The Superwoman myth has new currency, according to figures released on the eve of International Women’s Day.
Nearly 90% of us don’t have enough superannuation for a comfortable retirement.
Yes, you read that right. And I’m not talking about Bollinger here.
A study by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia has found women hold only 37 per cent of total account balances, while 81 per cent have no active engagement in their super.
This should be front-page news: Generations of us could retire in poverty.
Earning 17.5% less already puts us on the back foot, and it’s worse if we’re over 45. New figures from the Diversity Council reveal we earn just two-thirds of the income of mature-aged men.
If our working lives are punctuated by pregnancy, we have a super baby debt of up to $50,000 because we don’t receive the mandatory 9% during that time.
While divorcees are entitled to a chunk of their ex’s super, many women want to avoid a legal stoush.
Whichever way you look at it, we can’t win. With both the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader courting women, you’d think this would be top of their agendas.
The Federal Government has cut the maximum co-contribution from $1000 to $500, unless you earn less than $46,920 a year.
Now, Treasurer Wayne Swan is sharpening the axe, searching for more “structural savings” from superannuation, such as higher tax rates on contributions and earnings.
Supporters say this would only hit the top 10%, but it creates uncertainty.
During my last stint on talkback radio, dozens of women called up to say, “I’m frightened about what the government will do to super, so I’m not going to put any money into it.”
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