Why Rocky women are $87k worse off than men
ROCKHAMPTON women are losing on average $87,000 in supernnuation, new figures show.
An analysis of QSuper's member data showed Rockhampton's retirement gender gap in 2017 is 43%, with men retiring locally with an average balance of $206,000 while women are retiring with an average of $119,000.
Although still a major difference, the gap has reduced over the past five years by nearly 26%.
Across the state, Queensland women are retiring with between 26 and 49 per cent less superannuation than men and the gap is widening in most areas across the state, with women on average only now just reaching levels men held five years ago.
The QSuper data showed that, on average, Queensland women retiring between 56 and 70 years of age have 32% less superannuation than men.
This is a 10% increase on the gap recorded just five years ago, despite it being 25 years since compulsory superannuation was introduced in Australia.
QSuper CEO Michael Pennisi said while it was pleasing to see the retirement income gap between men and women had started to close in Rockhampton, the increasing gap in most of the state was a concern.
"As an industry we need to collectively continue our focus on reducing the super gender gap by providing our female members with personalised advice, education and assistance to ensure they too enjoy a financially secure retirement,” Mr Pennisi said.
QSuper cites lower average wages and taking time out of the workforce to either raise children or care for elderly parents as key contributors to the findings.
Also a factor is greater tax concessions available on superannuation contributions by those on higher incomes, often driving increased contributions to a husband's account who is generally the higher income earner.
The analysis shows the gap begins to widen after the age of 30 and QSuper believes there are a number of strategies women can employ early on to ensure this doesn't happen.
Mr Pennisi said there was still a long way to go to rebalance the superannuation system in Australia.
"Superannuation reforms from July 1 that are account balance specific with incentives to maximise retirement pensions will certainly assist the gender divide, but while government policies can contribute as an industry we also need to fight this on all fronts,” he said.