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Retirement

Super shortcoming leaves mums millions worse off

  • September 27 2021
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Retirement

Super shortcoming leaves mums millions worse off

By Fergus Halliday
September 27 2021

Queensland parents are losing out when it comes to retirement due to poor leadership from the federal government, a new report has suggested.

super shortcoming leaves mums millions worse off

Super shortcoming leaves mums millions worse off

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  • September 27 2021
  • Share

Queensland parents are losing out when it comes to retirement due to poor leadership from the federal government, a new report has suggested.

super shortcoming leaves mums millions worse off

Super sector advocates say that a failure by the federal government is costing Queenslanders hundreds of millions in potential retirement savings.

According to a recent report by Industry Super Australia (ISA), Australian mums are paying the price for the government’s failure to lead by example when it comes to parental leave and superannuation.

Unlike most other forms of paid leave, parental leave does not explicitly require employers to contribute towards superannuation. 

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The ISA said that less than 7 per cent of enterprise agreements include this provision, and the government’s own Commonwealth Parental Leave Pay scheme isn’t among them.

As a result, the report suggested that as many as 1.45 million Australians who received Commonwealth Parental Leave Pay over the past 10 years may have sacrificed thousands in individual retirement savings. 

When it comes to Queensland, the total cost is estimated to be around $320 million in lost retirement savings.

“Queensland women are being made to sacrifice their retirement savings to have children,” Industry Super Australia advocacy director Georgia Brumby said.

The ISA said that their analysis found that more than 280,000 Queensland mothers received Commonwealth-paid leave pay over the past 10 years.

“It’s hard enough trying to juggle work and raising a family — it’s not fair that thousands of women are also missing out on thousands from their super as well,” Ms Brumby said.

In the most recent financial year, the organisation estimated that approximately 33,460 Queensland women missed out on potential super payments because they took advantage of the Commonwealth Parental Leave Pay scheme. 

Describing the failure of the federal government to lead on superannuation in paid parental leave as a “super sting”, the ISA said that an individual Queensland mother of two could be $14,000 worse off when it comes their final retirement savings.

The industry body said that mothers in the electorate of Lilley were particularly affected, losing out on an estimated total of $13 million in potential superannuation payments.

More broadly, the ISA noted that Queensland women usually have around 30 per cent less in their super fund than men in the state.

While the median super balance of a Queensland woman approaching retirement is about $131,500, the median balance of a Queensland man in the same situation is around $50,000 higher.

“This is an opportunity for the Prime Minister to lead the way and ensure super is paid on parental leave. Otherwise, we’ll continue to see too many women retire into poverty,” Ms Brumby said.

Super shortcoming leaves mums millions worse off
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About the author

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Fergus is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He likes to write about money, markets, how innovation is changing the financial landscape and how younger consumers can achieve their goals in unpredictable times. 

About the author

author image
Fergus Halliday

Fergus is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He likes to write about money, markets, how innovation is changing the financial landscape and how younger consumers can achieve their goals in unpredictable times. 

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