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Women winging it with super

Women winging it with super

The fact that women are less likely to obtain their superannuation through professional advice could be contributing to the super gender gap, a research firm has argued.

Roy Morgan’s latest finding has revealed that while 14.4 per cent of men purchase their superannuation through a professional, like a financial adviser or accountant, just 11.3 per cent of women do.

Noting this, Roy Morgan’s industry communications director, Norman Morris said: “In an area as complex and subject to change as superannuation, professional advice for both males and females has the potential to play a major role in decision making.

“Currently 80.4 per cent of males and 84.0 per cent of females obtain their superannuation through their employer and as a result are generally not likely to receive a financial plan or overall advice on their retirement savings.”

He continued: “This research shows that with fewer women having super and those that do having a lower average balance than men, there is a risk that financial professionals may miss this important segment.”

In the 12 months to December 2017, 68.8 per cent of women had superannuation accounts and 73.6 per cent of men had superannuation accounts.

Further, when it comes to balance size, women with superannuation had an average $133,000, which equates to 71.9 per cent of the average male balance ($185,000).

Four years ago women’s balances were on average 67.5 per cent of the average male balance. Registering that the gap was closing slightly, Roy Morgan said there was still work to be done.

The research firm said: “Given the fact that women have much lower superannuation balances than men, there is considerable potential to close the gap if they were able to make greater use of ‘professional’ advisers, these include financial planners, accountants, stock brokers etc.”

Breaking it down

According to Roy Morgan polling, independent financial advisers and planners were the most popular professional when it came to obtaining superannuation schemes, with 5.3 per cent of men and 4.4 per cent of women selecting this option.

This was followed by planners and advisers who work for financial institutions, with 4.5 per cent of men and 3.9 per cent of women opting for this professional. Nearly 4 per cent (3.7 per cent) of men obtained a super plan through their accountant, while 2.4 per cent of women chose this path.

Solicitors were chosen less than 1 per cent of the time and stock brokers reflected less than half a per cent of instances in which super was obtained via a professional.

Women winging it with super
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