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CEO talks about super's gender savings gap

Financial Planning  |  20/08/2015  |   4 min duration

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Flexible workplaces, striking the right work-life balance and a steadily increasing trend to casual and contract labour have many attractions but potentially almost none of them are conducive to optimising the retirement outcomes from superannuation savings. Our member data reveals a number of things:

  • the gender savings gap for women entering the workforce today may be much less in the future than it generally is for women retiring today ;
  • the trend to the use of casual and contact labour will increasingly make this a gender agnostic issue, as men tend to experience breaks for work and/or underemployment; and
  • self-employment or freelancing will for many remove the requirement to make mandatory contributions, impacting on retirement savings for all but the most disciplined financial managers.

According to our data, the gender savings gap for women under 40 (average 92% of male account balances for 30 to 39 year olds) is dramatically less than for those over 40. In saying that, our data will be different from others that have large female memberships in lower paid sectors.

But the other two factors give us something else to consider - the possibility that the gender savings gap will close, not only because the retirement savings of women improve, but also because the retirement savings of males decline.

What we need to do is evaluate our success by not only measuring the reduction in the gender savings gap, but also by ensuring that in a dynamic and changing workplace that we achieve a systemic improvement in retirement outcomes for everyone.

You can explore how the gender savings gap looks for Equip members of different ages by entering age and account balance data by clicking here to our Move the Dial page. And here's the thing the dials allow men to compare themselves with people like them also!

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