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'One in three women will retire with no super at all'

STATE FUNDING: Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson and Minister for Child Safety and Communities Shannon Fentiman discuss the new funding of $4 million for two new services to help vulnerable families in the Wide Bay area. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
STATE FUNDING: Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson and Minister for Child Safety and Communities Shannon Fentiman discuss the new funding of $4 million for two new services to help vulnerable families in the Wide Bay area. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

QUEENSLAND women are increasingly concerned about life after retirement, with fears that the gender-based superannuation gap and lower rates of pay are creating disadvantage for women and poverty in old age.

At the start of the first Queensland Women's Week, Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman says tackling inequality in superannuation is a key issue.

"The figures are shocking - three in five Queensland women aged 65-69 years have no superannuation at all," Ms Fentiman said.

"One in three women will retire with no super at all and around 90% of women will retire with inadequate savings to fund a 'comfortable' lifestyle," Ms Fentiman said.

"As part of our consultation for the Women's Strategy, a range of women revealed concerns that lower pay, taking career breaks and child rearing responsibilities negatively affected their ability to build up a good nest egg."

QSuper is teaming up with the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services on a pilot project to offer education and advice to female public servants about strategies to maximise contributions throughout their career.

Minister Fentiman also lauded ANZ for its efforts to establish a Women's Advice Service with free super advice for all customers and female staff.

"There are a number of private sector companies, including ANZ, who are tackling this issue as part of a commitment to a fairer deal for women.

"Financial literacy is crucial, but there are a range of structural reasons women have lower balances. Women are still over-represented in lower-paid industries than men and 46.9 percent of women aged 35 to 44 work part-time, compared with 7.2 percent of men.

"Our Women's Strategy will develop programs and tools to increase women's financial capability, including through superannuation providers."

QSuper CEO Michael Pennisi said while in-roads were being made to close the super gender gap, much more should be done.

"Over 65% of our membership is female.  Our goal is to support all our members to and through retirement by offering help, guidance and advice at every step of the way."

"There are many strategies that can be used to help bridge the gap, but the issue deserves much more prominence at the national level.    On average, women live about 5 years longer than men, but have only half the retirement savings. It just doesn't add up."

The inaugural Queensland Women's Week is a celebration of the achievements of women and girls running from 7-13 March 2016. The week incorporates International Women's Day on 8 March and the theme is: 'Good for her. Great for us. When women achieve, Queensland succeeds.'

Topics:  editors picks queensland women's week superannuation



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