Shorten’s $400 million gift to women
LABOR has a $400 million plan to boost the retirement savings of women whose disrupted work life has left them with little superannuation.
The scheme would keep super contributions going when a woman was off work on paid parental leave.
And Labor wants to phase in a lower wage threshold for the start of compulsory superannuation contributions to boost the savings of casual and part-time workers.
Women on average retire with $113,000 less in their super accounts than men - 40 per cent less.
This often is because women are on lower wages than men and interrupt their careers to have and care for children.
This can mean they leave the workforce with little more than an aged pension, particularly if they have gone through a marriage breakup.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten today said a Labor government would "help women plan for a secure financial future" with the $400 million to be spent over four years.
It would also benefit father's looking after children.
Mr Shorten said: "Labor believes that no Australian should be penalised for taking time out of paid work to have children.
"That is why a Shorten Labor government will ensure that recipients of Commonwealth paid parental leave and dad and partner pay payments continue to receive super contributions."
The government back in May promised its own package to as dust women with super but has yet to produce it.
In May Kelly O'Dwyer -- then Minister for Revenue and now Minister for Jobs and Women -- promised an "economic security statement" for women to be delivered this month.
She said in a speech in May the package would have "all the things that we can do to be able to help women to be able to save for their retirement, because women, happily for all those women out there, live a lot longer than men".
Today's Labor announcement includes a provision helping part-time workers, many of them women, increase superannuation savings.
It wants to phase out the $450 minimum monthly income threshold for eligibility for the superannuation guarantee.
This would be "in recognition that the income eligibility threshold disadvantages people who work part-time, casual and in multiple low‑paid jobs".
The aim would be to make it easier for employers to make extra payments into a woman's superannuation fund.
Mr Shorten also wants to improve transparency by committing to consider and publish the impact that any future changes to super would have on women.
"Universal, compulsory super is one of Labor's greatest achievements. It has already ensured a better retirement for millions of Australians," he said.
"But more needs to be done to build on this progress. Despite all of its successes, superannuation is still not working effectively for women. By the time they are 60, 34 per cent of single women in Australia live in poverty."