Superannuation and women
Super - even more important for women
Women tend to live longer than men, making it even more
essential that they accumulate enough superannuation to last
through retirement. But women face unique challenges when it comes
to retirement savings. Lower pay, time out of the workforce to
raise children, or running a single-parent household, can make it
challenging to build a reasonable amount of super.
Here's how you can engage with your super and grow your nest
Why super is good for you
Superannuation is a very tax-effective way to save for
retirement. Your super fund pays a low rate of tax on contributions
and investment earnings while you grow your nest egg. From age 60,
you can withdraw your super tax-free.
The 2017 Hilda survey found that Australian
women retired with an average super balance of $230,907 and men
retire with about twice this amount.
Without super, many women must rely on the Age Pension in their
senior years. But the Age Pension is designed as a safety net and
won't provide you with a comfortable life.
Taking time off paid work (e.g. to have a baby or care for
someone) or working part time can impact your super.
Work out how working part-time or taking a break from paid work
affects your super in retirement.
Get to know your super
Your employer should be making super contributions on your
behalf. These contributions will be equivalent to 9.5% of your
salary or wages.
To start sorting out your super, check your super statements or
log in to your super account to find out:
If you are not happy with the fund you are in, find out how to
the right super fund for you.
If you have several super funds, simplify your life and consolidate your super into
one fund. This will save you fees and make it easier to track.
Video: Engaging with superannuation
Kate Ritchie, Jane Caro, Sarah Moran and Faustina Agolley
explain why it's important for women to engage with their super, as
part of ASIC's MoneySmart Women talk money video
How to grow your super nest egg
There are a number of ways to build your super:
- Ask your boss to pay part of your pre-tax salary into
super - Making concessional, or salary sacrificed super
contributions can be a tax-effective way to grow your super.
- Make super contributions out of your own
pocket - Non-concessional contributions, also known as after-tax super
contributions, are not subject to the 15% contributions tax that
can apply to other types of contributions. Depending on your annual
income, you may also be eligible for government super co-contributions. It's an easy way to
give your super a valuable boost.
- Ask your partner to make contributions on your
behalf - Your partner may be able to claim a tax offset on the contributions made
to your fund.
Work out the best way to add to your super.
Case study: Ajinder boosts her super savings
Ajinder was concerned that
she didn't have much super so she decided to take action to get her
super under control.
'It struck me that I have 15 or so years until I retire. My
super isn't great at present, so I've started adding a bit extra to
my super each month. I'm going to ask my boss if I can salary
sacrifice a small amount direct from my pay - and that means I pay
less income tax. It's not a lot but my super balance should grow
over time thanks to investment returns. Every extra bit I add now
will make a difference to my retirement.'
Track down lost super
If you have ever held a part-time or casual job, or moved house,
you could have superannuation invested in a fund that you've lost
Use myGov to keep track of all your super and
combine multiple super accounts into one, which will make it even
easier to manage your super. More more information, visit the ATO's
page on keeping track of your
Superannuation is very important to the quality
of your retirement. By adding even small amounts to your super now,
you will make a big difference later in life.
Last updated: 14 Feb 2019