Many people currently face an under-funded retirement because super hasn’t been around for their entire working lives. And the concern is greater for women, because super is directly linked to time spent in the workforce.

Nearly one dollar in every 10 that you earn will make up part of your super, so it’s important to take an interest in it.

To have a comfortable lifestyle in retirement, a couple needs a super balance upon retirement of around $640,000. A single person needs about $545,0001. Yet in the most recent year on record, the average Australian woman retired with a balance of just $157,0502.

This means there’s a big reliance on the social welfare system. Ask yourself – could you live comfortably on the Age Pension?

1Source: ASFA Retirement Standard, March Qtr 2019

2Source: Superannuation account balances by age and gender, ASFA, October 2017

Why it pays to plan

Did you know that the average life expectancy for men is now 80.4 and for women it’s 84.5?3 Great, right?

Well, with more retirees and fewer younger people, the net result is fewer working Australians.

That means there are fewer tax-paying Australians to help fund pensions for the retiring population.

Super, by its very nature, is linked to income. In general, women:

  • earn less than men
  • are more often employed in lower-paying and part-time or casual jobs
  • spend more time out of the workforce raising their children
  • often act as carers for elderly parents
  • often put themselves second from a financial point of view

With all that in mind, it’s no wonder women have less super than men. Rising divorce rates, widowhood, and greater female longevity mean that women need to plan independently for their retirement.

3Source: ABS 3302.0.55.001

The benefits of super

Super can provide women with a range of benefits, including:

Greater financial independence in retirement

The ability for women to live a comfortable lifestyle and make financial decisions for themselves

Access to cost-effective insurances

Having cover for death and total and permanent disability (TPD) or income protection through your super fund can be a convenient and tax-effective way of arranging financial protection in case of death or permanent or temporary disablement.

A tax friendly pool of retirement savings

Super offers a range of tax effective methods of saving for retirement.

Tips to help boost your super

  1. Tidy up your super. Combining your super funds and finding lost super makes it easier to track your total balance, reduces your paperwork and can mean you pay fewer fees overall.
  2. Top up if you can. Consider topping up your super — even small amounts count towards making time and compound interest work for you.
  3. Check your investment option is right for you. Make sure your money is invested in a way that considers your attitudes towards risk, your timeframe to invest, and your personal circumstances. It can really impact the value in the end.
  4. Make sure you’ve got the right amount of insurance. If you’re over-insured, paying premiums for cover you don’t need can deplete your super balance. If you’re under-insured, you may not have enough to protect your family in the event of an unfortunate event.
  5. Understand your potential entitlements. If you’re eligible for any government offsets and co-contributions then you should take advantage of them.

Other info you might be interested in

What is super?

Super is simply a way of saving for your future.

How to take control of your super

The sooner you take an interest in your super, the greater the reward when you finish working.

The role of financial planning

Good financial advice can help you set goals and make confident and informed financial decisions, now and in the future.

Learning Hub

Understand your super and the simple steps you can take to stay in control.

We're here to help

If you want to learn more or need help with making a decision about your super, you can get simple advice over the phone or face to face. It’s included as a part of your membership so there’s no extra cost.