The celebration of International Women’s Day is an excellent time to remind ourselves that women are still retiring with lower superannuation balances than men – almost 50% less. That figure, when translated in dollars, equates, on average, to about $90,000.
There are several factors contributing to this, but the simple fact of a gender pay gap of between 15% and 19% less for women in many industries, is the prime cause. Certainly, this was a key finding of the Senate Inquiry into Women's Economic Security in Retirement that handed down its report in April 2016. Laws might have changed, and society might have a more enlightened attitude towards women working, but employers are still paying their female staff lower wages.
Indeed, research by Industry Super Australia (ISA) estimates that even with the changes in train, women are still likely to retire in 2030 with superannuation balances that are 30% lower, on average, than men. In dollar terms, average balances are projected to be $262,000 for women and $432,000 for men.