Labor’s proposed measures to close the superannuation gap between men and women has received the approval of the Financial Services Council.
Key items under Labor’s proposal include paying the superannuation guarantee for workers on parental leave as well as the removal of the $450 per month minimum earnings threshold for SG payments.
Other proposed measures include amending the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 to allow businesses to make higher ‘catch up’ super contributions to their female employees, and a consideration of how future super changes would impact women via an annual women’s budget statement and ensuring super tax policies are reviewed every five years.
The Financial Services Council director of policy and global markets Allan Hansell said employers and super funds should be encouraged to go even further to innovate their super offerings to help close the gender gap.
“The FSC has for many years paid super contributions for our own staff while on parental leave, as do some of our members,” Mr Hansell said.
“Another recent innovation has been for some super funds to introduce fee freezes for new parents. All employers and funds should think about what more they can do to boost retirement savings.
“Labor’s plan should be commended for helping all Australians, especially women, achieve a comfortable retirement.”
Chief executive of industry super fund HESTA, Debby Blakey, said scrapping the $450 threshold was long overdue.
“This $450 threshold means that women, who are more likely to work in part-time and casual roles, particularly in our health and community services sector, can miss out on the benefits of super entirely,” Ms Blakey said.
“We’d encourage employers to undertake a comprehensive pay equity analysis and commit to closing any gender gaps.
“By doing this they ensure that women in their workplaces are on an improved trajectory to a more financially secure retirement.”
ifa approached the AFA and the FPA but they did not return our requests for comment.
Adrian Flores is a deputy editor at Momentum Media, focusing mainly on banking, wealth management and financial services. He has also written for Public Accountant, Accountants Daily and The CEO Magazine.
You can contact him on [email protected].
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