Women and super

Don’t leave it too late, take control of your super and financial future today.

Australian women still trail behind men when it comes to their super. We’re committed to helping and supporting you to save for a comfortable and financially secure retirement.

The superannuation gender gap

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 around $115,000 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.

Why is there a gender gap?

  1. Women continue to earn less than men, with female managers earning about 25% less than their male counterparts.
  2. Men are also twice as likely to get into management, and if a woman has young children, her odds are reduced even more. [1]
  3. Women continue to spend more time in unpaid domestic, childcare and voluntary work than men.
  4. Women are more likely to have casual or part-time jobs.
  5. The current super system is linked to paid work, which leads to women being disadvantaged.

1 Source: Watson, Ian, ‘Decomposing the Gender Pay Gap in the Australian Managerial Labour Market, Australian Journal of Labour Economics’, Volume 13, Number 1,  pp 49 – 79, Macquarie University, 2010.

“The gap has serious implications for women, particularly the likelihood of sole reliance on the Age Pension and subsequently, an acute vulnerability to poverty in retirement.”

- Elizabeth Broderick, Sex Discrimination Commissioner

The gender gap affects us all

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.

  • Nearly 60% of all Age Pensioners are women [2].
  • 73% of those who receive the single rate of the Age Pension are women [3].

Sources: [2] Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Pension Review Background Paper, Secretary of FaHCSIA, Dr Jeff Harmer, 2008[3] Robert Tanton, Yogi Vidyattama, Justine McNamara, Quoc Ngu Vu and Ann Harding, ‘Old, Single and Poor: Using Microsimulation and Microdata to Analyse Poverty and the Impact of Policy Change Among older Australians’, National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling, University of Canberra, 2008

Closing the gap

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. We’ve produced a dictionary to help you understand the terms that get used when talking about super. You can also read through our frequency asked questions – they come straight from our members, we just collect them and add the ones we keep getting asked to the list.

 

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. 

There is over $20 billion dollars^ in lost and unclaimed super!

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 2019

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.

Learn more about rolling your super over into your Vision Super 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.

Learn more about the different ways you can contribute to your super to make it grow.

We're here to help

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.

Frequently asked questions

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.

You can check your balance 24/7 via Vision Online, our secure member secure site, or via the Vision Super app for mobile devices. You can also contact our Member Services on 1300 300 820 or by emailing us on [email protected]

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 $39,837 or less in the 2020/21 year. This reduces on a sliding scale and cuts out if your total income is above $54,837 in the 2020/21 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 2020/2021 financial year, the maximum that can be contributed as before-tax payments is $25,000, this includes your employer SG payments of 9.5%.

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.

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