4 minute read
Superannuation in Australia has made meaningful progress since 1992. The Superannuation Guarantee was introduced, making employer contributions compulsory. However, despite Aussies earning more super than ever, women face a tougher retirement outlook at the hands of the gender super gap.
Why is there a gender super gap?
Historically, women have taken more time out of the workforce to raise children than men. In the absence of a salary, no employer contributions are being made to their super fund. This affects not only a woman’s real time super balance but the opportunities for compounding growth over time.
The gender pay gap currently sees women earning 22.8% less than men, and data shows more women work part time than men1. Part time salaries mean lower contributions. Plus, prior to 1 July 2022, employers of individuals earning less than $450 per month weren’t required to make super contributions.
How can we close the gap?
Many aspects of the gender super gap are down to systemic issues and pressures on women to prioritise unpaid household labour1. However, there are some things that you can do to help your super grow.
1. Review your super fund
Your super is your money, and choosing the right super fund is important. Fees, insurances, investment options and performance are all things worth looking at when making your decision.
If you need help deciding whether switching funds is right for you, there are tools and resources available. MoneySmart’s Choosing a Super Fund page can help you with how to compare and choose funds. And the ATO’s YourSuper comparison tool is an online tool that compares MySuper products.
2. Consider consolidating multiple super funds
Having more than one super fund can mean paying more fees and insurance premiums. Consolidating your funds may allow you to reduce the fees and costs involved with your super. However, it’s important to check how super consolidation can affect your insurances and other benefits.
3. Consider ways to top up your super
You can boost your super by adding your own contributions. Over time, these amounts add up and you can benefit from your investment earnings compounding.
There are several ways you can make additional contributions to your super, including pre-tax (salary sacrifice) and after-tax contributions. You may also be eligible for further boosts like the government co-contribution and the low-income super tax offset.
For couples, spousal contributions can help with shortfalls caused by the gender super gap. If one of you earns more than the other, or one of you is taking time out of the workforce to raise children or carrying out care responsibilities, making a contribution into the other’s fund can help level the playing field and ensure unpaid labour responsibilities don’t impact your retirement.
Tools like MoneySmart’s Super contributions optimiser can help you work out the most effective way to make additional contributions.
Not sure where to start?
No matter your situation, or where you are in life, there are options available for you to make the most of your super. Our Education HUB has a range of articles to help you make informed decisions about your super.
Our Wealth Concierge team is available to provide you with general advice or refer you on to a financial planner who will be able to provide tailored advice to suit your needs. You can arrange a complimentary consultation by completing an online enquiry or asking in person at your local Bendigo Bank branch.
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Things you should know
Bendigo Superannuation Pty Ltd ABN 23 644 620 128 AFSL 534006 (Bendigo Super) is the trustee and issuer of Bendigo SmartStart Super and Bendigo SmartStart Pension (products). Bendigo Super is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited ABN 11 068 049 178 AFSL 237879 (Bank). Each of these companies receives remuneration on the issue of the products or services they provide, full details of which are contained in the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). Bendigo Super, the Bank and its related entities do not guarantee the repayment of capital invested, the payment of income or products’ investment performance. An investment in these products does not represent a deposit with, or liability of Bendigo Super, the Bank or its related entities. The Bank does not stand behind or guarantee the performance of Bendigo Super in its capacity as trustee and issuer of the products. Bendigo Super is not an authorised deposit-taking institution within the meaning of the Banking Act 1959.
Information on the website is subject to change without notice. Any advice in relation to superannuation is provided by Bendigo Super. The information contains general advice only and does not take into account your personal objectives, situation or needs. Before making an investment decision in relation to these products you should consider your situation and read the relevant PDS accessible through this site.