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This International Women’s Day, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) is calling on the Government to prioritise policy actions that address economic disadvantages that are punishing women when they reach retirement.
Key policy actions include paying super on all Parental Leave, removing the $450 monthly earnings threshold and maintaining the legislated timetable to increase the compulsory super rate to 12%.
Addressing the tax treatment within superannuation to more fairly distribute concessions to low-income workers will also help reduce the gap between men and women’s retirement outcomes.
AIST CEO Eva Scheerlinck said the Government had a responsibility to address the increasing number of women retiring in poverty and directly tackle the unique challenges that women face when it comes to paid work.
“International Women’s Day is a vital day for celebrating the achievements of women in our society, but as far as the Government is concerned, we’d like to see them put their heads down and start enacting real change.”
“When women take time out of work to have a child they miss out on super on their Parental Leave. Women also make up the majority of workers who are not entitled to superannuation payments because they earn less than $450 per month.”
“It is grossly unfair to penalise women who are often the primary carers in their family. Not only do they miss out on workplace participation and wages, but then at the end of their working lives they are expected to live on less retirement savings and are at greater risk of living in poverty.”
“Women in Australia should be celebrating our longevity, not fearing it. Changing legislation to remove the $450 super threshold and making it mandatory for employers to pay super on Paid Parental Leave are both easy steps for the Government to make, yet they continue to stall on these measures.”
Media contact: Tyrell Mills 0431 303 998
11 March 2020