International Women's Day: You can take action now to shrink your super gap

27 Feb 2020

International Women's Day

The statistics about women’s super-balances are sobering: one in three women retires with no super at all and on average, women retire with nearly half as much super as men. And while UniSuper’s female members fare better than other super funds, there’s still a significant super gap at retirement.

The gap emerges at around age 30 when many women take career breaks to raise children or care for other family members. It’s when they then return to either part-time employment or to a different role with less pay that the gap continues to widen until retirement. The result is that these women’s super savings will never match those of men of the same age.

Women’s propensity to retire earlier than men, coupled with a longer life expectancy, contribute to many female retirees relying heavily or solely on the Age Pension, living in poverty or worse still, becoming homeless. Those who have lost a partner through divorce or death are particularly vulnerable.

There are many factors at play outside women’s control. But there are also some actions you can take to make a difference to your retirement outcomes – in effect, to shrink your own super gap. Not all of these will be feasible or suitable to your circumstances, but it might pay to consider whether one or some of these actions are right for you.

Get peace of mind – make an appointment with an On-Campus Consultant (no additional charge)

You don’t need any prior knowledge to meet with an On-Campus Consultant at UniSuper. They can explain superannuation concepts clearly and give you the confidence and knowledge to take the next step to get in control of your super.

Review your investment choice

Choosing investment options that are right for you and your situation can make a big difference to your super balance in the long term. Learn more about how to choose your investment options. (DIY free of charge or get help from a UniSuper financial adviser for around $300.)

Review your contributions strategy

Do you want to help your super grow? Even a small extra contribution now can grow into a much larger amount over time with investment earnings and interest. (Our On-Campus Consultants can explain this in more detail for no additional charge or get personalised help from a UniSuper financial adviser for around $300.)

Combine your super accounts

Save on the number of account fees by combining all your super into one account. It will take less than five minutes with UniSuper’s Combine my super tool. You’ll need to log in to your account online.

Work out whether you’re eligible for a Government co-contribution

By making an after-tax contribution to your super, you could be eligible for a top-up from the government of up to $500.

Attend a UniSuper education seminar

Going along to a UniSuper seminar either on or off campus is a great way to start learning more about your super. The Super for women seminar is designed specifically for women who want to take greater control.

Consider these options if you have a spouse

If you have a spouse and they make a contribution to your account, they might be eligible for a tax offset. Or they may be able to split their before-tax super contributions across their super account and yours.

Visit our Super for women page for more resources.

UniSuper has provided this information. UniSuper Ltd (ABN 54 006 027 121, AFSL 492806) is the trustee of UniSuper (ABN 91 385 943 850). UniSuper Management Pty Ltd (ABN 91 006 961 799, AFSL 235907) operates UniSuper Advice.