Thursday, June 26, 2008

Women, superannuation and work

According to Office for Women, it is estimated that by 2019, women will have on average half the amount of superannuation that men will have. The average retirement payout for women in 2006 was only $63,000 compared to $136,000 for men.

Why is this?

- Work patterns: while in the workforce, women are more likely to take time off work to care for sick children, or other family members.
- Breaks in work: Taking time off work for long periods of time to have a child, care for children or others, lessens a person’s opportunities in the job market and therefore the ability to earn superannuation.

Let's face reality; divorce and death happens. It is important that people maintain workplace skills so they are able to earn an income and achieve financial security.

What are some possible solutions to this growing problem?

- The provision of paid maternity leave has the potential to increase women’s superannuation balances. Where women receive an income during maternity leave, they will continue to accumulate superannuation.
- More family friendly workplaces to increase women’s participation in the workforce. Job sharing, flexible hours, child care facilities, and working from home arrangements are all measures which support men and women to balance work and family responsibilities.
- Encouraging father-friendly practices in the workforce to lessen the sole burden of caring on women.
- Speaking to a financial planner about superannuation so spouses who are carers are clear on the latest superannuation laws.

For more information, view the brochure published by the Australian Government on Women and Superannuation at the following web address:

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