Whilst there are media conversations aplenty about the gap in women’s super it seems the message, whilst acknowledged, is not spurring women to take action.
Professional advice is widely available, so too the potential to make incremental gains while waiting for systemic change from government and employers - yet many women are unclear about their retirement income needs, and the fear is many are simply tuning out and hoping for the best.*
Beginning on the back foot
If you’re a professional woman, the odds may already be unevenly stacked when it comes to your financial future. Women face a persistent pay gap relative to men which, combined with career interruption to care for children or ageing parents, is creating a serious shortfall in the retirement savings of women across the country.
Inertia despite the evidence
Research by Rice Warner shows one of the most effective ways young professionals can protect their super balance against future time out of the workforce is to make additional voluntary contributions, yet only 30% of women exercise this option.*
Despite this negative picture, it is possible to get your superannuation back on track and pave the way for a more prosperous financial future.
Get to know your super
Experts agree the first step on the road to a healthy financial future is to start engaging with your super. Some ways you can do this include:
- Undertaking financial education, becoming better informed
- Seeking out female role models and mentors
- Finding a professional financial adviser you like and trust
Start taking control
Navigating the super system can be complex and there are often tax implications, but there are several simple steps you can take towards greater awareness, understanding and control over your super:
- Make additional contributions
- Talk to your employer about salary sacrificing
- Use free online calculators
Set your goal
It’s important to have a personal aim, but avoid chasing an arbitrary target - like the commonly touted $1million comfortable retirement. “In reality, it comes down to understanding where you are now, where you want to be, and designing a superannuation roadmap that will guide you towards that future,” says superannuation expert and FMD Director, Mike Reynolds.
A positive future
Encouragingly, Australia’s top employers are implementing initiatives to help close the gender gap. ANZ has recently introduced a plan to provide extra super for female employees, while NAB have established a new money empowerment program for women and have added superannuation to their existing paid parental leave program. More developments like this along with proposed changes to the concessional tax system to encourage voluntary contributions** could help women eventually improve their super fortunes.
Ready to take control of your destiny and ensure a fulfilling, financially secure future? Speak to an FMD adviser about the fastest and most effective way to grow your super balance today!
** Female Voluntary Contribution Research, Rice Warner 2014
* Changes were proposed in the Murray Report as a result of the recent Financial Systems Inquiry and are being considered by government at the time of posting. No specific legislation is pending but Superannuation changes frequently so please seek advice from a qualified adviser before acting on the information in this article.
General advice disclaimer: This article has been prepared by FMD Financial and is intended to be a general overview of the subject matter. The information in this article is not intended to be comprehensive and should not be relied upon as such. In preparing this article we have not taken into account the individual objectives or circumstances of any person. Legal, financial and other professional advice should be sought prior to applying the information contained on this article to particular circumstances. FMD Financial, its officers and employees will not be liable for any loss or damage sustained by any person acting in reliance on the information contained on this article. FMD Group Pty Ltd ABN 99 103 115 591 trading as FMD Financial is a Corporate Authorised Representative of FMD Advisory Services Pty Ltd AFSL 232977. The FMD advisers are Authorised Representatives of FMD Advisory Services Pty Ltd AFSL 232977.