The facts about women and super

14 May 2021

Did you know that more than 80 per cent of women currently retire with insufficient superannuation savings to fund a comfortable lifestyle? In fact, the average superannuation account balance for women when they retire is around $80,000 less than the average for men.*

There are a number of reasons why the superannuation gap is so large, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Taking control of personal finances and pursuing greater financial independence can help women feel more confident about enjoying financial wellbeing today, as well as in retirement.

Why the gap?

As the media constantly reminds us, gender inequality still exists when it comes to full-time earnings, with women earning 18 per cent less than men.^ This results in further disparity when it comes to employer superannuation contributions, known as the super guarantee. Currently, employees receive a superannuation guarantee contribution of 9.5 per cent of their total salary earnings. The fact that women are already earning 18 per cent less than men means that this gap also transfers over to a lesser superannuation guarantee contribution by their employers.

In addition, many women take an average of five years out of the workforce to care for children or family members, which can cause their superannuation savings to stagnate and fall even further behind.^ And, when women return to work, they’re more likely to be in part-time or lower-paid employment; an estimated 43 per cent of women work part-time.^

The upshot is that many women are not able to accrue sufficient savings for a comfortable retirement.

Gender inequality still exists when it comes to full-time earnings, with women earning 18 per cent less than men

Changing work environment

REI Super’s insurance provider MetLife’s Employee Benefit Trends Study 2020 investigated the changing face of the Australian workplace landscape.

Understanding how to improve employee wellbeing is key to helping employers navigate the new work-life reality. The study highlights that employers are prioritising the mental health of their employee wellbeing. However, right now, financial health is the top concern for employees – and it plays an especially important role in their overall wellbeing and mental health in particular.

With many working remotely throughout 2020, it’s to be seen that employers are starting to adopt a position in which roles can continue to be worked remotely and flexibly, which could benefit women in the workforce who have family or caring responsibilities. Some employers are also offering expanded parental leave schemes.

These types of workplace changes will help to create a more positive culture, where employees can confidently feel they can maintain a work-life balance, increase productivity and not compromise their careers and finances, thus alleviating a superannuation gap.

What next?

With these simple steps, you can take control of your retirement finances and your future. It’s easy to get started:

  1. Save money by finding and combining your super accounts. It’s quick and simple.
  2. Even small additional contributions can make a big difference to the size of your super account. Compound interest will boost your account savings without you having to do anything.
  3. Spousal contributions. If you have a partner, they can help boost your superannuation by making a spouse contribution to your super account or arranging contribution splitting from their employer.
  4. Low income – If you're not on a high income, you can grow your superannuation faster by getting a little boost with a Government co-contribution.
  5. Investment options. Are your super investments in the right options? Are you invested in a conservative option when you should be in growth?
  6. Review insurance. As life changes, it’s good to regularly review your insurance to ensure that you still have the right level of cover. Review your insurance annually or whenever you have a major life event that impacts your personal financial commitments.
  7. Seek financial advice. Call REI Super on 1300 13 44 33

Learn more about women and superannuation at



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Super facts

46.9% of the workforce are women

Women working full-time earn 18% less

Women live 5 years longer on average than men

Women retire with 47% less super than men

40% of older retired women experience economic insecurity in retirement


Disclaimer: The information contained in this article does not constitute financial product advice. However, to the extent that the information may be considered to be general financial product advice, REI Super advises that REI Super has not considered any individual person’s objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Individuals need to consider whether the advice is appropriate in light of their goals, objectives and current situation. Members should obtain and read the Product Disclosure Statement for REI Super before making any decisions. REI Superannuation Fund Pty Ltd ABN 68 056 044 770 AFSL 240569. RSE L 0000314 REI Super ABN 76 641 658 449 RSE R1000412 MySuper unique identifier 76641658449129.

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