Gender gap in superannuation still huge

Gender gap in superannuation still huge

Gender gap in superannuation still huge

New research from Roy Morgan shows that the average superannuation balances of intending retirees over the last decade for both men and women have more than doubled but females remain well behind the male average. Results show that the average superannuation held by females intending to retire in the next 12 months is $177,000 or equal to only 57.3 per cent of the male average ($309,000). An estimated 392,000 people intend to retire in the next 12 months.

The results come from Roy Morgan’s Single Source survey, which is based on in-depth personal interviews conducted face-to-face with over 50,000 Australians per annum in their own home, including over 2,200 with people who intend to retire in the next 12 months.

The average superannuation held by female intending retirees in 2008 was $79,000 or only 55.2 per cent of the male average of $143,000. Despite a great deal of publicity being given to this issue over the last decade in an attempt to close the gender gap in superannuation, there has been no real progress. It has taken ten years for the female average superannuation for intending retirees to move from 55.2 per cent of the male average to 57.3 per cent.

Norman Morris, industry communications director at Roy Morgan, says, “Despite real gains in employment for women over the last decade, they still lag males in terms of full time and overall employment levels. This has been one of the major reasons that overall female income levels are around 25 per cent lower than males, which obviously in turn leads to lower superannuation contributions and balances when compared to males.

“The end result of this lower income and interrupted employment being more likely for women has been that over the last decade they have been unable to close the gap to males and generally show inadequate superannuation for retirement.

“It is likely to take some considerable time and changes to superannuation conditions for females to achieve an adequate level of superannuation more equivalent to their male counterparts.”

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