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Women less confident in their super than men

Retirement savings, retirement management, retirement planning, wealth management, gender pay gap, gender gap, women in retirement, superannuation, superannuation savings, Association of Superannuation Funds Australia, ASFA, Martin Fahy, AFA Inspire, Association of Financial Advisers, Jennifer Pearse, Jenny Pearse, women's financial independence

Female pre-retirees are less likely to believe their superannuation savings alone will afford them a comfortable lifestyle than males, new research has found.

The Nest Egg Retirement Sentiment Survey found a major gender confidence split when it comes to superannuation.

The survey found that 45.45 per cent of male respondents said they thought their super savings alone would be enough to maintain a comfortable lifestyle throughout their retirement, but only 23.53 per cent of female respondents felt the same.

There was also a gender split on the topic of savings.

The number of women who expect their savings will be enough for a comfortable retirement (23.53 per cent) was the same as the number of women who expect their super alone will not be enough to retire on, whereas only 16.16 per cent of men were afraid their savings will not be enough.

More than half of female respondents (52.94 per cent) said they expect their super savings to offer them only a ‘modest’ or ‘basic’ standard of living when they exit the workforce, while only 35.35 per cent of men believed the same, the survey found.

No women expected their superannuation to allow them to retire wealthy.

Jennifer Pearse, the chair for the NSW arm of AFA Inspire, an initiative of the Association of Financial advisers established to represent women working in financial services, said this result is unsurprising.

“I don’t know any woman that isn’t worried about their retirement savings,” she told Nest Egg.

“I’m a classic example, I’m just over 50, married with two grown-up adult children that are in their mid-20s, and when I sat down and looked at my superannuation versus my husbands and it just wasn’t even comparable.

“It literally shook me to my boots.”

Ms Pearse said many women needed to be more proactive with their finances and ask more questions when it comes to their money and retirement goals, suggesting that many women still see seeking financial advice or taking control of long-term financial decisions as a “male-dominated arena”.

“A lot of women have a number of policies in place in different places, there’s lots of different things that they don’t comprehend around their superannuation, and I think they need to ask those questions, what is my super and where is it?” she said.

Similarly, a survey conducted last year by the Association of Superannuation Funds Australia, a lobby group for super funds, found a gap between women and men with relation to confidence in knowledge about superannuation.

ASFA found that only 10 per cent of women had a very good understanding of their super statements, compared with 25 per cent of men.

The association’s chief executive Martin Fahy said one-third of women are retiring with no superannuation at all, and many older women are struggling financially in their retirement.

“Several factors are contributing to women’s lower super balances including the fact that women take time out of the paid workforce to have children and are more likely to care for family members,” Mr Fahy said.

“They are also more likely to be in part time or lower paid employment. Women, on average, earn lower wages compared to their male counterparts and this is then reflected in their super balances. Women also live longer than men so they need more super to survive longer.”

While this is worrying, Mr Fahy noted the majority of women recognise the importance of their superannuation.

For those worried about their super, check out the following articles providing tips for stay-at-home parents or those approaching retirement with a low superannuation balance to beef up their savings.

Women less confident in their super than men
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