Two easy budget reforms to improve women’s pensions

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Nowhere is the disparity between men and women more pronounced than between full-time and part-time employment.

Last year, more than 2.3 million women were employed part-time, compared to 1 million men. The gap was even higher the year before, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

In its January budget presentation, the Australian Institute of Pension Trustees said removing the income threshold would have minimal cost to government, improve the economic security of retired women and reduce incentives for job insecurity. workforce.

The Institute of Actuaries agrees, saying the cap is “unfair and no longer appropriate” and would not materially affect the government’s financial position. In a report released last week, he found that making it super mandatory for all workers would improve retirement fund balances by about 4 percent, or tens of thousands of dollars.

However, the $ 450 threshold is only for 3% of the population. Of these, 63% are women. It is not a quick fix.

Another area for potential reform is parental leave.

Super gets paid when workers are sick or on vacation, but not when they take time out to care for their newborns. Changing that would increase women’s retirement balances by 2.4%, according to the Actuaries Institute.

These reforms are obvious. Sandra Buckley, Executive Director of Women in Super, says they are “fruits within reach”.

“A growing number of women over 55 face the dilemma of a poverty-stricken retirement because they take care of others,” Ms. Buckley said.

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“We now have a unique opportunity to act to change structural inequalities or we will condemn future generations of women to the same appalling result.”

Ultimately, however, Buckley says these reforms would not come close to what’s needed to end gender inequality in pensions in Australia.

More radical proposals include imposing higher superpayments for women at all levels to make up for lost time. KPMG suggested amending the gender discrimination law to allow this.

Buckley says annual top-ups of $ 1,000 could be paid to targeted groups – such as those earning less than $ 40,000 a year or without tertiary education – until their super pay reaches $ 100,000.

Women over 55 are the fastest growing cohort of homeless Australians.

For too long, women have faced the choice between a family, a career and poverty.

Brittany Higgins, the staff member at the Canberra Cultural Computing Center, gave Scott Morrison a few tips this week. Make advancements in women’s safety a legacy of her tenure as Prime Minister.

This time next week, we’ll find out if he’s been listening.



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