18 September 2018

Too many Australian women retire in poverty.

A Shorten Labor Government will help women plan for a secure financial future, investing $400 million to strengthen Australia’s superannuation system and boost women’s superannuation balances.
This is another step in our Women’s Economic Strategy – taking active steps towards economic equality in Australia.
Labor knows that closing the gender gap on superannuation is absolutely critical to Australian women having dignity and certainty in retirement. 
On average, women retire with $113,000 less in their super than men – 40 percent less.
Labor believes that no Australian should be penalised for taking time out of paid work to have children. That is why a Shorten Labor Government will ensure that recipients of Commonwealth Paid Parental Leave and Dad and Partner Pay payments continue to receive super contributions.
Labor will also:

  • Phase out the $450 minimum monthly income threshold for eligibility for the superannuation guarantee – in recognition that the income eligibility threshold disadvantages people who work part-time, casual and in multiple low‑paid jobs. 
  • Make it easier for employers to make extra payments into a woman’s superannuation fund.
  • Improve transparency by committing to consider and publish the impact that any future changes to super would have on women.

Universal, compulsory super is one of Labor’s greatest achievements.  It has already ensured a better retirement for millions of Australians. 

But more needs to be done to build on this progress. Despite all of its successes, superannuation is still not working effectively for women.  By the time they are 60, 34 per cent of single women in Australia live in poverty.
This is a complex issue.  While today’s measures won’t end the problem, they will help reduce the inequity in the system.
This announcement builds on Labor’s strong record on superannuation – we introduced universal, compulsory superannuation; legislated all of the increases in the rate of the superannuation guarantee (from 3 percent, to 9.5 percent and the scheduled increases to 12 percent) and introduced the low income superannuation contribution scheme.  Labor’s superannuation policies mean Australians now have $2.6 trillion in superannuation savings.

In contrast, the Liberals have a pathetic record on superannuation and have undermined it at every turn. The Liberals voted against the introduction of universal, compulsory superannuation, and subsequently voted against all of the increases to the superannuation guarantee.
A Shorten Labor Government will not only protect super, but take these important steps to ensure that Australian women benefit from a better and fairer superannuation system.