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What women want: A more equitable super system background image

What women want: A more equitable super system

What women want: A more equitable super system icon

Treasury announced another consultation into super on Monday 20 February.  Ever since, the trade media, the consumer media and even social media have been abuzz with speculation about what it might mean for the May Federal Budget.  

In the days since, the Government has proposed a cap of $3 million on tax concessional super. Any earnings on balances above $3 million will attract a 30% tax rate. 

But as the latest MYMAVINS research shows, the ideology of the super wars may be distracting us from a bigger issue.

Legislating the purpose of super

As we all know, this time the consultation centres on the purpose of super. Treasury has put forward a sensible proposition: the objective of superannuation is to preserve savings to deliver income for a dignified retirement, alongside government support, in an equitable and sustainable way.

Much of the industry debate to date has focused on equity between the rich and the poor.  It’s a captivating conversation because there are several SMSFs housing eye watering amounts of family wealth.

The greatest happiness of the greatest number

One way to gauge the success of policy is to apply the philosophy of modern utilitarianism.  Its central premise is that it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number, that is the measure of right and wrong.  

Applying this philosophy means creating all the happiness we can create, while removing all the misery we are able to remove.

Half the population is women

The Government says there are around 80,000 Australians who have more than $3 million in super, but there are 13 million women.  Whether or not we create happiness for the 80,000, or misery, is somewhat of a distraction when we are looking at the bigger picture. 

A new research study designed by MYMAVINS for Australian Seniors, “The Super Savvy Report”, shows how much work is to be done with the super system to achieve equity for women.   A large quantitative study in the field in August 2022, the research surveyed 5,020 Australians over age 50.

Nine in 10 women recognise there is a gender gap in super balances between men and women, with the main reason given being career punctuation.  Women tend to take more time out of the workforce to take care of their families. 

Women tend to be less confident in their financial position, less confident in their financial capabilities, more worried about a recession, and less confident of recovering from a recession than men.  Women are also less aware of super strategies like splitting contributions and making additional contributions that could close the gap.

Gaining equity for women

Having equity enshrined in the legislative purpose of super is a good thing.  And the prospect of renewed energy to solve the gender gap in super is exciting. 

We are doing our part.  At When Financial Solutions, we are independent and work hard to improve our clients’ financial capabilities which helps them feel more confident about the future, and more resilient when things go off track.  

We can help you know more about super strategies like splitting contributions or making top up contributions, so that you can live a dignified retirement.  It’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’. 


This article is general and does not consider your personal circumstances so it may not be appropriate to you.  If you would like independent advice specific to you, please give us a call.

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