Labor proposal to address gender super imbalance backed

Media Releases

Labor proposal to address gender super imbalance backed

SMSF Association Media Release

19 September 2018

The SMSF Association welcomes the Labor Party’s announcement to take steps to improve women’s superannuation security and address the gender gap imbalance between men and women’s super balances.

SMSF Association CEO John Maroney says the gender disparity in superannuation balances – on average, women retire with $113,000 less than men – is a critical issue that requires bipartisan political support to address properly.

“Labor’s decision to make Superannuation Guarantee (SG) payments on Commonwealth Paid Parental Leave and Dad and Partner Pay payments is a concrete step to improve superannuation outcomes for people who take breaks from work to care for children.

“It will ensure that people’s, especially women’s, superannuation balances continue to grow while receiving Government paid parental leave. This will help narrow the superannuation gender gap.”

Maroney says the Association also supports phasing out of the $450 minimum monthly income threshold for eligibility for the SG.

“A modern superannuation system needs to recognise that working patterns have changed and the minimum monthly income threshold disadvantages individuals who work part-time, in casual jobs or in multiple low-paying jobs.

“The non-payment of SG on these jobs disproportionately has an impact on women and it is pleasing that Labor’s proposal will remove this distortion in the current system.”

He says although the Association fully supported this Labor announcement, it also urged them to reconsider its policy of repealing concessional catch-up contributions if elected.

“Catch-up contributions have brought much needed flexibility to the superannuation system and are an important measure to help people with broken work patterns improve their superannuation balances. Repealing it would be a backward step for the system.

“We also believe policymakers should consider further reforms to allow couples to rebalance their superannuation holdings more equally between them and continue to improve the integrity of the SG system to make sure all employees receive the super owed to them,” he says.