 43-47.5
  • Only a small proportion of retired women live on incomes above $50,000 and more than half have incomes of less than $30,000.6
  • 77% of women rely on some form of age pension in retirement.2

It's never too late

Even if you’re still years away from leaving work, having enough to live on in retirement is likely to be the major financial challenge ahead of you.

As the kids leave home and you look towards retirement, it’s important to understand how much money you’ll need and what you’ll live on when you are no longer working.

Once you retire, you’ll need a regular income to live for around 20 years - and for women, most likely longer. For most people, this income comes from the Government Age Pension, plus their own super savings.

Will you have enough?

What you can do now

  • Find out how much you’ll have in retirement and the steps you can take to increase it using the Retirement Income Calculator
  • Get help and advice at your own pace and without obligation
  • See how tax savings can boost your super while you’re still working
  • Download the 'Brighter Future' guide
Women in super

Women & super: the facts

  • Three out of five women retire earlier than expected.7
  • Many women who describe themselves as ‘retired’ still do some paid work.7
  • At retirement, men have an average super payout of $198,000, while women pocket over a third less - $112,600.3

1 The Association of Super Funds of Australia (ASFA) ‘Developments in the level and distribution of retirement savings’ (2011)
2 Financial Literacy Foundation, Financial Literacy: Women Understanding Money, 2008, www.financialliteracy.gov.au
3 The Association of Super Funds of Australia (ASFA) ‘Developments in the level and distribution of retirement savings’ (2011)
5 Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (http://www.aist.asn.au)
6 Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees, Super-poor but Surviving, (2011)
7 ibid

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Women and super