Women’s super under review

A Senate Inquiry is reviewing economic security for women in retirement.

Women’s super under review

Economic security for women in retirement is under scrutiny by a Senate Inquiry and yesterday’s submission from Industry Super Australia (ISA) highlights just how dire the situation is.

Modelling conducted for ISA by actuaries Rice Warner has revealed that 63 per cent of single Australian women will not be able to retire comfortably, even by 2055. Women continue to retire with just half the payout that men do in superannuation savings, with a gap of 47 per cent for the 2013–14 financial year.  ISA notes that other contributing factors include a 19 per cent gender pay gap and the fact women often have a disrupted work history.

Chief Executive David Whitely comments, “Without substantial structural reform in a number of areas, our retirement income system will continue to fail future generations of women. In a relatively wealthy country such as Australia, this is unacceptable.”

Mr. Whitely congratulated the Turnbull government on its ‘preparedness’ to consider rebalancing super tax concessions, stating that, “This would be a significant step in increasing the super savings of millions of Australian women”.

ISA also called upon the government to review the most recent changes to the Age Pension asset test, the abolition of the Low Income Super Contribution (which mainly benefits women) as well as the freeze in the increase of the super guarantee contribution (SGC).

Read more from Industry Super Australia

Opinion: Some things never change

Women + retirement = poverty. This shouldn’t be the case, but lifelong disadvantage means older Australian women are doomed to live longer, on less, for the foreseeable future.

It’s hardly rocket science to understand why women retire with savings, on average, approximating half those of men. It is scandalous, inequitable and not that difficult to change, but it seems we are all too accepting of this situation and while this is the case, there is little political will to change it. So Industry Super Australia is to be applauded for its stance on the late-life poverty facing many Australian women. With around 6 million Australians holding superannuation in an industry super account, and many of these lower paid workers in hospitality, service and retail industries, ISA is all too familiar with the lot of working women.

Australian working women are generally lower paid. They have fragmented work histories because of their caring duties for others (children, parents and relatives) and the overly generous super tax concession for wealthier workers do not benefit them in any way. In fact, as highlighted by ISA, the abolition of the Low Income Super Contribution is yet another blow to women on low wages.

In a sense, women are punished for their good will and good work. They still perform the lion’s share of housework and family caregiving and at the end of their lives are slammed by a totally inequitable retirement income system.

Our current super tax concessions are simply unfair and punish those who give the most. They should be first on the chopping block for the new regime in Canberra. And yes, a reversal of the abolition of the Low Income Super Contribution should be next.

Read more about this in YourLifeChoices most recent retirement update.

What do you think? Are women treated unfairly when it comes to superannuation? What is your story? What do you believe should change to redress this inequity?





    COMMENTS

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    Ted
    7th Oct 2015
    10:58am
    How about instead of just talking about it someone actually does something about really addressing the issue. Its just a big talk fest and meanwhile there are women who are suffering and will live in poverty. I think the issue is that the male powers that be just don't realise the importance of this issue and think perhaps its a bit of a joke.
    Ted
    7th Oct 2015
    11:01am
    Add to that the fact that women also still do not earn the same wage as a male doing the exact same job with the same qualifications. Its a disgrace that these issues have not been addressed and left as just a bit of a myth. Its time the Minister for Women pulled their socks up and did something real about this issue. If not get someone in the job who will.
    TREBOR
    7th Oct 2015
    12:09pm
    That is untrue, Ted - no woman is paid less for the exact same job. If you can prove otherwise, post a list here and now... and we are not talking about negotiated salaries. As before countless times - women EARN less overall for a variety of reasons, but there is no wage rate gap in any job. To say otherwise is just muddying the waters.
    Sundays
    7th Oct 2015
    12:54pm
    Why not talk about negotiated salaries. Many men in middle management are paid more than women simply because of old fashioned views that 'he has/will have a family to support'. Women are more represented in the caring professions, and these are definitely underpaid. However, I take your point. The superannuation of all lower income workers should be looked at. Men in poorly paid positions are often just as disadvantaged. The changes to the latest asset threshold for single people is also so,etching that needs instant review.
    LiveItUp
    7th Oct 2015
    1:00pm
    We I left my job (just over broke) it was the norm for men to be classified higher because they were men and it's cost them more to live. That was about 25 years ago now so hopefully things have changed.
    TREBOR
    7th Oct 2015
    2:39pm
    So the near 100% women Chief Clerks - sorry - CEO's in the hospital system, Medicare, the public service and so forth are all underpaid compared to men?

    Man - what I'd give for one day of THAT sittin' on the front porch sipping on a mint julip instead of picking dis cotton in dat hot sun... with all the perks and super and so forth that goes with it.

    People - we are being sold a royal lie - get used to it, get over it, get on the facts, and get on with it.
    TREBOR
    7th Oct 2015
    2:43pm
    Bonny - I would suggest the argument is as has arisen above - even when women take time off for whatever reason, men continue to work, and their income is shared in a settled relationship. There is no 'them' and 'us' here - only the thing once known as the family unit, from which all prosper equally.

    Perhaps your employers realised that men carry that load for life, while women get time off for (bad) behaviour, and even when women are off somewhere doing their thing, men are still at the coal face. Which would you seek to retain?

    A study of UK medicine graduates showed that most women graduates quit medicine after 10-15 years.... which would you prefer to spend your hard-earned training money on?

    There are many issues involved here - and it can not be resolved by accepting blindly the rote propaganda and slogans of self-interested parties.
    Sundays
    7th Oct 2015
    4:22pm
    Public service positions that you've mentioned above Treboar are not negotiated salaries. They are set by remuneration tribunal, or part of enterprise agreements. Big business, senior bank employees, accounting firms, law firms these negotiate salaries with their senior staff, and often pay men more. I think you are the one turning the discussion into a sexist debate. Most women I know (lots) have earned their senior position through merit, hard work and education, not by some sort of favouritism as you imply. I agree a lot of men and women do not have enough to retire on.
    TREBOR
    7th Oct 2015
    7:35pm
    I'm well aware of that - simply pointing out the discrepancies that are never mentioned. Sexism has many faces and is - like all other issues between men and women - not defined as being 'men v women'. Dropping that pure insanity would be a good start.

    I've worked in the public service and I know that 'merit' was automatically accorded to a woman because she was a woman - the the utter detriment of the public service.

    REAL merit is something else, I'm afraid, and a lot of appointments are on the basis of who you know, not what you know or what you can do.
    MICK
    7th Oct 2015
    11:50am
    A disappointing 'story' Kaye. Whilst I sympathise with the issue you do not properly address the reason WHY women have less super.
    Child rearing has always taken women out of the paid workforce (mostly by choice) and as a result they have not pursued the career paths men generally pursue and their money earning capacity is often diminished as a result.
    We have seen the demand from women generally to get the top paid jobs on top of this push here but no mention ever made that many are still transitory to and from the workforce as a whole.
    Remeber also that women have partners/husbands who are earning income and are putting money into super. If there is a family breakup then my understanding is that women are entitled to half of this. Am I incorrect?
    Your story is along the women's breast cancer lines: continual saturation of the media whilst men are discriminated against and their identical issue (prostate cancer) almost never mentioned.
    Come on Kaye....perspective and fair reporting needed! Sorry about the hobby horse. It is what it is.
    TREBOR
    7th Oct 2015
    12:11pm
    Correct, mick. the issue should be 'family unit' superannuation, and not this endless divisive 'feminist' nonsense.
    LiveItUp
    7th Oct 2015
    1:04pm
    Having had experience with both breast and prostate cancer it is certainly not the person with cancer that benefits from all this breast cancer saturation.
    Hasbeen
    7th Oct 2015
    1:43pm
    If less journalists, particularly female were so easily taken in by a good sales pitch for more of the pie, by some industry, there would be less of this garbage.

    Anyone should be able to see this as using the fool womens libbers to try to grab more money for their funds. Surely no one could believe the super industry gives a damn how much women, or men for that matter, end up with in retirement. Their only interest is in promoting superannuation, getting more money into their funds, & getting as much of it into their pockets as possible, once they have control of it.

    It is a pity these journalists can't see when they are being used, step back & take a deep breath, before jumping in like ninnies, with rants like this.

    Women can increase their super balance any time they make that their priority. I think it shows how more balanced they are, that they chose to do the things they want to, like having kids, or traveling, when they want to, rather than put things off until too late.

    I personally had a great time from 30 to 40. I put nothing into super, but had more fun than those who waited until after retirement, to enjoy their lives. I led a quiet life today, but that's about all the old body is good for. Boy you should have seen me out in the islands at 35.
    Jen
    7th Oct 2015
    2:56pm
    OMG gritting my teeth here. Seems women are still undervalued by this generation. Too late to change now.

    "Child rearing has always taken women out of the paid workforce (mostly by choice)" Mick if a couple want children, the woman NEEDS time out of the workforce. No choice about it. And, if the woman has no access to childcare from when the baby is very young, and many women don't, there is no choice but to stay out of the workforce until the child is of an age that they can access childcare. Also, if there is access to childcare, it takes most of the woman's earnings to pay for it. So she may as well take care of her own children. No wonder more and more young women refuse to have children, one of my own daughters included. Who can blame them?
    MICK
    7th Oct 2015
    2:56pm
    I am doing things the other way around. Worked my backside off for 40 years. Now still working around the home and on and off but seeing the world and enjoying what I had no time or money for from 17 onwards: skiing. Horses for courses.
    I often am of the opinion that you get your fun young or get it old but most of us 'choose' our treats. I do get pretty pee'd off when people who have not done the real tough yards then demonise those who are marginally better off than they are. People!
    Adrianus
    7th Oct 2015
    11:59am
    The way I see it is that Super is simply a financial instrument. The rules governing super apply equally to all members regardless of the sex of the member. Rather than look at skewing the rules to advantage women, why not find solutions to the real problems.
    While there may be 63% of single women, 50% of single men and 45% of couples retiring in 2055 will fall below the benchmark for a comfortable retirement.
    I think if the ISA report were to factor in the probabilities that;
    Many women marry older men.
    Many men may die before their wives retire.
    Wives and husbands have property rights which include super held in the spouses name.
    Of course too much information can cloud the issue, I guess.
    Call me old fashion if you like but Iets not rush toward dismantling the family values which have made our society strong.
    TREBOR
    7th Oct 2015
    12:12pm
    I read about a year ago in researching that 72% of men and 60% of women would retire with ONLY the pension. How is that discrepancy explained? These figures may have changed somewhat, but with current unemployment rising......
    TREBOR
    7th Oct 2015
    12:14pm
    Oh - and women initiate 86% of 'marital relationships' btreak-ups. This could be explored in light of all of the above. Some on another forum were aghast when I said that women are essentially, under the rules, bribed to do just that.....

    I await the torrent of abuse......
    Sundays
    7th Oct 2015
    1:09pm
    No those stats are fairly correct Trebor.
    I think a lot f women wake up one day and think, I don't need to do most of the cooking, housework etc. for this negative and controlling man. And before you respond, not my case, happily married 44 years.
    LiveItUp
    7th Oct 2015
    1:10pm
    Statistics only tell one side of the story. Super seems to become less important as a persons wealth increases as they are able to educate themselves on many other ways to store and generate wealth without the restrictions of the super system. I would only have just above the average in super myself but it is a relative small proportion of my total wealth. On my super balance alone I would not be able to achieve a comfortable retirement which makes these figures meaningless to me.
    LiveItUp
    7th Oct 2015
    1:15pm
    Agree Sundays I decided long ago that I would do the cooking but outsourced the housework because I just didn't want to spend all my time doing chores while everyone else played at their leisure.
    Saalbach
    7th Oct 2015
    1:57pm
    Bonny, I think you need to have a re-think about Super. It is the only (legal) vehicle that provides a tax free return to those over 60, and on that basis, should be the lynch pin of anyone's retirement plans. Perhaps you should have converted your other wealth into Super before retiring - that way you may have been able to have a more comfortable retirement than you have now.
    LiveItUp
    7th Oct 2015
    3:21pm
    Yes super does provide a tax free return to those over super plus you also have a $18,000 plus income threshold. I take out the minimum out of my super fund each year even though I don't need it. My super fund earns a lot more than I take out each year so I can't see any sense in putting any more into it.
    Anonymous
    7th Oct 2015
    5:12pm
    Bonny, it is a legal requirement that you receive a minimum amount of superannuation a year, whether you need or use it makes no difference.
    Adrianus
    7th Oct 2015
    5:24pm
    I think you need to be working a minimum of 30 hrs in any month to be eligible to contribute.
    TREBOR
    7th Oct 2015
    7:37pm
    "I think a lot f women wake up one day and think, I don't need to do most of the cooking, housework etc. for this negative and controlling man."

    So it's OK if the man works in an unrewarding job, and that's not part of the equation? How many of these 'negative and controlling men' are actually out there. as opposed to feminist mythology?
    Sundays
    7th Oct 2015
    8:13pm
    Reality or perception. In the stats you quoted, research shows it was one of the main reasons put forward by women. We've all worked in unrewarding jobs when we've had to, but I have nothing more to say on the subject.
    TREBOR
    7th Oct 2015
    12:07pm
    As before - you get whatever super you have contributed to - many - both men and women (hello) have NONE. constant complaining that women have less is a falsehood, since they have what they hav earned in super, same as everyone else.

    On top of that, those in a settled relationship share the other half's super on retirement anyway, and in most cases, it is women who inherit this into very old age, along with all material goods.

    Women most emphatically do NOT retire, as a general rule, with less than men, and theer is zero argument for continuing to artificially pump women into nice earners with good super on the basis of this endless furphy. They have plenty of those already with 70% teachers, 70% public servants etc and the never ending push to shove them ahead of men in all areas of work.

    Be careful you do not generate a national super fund from which all contributors will be paid the same (i.e. pension as per the past Social Security fund) and then taxed on all income earned from savings above that level.

    Divisive untruths such as this do not make things any easier.
    MICK
    7th Oct 2015
    1:32pm
    I often feel that this sort of 'story' is a beat-up. It beats a drum but does not make any real effort to investigate the WHY.
    adbob
    7th Oct 2015
    12:26pm
    Men simply take it for granted that they have the right to spend their daylight hours working in mindless dead-end jobs, having large chunks of what they earn ripped off them in tax or squirrelled away into super funds which they can't touch until they retire - at which point that amount which hasn't already been ripped off them in fees is ripped off them by the government reducing their age pension and telling them to live on their savings.

    Women of Australia - Arise - claim your birthright. This can be yours too.
    LiveItUp
    7th Oct 2015
    1:19pm
    Agree people work to buy things they haven't got the time to use just to impress others they don' like anyway. That's one of the reasons I left my job (just over broke) about 25 years ago now.
    MICK
    7th Oct 2015
    1:37pm
    Good post adbob. Under Abbott we saw the retirement age pushed to 70 so unlikely many men will see any super. So are women discriminating against men by living longer? SMilie needed here...........
    The other point you hit on adbob is that some women make a choice to become stay at home mothers, perhaps to avoid the workforce. Either way let's stop painting men as the benefactors of all things good and show a bit of fairness in the war of the sexes.
    TREBOR
    7th Oct 2015
    1:54pm
    FOFL - well put Adbob...

    As some others have said - I'd have been far better off not doing the Dad thing etc and having all the world trips etc - I'd be no worse of now. People seem to forget that fathers put a hell of a lot of gold and effort into their family as well - and making money and super etc for the family unit is only part of the equation.

    Sorry for those adherents to the worn-out 'primary caregiver' that gives all advantages - men do as much caring even if it is not as immediate. Lots of things need to change for the better.
    Adrianus
    7th Oct 2015
    2:46pm
    adbob you would have thought the whinging would stop when women gained the right to access the aged pension at 65 same as the men. :) Or was that level of equality unwarranted.
    Aravis
    7th Oct 2015
    3:58pm
    While women "choose"- as if it was a lifestyle choice ( now where did i hear that???) to bear and bring up children, to work while doing this, to manage households, and when they finally retire exhausted, with no super, especially if their husbands have died without super too, they meet the same conditions as men. Birthright? Go try to do what most women do and find out if you can do even half of it.
    Cookiegirl
    7th Oct 2015
    12:29pm
    I can tell you that at my place of work in the 70's and 80's women did not get offered the chance to participate in the company run super fund and only in the last few years was I allowed to make contributions. When my son was born with birth trauma and I nursed him til his death two years later, the company paid out my super and I was unemployed. This pittance was used as a deposit on a home.
    My husband kept working and adding to his super. I stayed home to care for my second child. I didn't get a chance to pay into a super fund until we started our own business so the money in super was totally from our own labours
    Then husband left taking his super with him leaving me with about 4 years of super
    At the early stage before leaving work I was on a higher salary than my husband but still not allowed to participate in the super scheme.
    I hope things are different now for women but for my generation we have always been penalized for having children and for being a woman. That's just the way it is unfair sure is!
    MICK
    7th Oct 2015
    1:42pm
    UNiversal super did not start until 1985. Even then it was only capped at 3%...a joke! Of course a few companies has super for selected staff. What else is new.
    The discrimination you are alluding to was still widespread in the 70s and early 80s. Women also were not paid at the same rate as men. Before the ladies get too agitated there were a lot of anomalies 50 years ago which, thankfully, have bee ironed out. Not all were against women though.
    Ageing but not getting old
    7th Oct 2015
    7:56pm
    Cookiegirl: And let's not forget In November 1966 Australia became the last democratic country to lift the legislated “marriage bar”, which had prevented married women from holding permanent positions in the public service for over 60 years. While that is certainly before even I started working, how many of those women who WERE 'forcibly retired' ever got a job back in the PS? How many other women who (along with their husbands/partners, one presumes) who had children ever managed to get a job with close to the same income and benefits they had before the time out to have and/or raise the children? It wasn't until the 80's that I personally knew of a couple that were actually able & willing to evenly split their time off work to look after their first-born each of them 3months caring for the child (then reversing) and then both of them going approx. half-time working, half time with the child. They were amongst the fortunate few who had employers and jobs that allowed them to do that! Perhaps if more employers and jobs were flexible enough to allow for alternative arrangements such as that, more women wouldn't have to have gaps in their earnings which in later years leave them in unsure or perilous finances; and more men would have the pleasure of also seeing their children growing up, caring for the house, getting a better appreciation of what it takes, and the enormous joys that can come with the efforts.
    KSS
    7th Oct 2015
    1:22pm
    It seems to me that this reporting and the ISA is another example of gender bias masquerading as an attempt to rectify inequality and missing the target completely.

    I would like to know for example:
    What percentage of single Australian men will not be able to retire comfortably, even by 2055?
    How many of the 63% of single women have never worked or worked little through choice or good fortune to be partnered with someone on a high income to support their lifestyle?
    How many men today have a disrupted working life due to being the primary care giver to their children/parents or redundancy etc?
    What percentage of men are employed in lower income occupations such as hospitality, service and retail industries?
    What percentage of divorced men with children will retire in poverty?
    If you remove the very top percentage of people with multimillion dollar super accounts (typically held by men), what is the real difference in super amounts between men and women?
    Given the Low Income Super Contribution was predicated on the Government matching the extra contributions made to super by the account holder, how many people/women actually made those extra contributions in order to qualify for the Government handout and so are now disadvantaged?

    And so to the question: are women treated unfairly in superannuation? The answer is NO! All working people get a mandated amount of superannuation as a percentage of their income provided they earn over $450 per month. Currently this is 9.5%. There is nothing unfair about that. Everyone gets the same percentage. Some then add to the amount by making their own contributions - others don't. Nothing unfair about that either. If you are moaning that some jobs pay more than others - get over it. There always have been highly paid jobs and likely always will be. That's life. In 2012 60% of university graduates were women!! So it is not for lack of education if women don't have enough super.

    Talking about women as a homogenous lot is an absolute furphy as is condemning all men for being men. Women do not deserve or warrant any special treatment in regard to superannuation. They are as responsible for their own futures as men are. It is no longer necessary to treat women any differently just because they are women: isn't that what the Suffragettes and the 1960-1980s feminists fought for?
    MICK
    7th Oct 2015
    1:50pm
    KSS: Women are from Venus and men are from Mars!
    Retiring "comfortably" is in the eye of the beholder. And yes life comes in all flavours with scant a guarantee of a norm.
    A pretty good post from what I can see. Kaye has simply set the cat amongst the pigeons from what I can see. The reality is that women have every opportunity to do well. My daughter is only in her very early 30s but has been highly sought after and highly paid for a decade. Why? Not because she is a woman but because SHE HAS HIGHLY SOUGHT AFTER SKILLS. That is the key. Ask Gail Kelly who recently retired as Westpac CEO. No glass ceiling there.
    The issue is Kaye that, like aboriginals and other minority groups, women need to stop complaining and get out there to carve out their spot in the world. Whilst I have the utmost respect for some of your blogs I am disappointed that you felt it necessary to put a story like this as it ignores more than it covers.
    Saalbach
    7th Oct 2015
    1:51pm
    I agree that a lot of women won't retire in the near future with enough super, but I can't help but feel that some of the major reasons are being overlooked. Surely the biggest reason has always been (and probably will continue to be) that it is the wife who usually stayed home to raise the children. Therefore they haven't earned an income whilst doing so, and therefore haven't been able to contribute to their super. This has been partly addressed by divorce laws now requiring a husband to give half his super to his ex-wife, and also a husband can contribute to his wife's super and get tax benefits when he does so. Note also that anyone (including men) who retire with only a small super will get a lot more pension to supplement it than someone with a lot of super.
    MICK
    7th Oct 2015
    3:49pm
    That is also my understanding. Seems odd that this is not covered in this sort of expose. That's why it is more like a women's lib electioneering campaign than a real discussion about the issue.
    Aravis
    7th Oct 2015
    3:48pm
    My career was as a registered nurse, for 30 years. I have NO super. This is why I am now, at 75, still working a few hours a week to try to save just a little to live on as well as the pension. And why on earth should women be penalised because they are the ones to have children? Is this not one of the most valuable contributions to life on earth? I bore 3 children, brought them up, cared for a sick husband, and retired with very little to live on. How many men could match this?
    Adrianus
    7th Oct 2015
    4:43pm
    I'm afraid I have not kept pace with changing social behaviours? I always thought that a man and a woman co-jointly decided to have children and raised them doing the best they could with what they had.
    niemakawa
    7th Oct 2015
    5:36pm
    Frank, the majority do of course. But women generally classify all men the same. God forbid if men had that mentality.
    Aravis
    7th Oct 2015
    5:38pm
    Yes, in theory. In fact, in my case, I bore the children and raised them, I also cared for my husband. I also worked full time. When the children grew up and left home, i stopped work to look after my husband. If you think this is unusual, or was, in my youth, you don't know what you're talking about. I was both the breadwinner and the homemaker. And I am now without super, because until very recently, it was not considered that women should need it. After all, they had men to look after them, didn't they? Didn't they? No.
    niemakawa
    7th Oct 2015
    5:46pm
    Aravis, women today are so bitter towards men without any real justification. Men are more content with life and do not complain about minor things in life. So what is the problem with women doing housework, that's part of their fundamental duties as a wife/partner. As for looking after the children in their formative years again that is the main responsibility of a woman. Men generally do all the tough jobs around the house.
    Jannie
    7th Oct 2015
    5:57pm
    I can fully understand your situation Aravis. I am still working at 67, but the problem is one tries to stay afloat by working and getting a pension but your hard work is knocked in the bud by the government who take 50 cents in the dollar if you earn more than $250 a fortnight.
    Aravis
    7th Oct 2015
    6:37pm
    niemakawa, since you like to make wild generalisations, tell me if you think it is also normal 'womens' work to do everything else as well, including working for the family's living. Plus all the 'tough jobs' around the house. You might like to get off your supercilious high horse. I am not bitter. I loved my husband, and my family. But I do consider it an injustice that I spent my whole life looking after others, at home and in hospitals, and now cannot retire with decency and comfort. Much of this is because I AM a woman.
    Aravis
    7th Oct 2015
    6:38pm
    Yes, Jannie, we cannot win.
    Adrianus
    7th Oct 2015
    6:53pm
    Aravis, I think you may have every justification to feel hard done by with your sacrifices and labour of love. We all make sacrifices some more than others. Thank you for disclosing your situation, it puts a human side to the story. In fairness, Kaye's piece was a generalisation. The ISA report was a generalisation. An antagonistic statement such as "men do less housework than women" is likely to ruffle a few feathers, particularly with those of us men who know they do more. And clearly you have done the lions share in your household. Your husband is a fortunate fellow indeed. I am just grateful that we have a strong welfare system because sometimes people's plans don't quite go to plan.
    Aravis
    7th Oct 2015
    7:05pm
    Thank you Frank. Nice to read a human response. my husband was lucky, till he died in peace.
    I do think we should all avoid generalisations, sadly it is too often easy to do. I;m also glad we bought a house and I don't have that worry now. But O, some super would have been good!
    Kaye Fallick
    7th Oct 2015
    7:10pm
    Hi Frank, thanks for your comments - always welcome. See below re the housework claim, based on ongoing research by HILDA, University of Melbourne. The gender pay gap is based on statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. So yes, often articles report on broad trends and generalisations, but there are some hard facts that apply to the situation of women and retirement poverty. Happy to share further references if this is a topic of interest. with kind regards, Kaye
    TREBOR
    7th Oct 2015
    7:41pm
    Aravis - you are not alone there - many men and women have little to nothing for a lifetime of work. If the man had taken time off to raise the kids, his position would be the same as yours, but he would be providing income while you did this, and you would share in the benefits, including superannuation if that was on the table.

    You CAN'T have it all... either take the time off or pay someone else to raise your kids..... at which point how much are they your kids?

    Love it or leave it - you can't have it both ways.
    MICK
    7th Oct 2015
    7:52pm
    Superannuation is so overrated. Unless you are a high income earner and can squirrel away a lot more than 9% then you are probably better off on the pension.
    In the future governments will subtract your hard saved for super from the pension anyway. So lets not get too excited about it.
    Adrianus
    7th Oct 2015
    9:08pm
    Hello Kaye, my point is that the statement "men do less housework than women" is a statement based on a total of "all hours by all people" given to HILDA. (I think I may have taken part in a survey done by the ABS as well.) It does not necessarily follow that every man does less housework than his wife. People may form a view based on the wording of the statement.
    Always nice to have an exchange with you Kaye even though I may disagree with some of your articles. I understand that pulse taking is not that simple. :)
    kind regards, Frank
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2015
    11:00am
    Aravis has a good point - no superannuant, after several tax concessions along the way, gets 50c in the dollar knocked off earnings above pension plus cutoff - yet a pension is fully paid for out of a lifetime of tax contribution via the Social Security Contribution component.

    I've been through all that with you before.

    All should be treated equally. Pay everyone the pension earned, and then tax income for all above a certain level.
    TREBOR
    9th Oct 2015
    11:02am
    .. and women do less grass cutting, repair work, and general maintenance hours.... it all adds up, and it's time to stop this divisive nonsense created for the benefit of a few whiners out there. Some love to complain - maybe they need their time taken up more with some work or something.
    mangomick
    9th Oct 2015
    11:20am
    TREBOR In this house my wife probably does more grass cutting than me. I do more fish catching though, if that counts. Is it any wonder I've been happily married for 40 years.
    I find it unusual to hear a nurse complaining about not enough Super. Many I know were telling me that they can even salary sacrifice their shopping bill to minimise their tax and not just salary sacrifice into super..
    niemakawa
    7th Oct 2015
    4:51pm
    I do not agree with this article or the opinion of KF. All I smell is another tax increase, to accommodate one section of the community. This is giving the wrong message to women, who in these days of equal opportunity are still unable to stand on their own two feet. Many still having far too many children or several relationships to suit their lifestyle. Instead they should be more careful with their choices. Men do more than their fair share of duties in the home and it is a complete myth to say otherwise. A senate enquiry is a complete and utter waste of time and will achieve nothing. Women have no more rights than men and they need to do more to look after themselves.
    Anonymous
    7th Oct 2015
    5:15pm
    Good one! That should stir up the hornets' nest a bit!
    niemakawa
    7th Oct 2015
    5:31pm
    Fast Eddie, that is not my intention, I just do not wear "rose" tinted glasses. Cheers.
    Jannie
    7th Oct 2015
    5:53pm
    Well niemakawa I am standing on my own two feet but still working at 67 and will for as long as my health holds out. I was ripped off in a divorce settlement by a husband who slept about and was dishonest about many things. I worked in the family business but was pushed out so had to find new employment it is not easy to do this. So pull your heads in and look at the big picture as it is not as rosey as yopu make it to be.
    niemakawa
    7th Oct 2015
    5:59pm
    Jannie, I am glad to hear it. Pity other women don't do the same though. As you mentioned the situation about your husband, I imagine the settlement would have been legitimate , as usually this is a decision made by an independent body, unless by mutual agreement of both parties in a divorce.
    Kaye Fallick
    7th Oct 2015
    6:04pm
    Wow, i have certainly unleashed a robust debate here - so thanks to all who have posted. Just a clarification regarding men and housework, my comment was based on the long-running HILDA research from the University of Melbourne, summarised in an article here on The Guardian website. Basically it confirms that men do less housework than women: http://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2014/jun/19/australian-men-housework-leaners-survey
    This is not 'new' news - it has been the case for decades. And suggesting women need to look after themselves more seems optimistic when the gender pay gap is 19 per cent. They earn less, so have less - it's hardly a 'lifestyle choice'? So it seems fair to claim that both statements (housework and opportunity to save in super) are factually correct, not 'rose tinted glasses'? Cheers, Kaye
    niemakawa
    7th Oct 2015
    6:09pm
    Kaye, Thanks. I respect everyone's right to an opinion but like you will not always agree with them all. Have a nice day and by the way I enjoy the variety of topics available through YLC, you all do a great job in helping us and providing useful information.
    Kaye Fallick
    7th Oct 2015
    6:40pm
    Hi Niemakawa - nice to 'meet' you and thank you for your kind comments. And no we are not meant to agree all the time (how boring would that be?) but we do strive to encourage strong debate - it helps us know what topics are of interest and also to 'take the pulse' of our members so we can do more of what you like and get more information where needed - enjoy Wed night! warmest Kaye
    TREBOR
    7th Oct 2015
    7:43pm
    Weed it and reap:-

    https://sites.google.com/site/grappleruniversitypublications/home/department-of-irreverent-revolutionary-thought-dirt/caregiving
    TREBOR
    7th Oct 2015
    7:45pm
    Jannie - if you were 'pushed out' of the family business and got nothing - you needed a better lawyer...

    It's not the fault of 'men' and 'the system' that you got short-sheeted. We all have our stories to tell including breach of written agreements by spouses that left us with nothing, and it's not just the old worn-out 'men v women' thing.
    MICK
    7th Oct 2015
    7:57pm
    This topic is certainly a replay of 'The War of the Roses' but participants need to be fair and look at the whole picture.
    I would consider a lot of what is happening here as reverse sexism. As you say niemakawa we need to look at this as equal opportunity rather than the hard done by contingent. Maybe if men get to stay at home and look after bubs there will be a role reversal. Its an interesting new future. Somebody kindly come to Rookwood and tell me how it all works out.
    TREBOR
    7th Oct 2015
    8:17pm
    Exactly, mick. Should we, as a society, be giving women the higher paid jobs and the easy run because they might take time off and there is some 'need' to balance that? What about the rest and what about true equality on merit and work performance? Disappeared in the public service, which is why I quit it.
    TREBOR
    7th Oct 2015
    8:39pm
    Kaye - you got it right - women EARN less - they are not PAID less. Pretty simple really. If there are predominances of women in 'lower paid work' -(nursing? Public service? Teaching? Banking? LMAO - all easy jobs with nice salaries and perks) - that is for a reason, and part of that reason is these areas work hard to exclude as many men as possible.

    Unless women are prepared to compete on a level playing field in all areas - which they simply cannot do - they should not also be complaining that they are gathered in the 'lower-paid' jobs that exclude men by policy.

    Sexism? It has many faces and it is way past time we got right away from the old 'men v women' argument, in many ways.
    mangomick
    7th Oct 2015
    10:08pm
    I always smile at these studies on men and housework . I always wonder where the unblocking of the sewerage system of tree roots, the painting of the house inside and out ,the crawling under the car for it's 5000k service ,the cleaning of the kitchen sink grease trap,cleaning of the gutters and a myriad of other domestic chores gets compiled.
    niemakawa
    7th Oct 2015
    10:26pm
    Mangomick, it looks like for studies of this nature those "chores" are irrelevant
    particolor
    7th Oct 2015
    6:15pm
    All of them will be living in Poverty I would Suggest !! There's not a Queens Ransom left now after Paying Your Bills and Eating ! :-(
    Rosret
    7th Oct 2015
    7:26pm
    One of the worst thing that happened to women in this generation was the loss of a decent superannuation system. Private super funds guarantee we are worse than the generation before that received a fortnightly payout until death. When I think I have saved enough some government policy comes out to further penalise us. Give us the benefits a person on the pension gets.
    The next thing is divorce. The trade off is a house for the super. Even if this situation was altered its very easy to find ways not to pay out 20 or 30 years down the track and then they have missed out on the benefit of having a home while they are trying to raise their children.
    The women of the generation retiring at the moment stayed at home to raise their family. This also means if the husband disappeared at some stage they are years behind in saving for retirement.
    And finally, acknowledge that female jobs are worth more than the minimum pay rate and start addressing the pay structures.
    MICK
    7th Oct 2015
    8:02pm
    There is legislation around marital break-ups and superannuation Rosret. Your post is not factual.
    And for the record I can remember marital break-ups when I was a lad: the woman had the children so GOT THE HOUSE. This was how marriage ended and the man was skinned. My neighbour, who was the sole breadwinner, ended up living in a caravan at the back of his parents' house. His wife got the house, met a man with a house and then there were two.....
    I believe in fairness, not always wanting to take. This issue is far from fair and the opinion from some is quite frankly flawed. Sorry!
    TREBOR
    7th Oct 2015
    8:09pm
    Women get paid for the work they do - same as men. You don't really imagine that women are the only ones in minimum wage jobs, do you? How many men work for Centrelink these days and cop nifty super? How many work for Medicare - none. Same deal. Great conditions, nifty super package and an assumption that somehow men are not suited....

    Banks are the same...

    Retail are the same....

    When you can find enough jobs to go around to all so that many men and women don't work in minimum wage jobs, let me know, but don't complain to me when the only jobs in town are retail and government and real estate and banking and hospitality, and women are somehow viewed as 'more suitable' to those.
    Rae
    8th Oct 2015
    3:20pm
    I think you are right about the desire to come after our houses.

    We will need to be very vigilant.
    particolor
    8th Oct 2015
    7:29pm
    Be very Afraid !! :-( In England they are Kicking Old People out of Council Houses to put "The Religion of Peace" Refugees in ?? No Bull !! :-( :-(
    niemakawa
    8th Oct 2015
    7:34pm
    Particolor, That will probably happen. Some people in Germany have already received their eviction orders to make way for "refugees". There are more in the pipeline. Disgusting.
    particolor
    8th Oct 2015
    7:44pm
    Yes Its Hard to believe that isn't it ? I thought People would just laugh it of as some of My Waffle but its true ! If they ever done it to Me Id make sure I had a Box of Matches! ER ! In case I need a Smoke !! :-(
    niemakawa
    8th Oct 2015
    8:00pm
    Particolor, not totally off topic, considering what is happening in Europe at the moment with more than 2 million "refugees" ( I use that term loosely) most young Muslim men, arriving there this year alone. Germany is taking 1.5 million. It has been strongly suggested that the EU will be a Muslim stronghold within 5-10 years on current "migration" trends. That does not bode well for WOMEN. Australia beware do not let your guard down and resist any attempt by Governments to tell you otherwise.
    mangomick
    7th Oct 2015
    8:15pm
    When the alarm wakes me at 4am in the morning I sometimes say to my wife," Darling, would you like to go to work for me today ? But she never ever wants to. And just before I head in to do a 12 hour night shift I ask again. "Sweetie ,would you like to go in and do my night shift tonight ? "But she shakes her head ,No. Is it any wonder she has less super than me???
    TREBOR
    7th Oct 2015
    8:30pm
    I know what you mean - my kid's mother works in film, and would be on set from maybe 5am until 10-11 at night. I used to often do 10am until 5-6 am next day in one shot... She would infinitely prefer her long daylight days with food etc on tap.
    TREBOR
    7th Oct 2015
    8:31pm
    She once said to me - "I'm one of those women with no superannuation!"

    Welcome aboard, Robinson Crusoe, said I, sarcastically.
    SMMM
    10th Oct 2015
    11:23am
    Typical load of Verbal Diarrhoea from mick and TREBOR. With their type (cavemen), is it any wonder woman, get the "diarrhoea" end of the stick. One wonders if they are married pity help their wives if they are.


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