Get Super Working For Women
Women retire with 47% less super than men.
Many women face poverty in retirement.
We have a plan to make it fair.
Across the whole ASU membership, ASU members have been talking a lot about their fears they won’t be able to afford to retire with dignity.
Australia’s superannuation system is failing women.
Women work less often and for lower pay. We make and keep homes, raise kids and care for our whole families but we are not paid for the contributions that women typically make to support the people we love the most.
As a lot of our work is unpaid or underpaid, superannuation balances fall further and further behind so that women are retiring with around half as much superannuation as men.
The problem is severe and distressing for ASU members. Every day we ignore it, the impact will get worse. We can’t wait to the end of our working lives to make something happen. We need to stamp out the gender pay gap in retirement savings and Get Super Working for Women!
What can I do to get super working for women? The ASU commissioned research from respected thinktank Per Capita to identify what changes we need to get super working for women. We need to make changes to our workplaces, in our super funds and to our laws.
1. Talk to the ASU about putting some measures on the bargaining table to improve things at your workplace:
- For workers who are not on track for a decent retirement, negotiate an additional super contribution of 1.5%.
- Get super paid on all periods of parental leave.
- Reducing the gender pay gap by improving flexibility for all workers so that men are more likely to take time out from work to care.
2. Talk to your super fund and make them accountable for real progress. Ask them to:
- Give fee discounts to workers with low super balances.
- Implement fee free periods for parents taking parental leave or time to care.
- Offer financial literacy programmes especially for women.
3. Tell your local politicians to make super fair. Government must:
- Increase the amount of superannuation paid to workers by their employers to 12%.
- Ensure super is paid for all periods of work, carer payments and parental leave – including the government’s paid parental leave scheme.
- Fund government co-contribution top-ups for workers who are not on track for a decent retirement.
- Incentivise superannuation sharing between couples when one half is working and make it easier for men to take time away from work to care for family members.
- Make it mandatory to report on effective gender equity policies for government programmes and budgets.
Tell Us Your Story!
Did you know that if you earn less than $450 in a month from an employer, the employer doesn’t have to pay you superannuation?
We think this is unfair, and it’s one of the reasons women, on average, retire with half the superannuation of men.
ASU members around the country are campaigning to change this rule, so all workers are paid superannuation on every dollar they earn.
To do this, we need to hear from you.
Do you have 5 minutes to tell us your story?
We are especially looking for stories from members who have ever earned less than $450 in a month from an employer – because this will have affected your superannuation balance.
If you had more than one job but earned less than $450 in a month from one of those jobs – you will have been impacted also.
Click here to tell us your story, and together we can Get Super Working For Women.
Women’s Conference – Wednesday 21 March 2018
On 21 March 2018, women delegates from around Queensland came together in Brisbane for The Services Union Women’s Conference.
This year the theme was Not So Super, For Women as we had in-depth look at the ASU/Per Capita report of the same name. The conference was a great place to gain a better understanding of why superannuation is not currently working for women and we looked at ways to put our report recommendations into practice.
Here are some of the key points from the day:
1.Super really is Not So Super for Women. We looked at the ASU/Per Capita report in detail, showing the disparity between men and women and their superannuation at retirement age.
2.We looked at the reasons why there is this disparity. Some reasons being:
- Women having a longer time away from the workforce for maternity leave (which is the only leave entitlement which doesn’t pay superannuation!).
- Women are often employed in lower paid jobs than men or will often take part time or casual work to fit around their family commitments.
- Women can’t afford to put extra into their superannuation funds, whereas men are much more likely to do this.
3.We looked at ways we can improve our superannuation, starting today.
- Consolidate your superannuation into one super fund to minimise your fees.
- Pay extra into your super fund either before tax (salary sacrificing) or after tax.
4.We workshopped ways we can help #getsuperworking for all women. Some of the suggestions included:
- Writing to politicians seeking to change the rules for superannuation eg. Superannuation paid on every dollar earned and on parental leave.
- When negotiating EBA’s at work, adding superannuation education to your log of claims.
- Encourage your workplace to become a preferred workplace for women by having favourable superannuation.
We ask all our members to start a conversation – with colleagues, friends and family – to educate them on why Superannuation is Not So Super for Women and to commit to asking them to join the campaign in their workplace. We have links below to some tools to help get you started.