Government must give women greater super control: SMSFA

The Australian government must respond to the growing interest Australian women have in controlling their superannuation, and implement more measures that close the retirement income gap between men and women, according to the SMSF Association.

In a statement yesterday, managing director and chief executive at the SMSF Association, Andrea Slattery, said evidence is mounting that women are playing a far greater role in the overseeing of their SMSFs, and new steps must be taken by the government to provide women with greater control.

Results from the Women and SMSFs - Empowering and Supporting SMSF Members on their Investment Journey survey found that whilst men are more likely than women to establish an SMSF, this disparity is narrowing as more women from Gen X and Gen Y take initiative, Ms Slattery said.

The research, which surveyed 801 SMSF members nationally, showed that 91 per cent of participants were either ‘very confident’ (49 per cent) or ‘somewhat confident’ (42 per cent) about having sufficient knowledge to take over the sole responsibility for managing their SMSF investments.

“Many women of the Baby Boomer and Traditionalist generations lacked the opportunity to have the career focus of the younger generations, who now have the confidence and education to take control of their retirement income strategies,” Ms Slattery said.

“It is critical that the government facilitate this development by removing structural impediments to allow [women] to improve their superannuation balances before and after retirement.

“Measures that will give women greater control over their superannuation include extending the benefits of the low income tax offset, the ability to carry forward unused concessional contribution caps, removing the ‘work test’ for people aged 65 to 74 and abolishing the ‘10 per cent rule’ for personal deductible superannuation contributions.”

There is widespread appreciation by many women that SMSFs are the best option to take control of their superannuation, as evidenced by the fact that 47 per cent of the more than one million SMSF members and trustees are women, Ms Slattery said.

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