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Media Statement: O’Dwyer ducks the big issue in women’s statement

20 November 2018 By ASU

The Australian Services Union today slammed Kelly O’Dwyer’s women’s statement as a “woefully inadequate response” to the unacceptable outcomes for women in retirement.

ASU Assistant National Secretary Linda White said the Government still had no plan to raise the level of superannuation savings among women who average half the super savings of men.

Over 70% of women have estimated balances under $150,000 and almost a quarter have balances less than $50,000. Meanwhile, 1 in 4 men have balances over $500,000, compared with 1 in 25 women.

“Nothing announced by the Kelly O’Dwyer today does anything to tackle the fact that women are going to retire in poverty due to a lack of super savings,” said Ms White.

“While clearly we need to be focussed on supporting women facing domestic violence, this government has so far refused to accept the need for paid domestic violence leave and better funded community support services.

“The fact that employers can avoid paying superannuation to those earning less than $450 in a given month is an injustice that clearly discriminates against women who dominate the casual and part-time workforce.

“Tackling this wicked problem will require fundamental reform by the Federal Parliament and including paying super to those on parental leave and make it easier for employers to contribute more to women’s super accounts.

She said the most fundamental issue is the delay to the increase in the superannuation guarantee which has been stuck in the mud at 9.5%.

“Super was set to increase to 12% by July next year until the Federal Government delayed implementation until 2025, costing us tens of thousands of dollars at retirement.

“This was our biggest hope to bump up women’s retirement savings and it has been squandered by politicians intent on pandering to the business lobby.”

A report by Per Capita, commissioned by the Australian Services Union – Not so Super for Women – first raised the issue of women’s superannuation outcomes in July last year – available here. It found women have an average 53% of the super savings of men.

Contact Details
Name: Tim O’Halloran
Telephone: 0409 059 617