When it comes to earning power and retirement savings, the average Australian woman’s experience is often different from the average man’s. Women generally earn less through their working lives, which is the main reason why women retire with an average super balance less than a man’s.
With less money saved and longer life expectancies, women need to make the most of every opportunity to save for their future and increase their financial security.
- Elizabeth Broderick, Sex Discrimination Commissioner
Whether you’re in a relationship or happily single, it’s always wise to plan independently for your retirement. Relying on someone else, who may not be around when you reach retirement age, could leave you with less than you need to retire comfortably.
Divorce, the death or illness of your partner and other unforeseen circumstances can make retirement difficult. Therefore, it makes sense to plan ahead, and take some steps early on to make sure you, or a woman in your life who you care about, can retire in comfort when the time comes.
There are number of reasons why women don’t focus on their super. Retirement can seem like a long way away so it’s not a priority, or they don’t earn enough or simply don’t know where to start. No matter what the reason, here are some of the ways you can help to close the gap.
Understand the basics of super
With so much jargon and so many rules and regulations, it’s easy to put managing super in the ‘too-hard’ basket. But don’t worry, we’re here to help bring it back to the basics. You can read through our frequently asked questions – they come straight from our members.
Find your super
If you’ve had part-time or casual jobs, we know it can be difficult to keep track of where your super was paid. Finding an old account could make a big difference to your retirement savings.
Could some of it be yours? Join Vision Super and we can help you find any lost super or unclaimed super you may have.
^Source: ATO website 30 June 2020.
Combine your super
The long-term nature of superannuation makes it easy to put off, but small actions taken earlier enough can make a difference in the long run. Like combining your super into one account.
Contribute to your super
If you work part-time or have a strict budget it can be overwhelming thinking about having to save for retirement. But there are ways. Depending on your income you may be eligible for the Government co-contribution – this is where you put a little bit extra into your super (even just a few dollars a week) and the government kicks in a contribution as well. And, if you’re in a relationship, your partner might even be able to contribute to your super on your behalf – lots of couples use spouse contributions as a way to keep the woman’s super growing while she’s on parental leave.
You might find the answer to your question in the FAQ below. If you don’t find it there, you can call our Member Services hotline on 1300 300 820.
It depends how your details have been changed. The most common request is changing a surname due to marriage, which you can do with a certified copy of your marriage certificate, and a Vision Super “Change of Personal Details form” found here: view form
If you have changed your name another way, we recommend you contact us first on 1300 300 820 so we can outline what documents we need to change your details without issue.
If you want to change your address, you can do this by logging onto the secure member portal online, or calling our Member Services team on 1300 300 820.
Here’s how it works. You may be able to receive a tax-free contribution from the Government when you make a non-concessional (after-tax) contribution to your super account. The maximum entitlement that can be received is $500 where your total income is $41,112 or less in the 2021/22 year. This reduces on a sliding scale and cuts out if your total income is above $56,112 in the 2021/22 year.
This is, of course, provided you satisfy work, income and age tests.
Please note that the income threshold test for the co-contribution is your total income, which is calculated as follows:
Total income (assessable income + reportable fringe benefits + reportable employer super contributions – allowable business deductions).
In very basic terms, ‘salary sacrificing’, or ‘salary packaging’ means using some of your before-tax salary to pay for something. In superannuation terms, it is usually an arrangement between you and your employer to contribute some of your before-tax salary into your superannuation account.
In the 2021/2022 financial year, the maximum that can be contributed as before-tax payments is $27,500, this includes your employer SG payments of 10%.
Please note that any after-tax contributions made, where you obtain a tax deduction, are included in this contribution limit.
If you’re contributing by BPAY, it can take Vision Super up to two business days to receive your contribution, then up to three business days to process, although most are done the same day they are received. This will depend upon your financial institution’s processing times.
If you’re contributing by cheque, you will need to allow enough time for your chosen postage method to reach us. Once it has arrived, it can take up to five working days to process.
We can also process contributions by EFT, however, this may take up to three business days.
Best Doctors can help you if you are dealing with an illness, or a chronic or serious condition.
Through your insurance, you and your family get access to Best Doctors which connects you with a network of 50,000 leading medical specialists from around the world. It offers a second opinion when you need it most, to make sure you received the right diagnosis and are on the best treatment plan. You can use Best Doctors at anytime, anywhere, as often as you need for no extra cost, and it’s completely confidential.
The great news is you can now open your pension account online through the secure site.
You’ll just need to open a Vision Personal account first and then you can transfer across to a Vision Super pension.