Men expect to have more than $470,000 in super at retirement, while women expect to have around $270,000, according to a new survey.
The RaboDirect Super & Retirement Report found that only 30 per cent of baby boomers believe they will have enough money saved to meet their retirement expectations. Boomers have a “super gap” of more than $500,000 – the difference between what they estimate they will need for retirement and what they expect to have saved in super at retirement.
One positive RaboDirect found is that the proportion of Australians making voluntary contributions to their super has increased from 27 per cent in 2016 to 32 per cent in the latest survey.
Thirty per cent of women plan to use a financial planner in future, compared with 23 per cent of men.
RaboDirect’s findings follow a report last month by Rachel Ong and Siobhan Austen, both of Curtin University, that the gender wealth gap doubled in Australia between 2002 and 2014, largely a result of the gender pay gap.
They also found that women have less diverse asset portfolios, with more of their wealth tied up in the family home. “This means their finances are more precarious, with less saved for retirement.”
The family home accounts for 48 per cent of the assets of single women, compared with 39 per cent for men.
For single women, superannuation accounts for 19.3 per cent of their assets, other property 15.8 per cent, and cash and other assets 12.2 per cent.
For single men, superannuation accounts for 21 per cent of their assets, other property 14.4 per cent, cash and other assets 15.7 per cent and business 5.1 per cent.
“The gender gap compounds over time, with many women facing a shortfall in savings by retirement age,” Ong and Austen say.
“Exacerbating this problem, women are dramatically over-represented in the oldest age groups. The over-65 age group has 14.5 per cent more women than men.”
Women are less likely than men to have access to the support of a spouse in their old age. Only 15.2 per cent of women, compared with 54.5 per cent of men, have a surviving spouse when they die. This means that they are more likely to need extra aged care services.
Women in Super reports that the median superannuation balance for women aged 45 to 54 is $30,000, which is 45 per cent of the median balance for men in the same age group.
Key contributors to the gender super gap include the fact that 43 per cent of women work part-time, women working full-time earn 19 per cent less than men and women take an average of five years out of the workforce to care for children and family members.
Sandra Buckley, the executive officer of Women in Super says women need to be contributing 19 per cent of their salary to superannuation to make up for the gap caused by broken work patterns and pay inequity.
“We need to be saying this to 20-year old women because they need to do it early. The message is do what you can do as early as you can,” Buckley says.
Tags: gender wealth gap, gender pay gap, Women in Super, RaboDirect