Government’s superannuation plan slammed as ‘inadequate’

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The Government’s response to the ‘A Husband is Not a Retirement Plan’ report represents an abysmal failure to boost the inadequate retirement savings of women, according to the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU).

The report, a result of a Senate inquiry into economic security for women in retirement, made 19 recommendations intended to help women increase their participation in the workforce and improve their superannuation savings.

The report found that women’s low superannuation balances at retirement are the result of multiple factors, including, but not limited to: the gender pay gap; women having more breaks in their career for family and other reasons; and women representing a higher proportion of the part-time workforce than men.

While the report was delivered in April 2016, the Government response to the findings was only delivered last week.

Some of the recommendations in the initial report included removing the $450 minimum earning threshold, paying superannuation on parental leave payments, accelerating the increase of the super guarantee to 12 per cent, increasing paid parental leave from 18 weeks to 26, fixing means-testing of the pension, making tax on super contributions fairer and ensuring tax concessions benefit low income earners.

None of these recommendations were taken up in the Government’s response, preferring instead to extend the spouse offset for superannuation contributions as the preferred method to address the unfairness in the current system.

The 2017 Per Capita report Not So Super for Women’ found that women retire with 47 per cent less super than men and that structural reform, not band aids and expressions of sentiment, is desperately needed to ensure Australian women are not retiring into poverty.

ACTU President Michele O’Neil said the Government response was inadequate.

“Working women have the same right to a dignified retirement as men. But we retire $100,000 worse off under our current system,” Ms O’Neil explained.

“It’s an indictment on Kelly O’Dwyer and her government that their response has been to extend the spousal offset, cementing their view that a husband is an appropriate retirement plan.

“The Turnbull Government can fix this by implementing the recommendations of this report. But Kelly O’Dwyer and the Turnbull Government have decided to ignore the most crucial recommendations of the report, leaving women to retire in poverty.

“This is irresponsible and negligent. We will continue to campaign for meaningful change that secures a dignified retirement for working women.”

What do you think the Government should do to address the inequality in the superannuation system?

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Written by Ben

77 Comments

Total Comments: 77
  1. 0
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    Don’t trust or vote Liberal.

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      Don’t trust or vote Labour either……………..

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      Ring your member of federal government and tell them to stop the schoolyard antics and get on with governing the country properly.
      Stop the ego trips
      One member cannot vetoe another’s ideas without debate and consideration so don’t go blaming unneccessarily.

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      Jannie. Labour is a British political party. The ALP here are far more trustworthy than the Lieberal Party vermin.

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      I don’t trust the Nationals, Greens, the minors or Labor. At least Labor spoke against the the changes to the Pensioner Assets Test. Unfortunately Bill Shorten has said he won’t reverse th changes to the Pensioner Assets Test and now he’d like to get his hands onto the tax credits if he could. I’m not a rusted on party supporter it’s just that I don’t trust any party but I mistrust Labor the least.

    • 0
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      Vote for labor at your peril
      No helping those with no common sense

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      Labor spoke against it and I even got a letter from our local Labor Senator accepting it was unfair a sort of apology but they still voted for it with the Liberals which got it through.

      Labor could have voted against it.

      Olbaid may be right. The Liberals have destroyed our future by selling us out but Labor started the rot and they will nail the coffin closed if elected now.

      Nobody wins in a class war which is what our Governments are engaged in.

    • 0
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      Knows-a-lot, you are correct the British Labour Party are different, the Australian Labor party took the U out, so you think they are more trustworthy?

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      Well one thing I know after nearly 70 years is that if ACTU says something the opposite is actually true. Fortuanetely my 40 years in workforce in military and IT industries – no unions and that was a blessing – unions – lazy unproductive and it comes as no surprise that barely 9% of private sector has unions members and only 19% of public sector and the highest number there are teachers (no wonder our kids education is going backwards) and nurses.

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      Yes bob the teachers did their occupation in by refusing to go out on strike and stay out until they received the teaching and childminding package. The childminding alone was worth $1800 a day.
      A grad max used to earn the same as a government backbencher and now earns just 60% of that amount which is why the best aren’t becoming teachers anymore.

  2. 0
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    Strange isn’t it, we are told that these women are so badly treated in retirement income. Meanwhile cruise ships & European tour groups are full of women, spending their dead or divorced husbands savings & super just as fast as they can.

    God I’m sick of feminist garbage.

  3. 0
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    When is the gender pay gap not a gender pay gap?
    When a proportion of males suffer the same fate, e.g. working part time, Paternity leave, lower paying jobs etc.

  4. 0
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    Surely you crowd don’t believe the rent seeking, Marxist ACTU and their thug officials as paragons of financial expertise and virtue.

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      The crowd believes them more than the bludging Lieberal Party – who couldn’t manage the finances of a chook raffle – and its bunch of silvertailed lawyers, bankers and other assorted overpaid parasites.

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      Yep, much better to trust the serial protectors of the Banks. We all know what most Union Members stand for, just as we know what Bankers stand for.
      Such an easy choice for working people.

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      ..and it’s Union this and Union that,
      And Union git be’ ‘ind,
      But it’s please to walk in front, SIR,
      When there’s trouble in the wind,
      Oh, it’s please to walk in front, Sir,
      When there’s trouble in the wind….

      As a former Union delegate targeted by management and attacked constantly regardless of outstanding work etc – I can only say that the Union movement shot itself in the foot when it allied itself Siamese Twin style to Labor in its pretensions to ‘enforcing equality’ by imposing numbers of women, wops and woomera throwers on us instead of proven performers who did the coal face work and suffered loss for doing so.

      Now look at the state of the ACTU and its head honchoes – all sheilas riding the sweet life pending a safe seat in Parliament… and income gracious for life… and not one of them a coal facer…..

      Oh yes…

      It’s Delegate this and Delegate that,
      And Delegate get be’ ‘ind our socialist pretensions,
      But it’s please to walk in front Sir,
      When there’s problems need a mention,
      Yes, it’s please to walk in front SIR,
      When there’s problems need a mention….

  5. 0
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    Here we go again! This is the usual garbage about the alleged inequality in pay for women dressed up as something else. The facts are very simple; women earn less than men because they don’t work the same hours. All of the awards in Australia do not have any difference in gender, all workers under awards earn the same salary/hourly rate.

    Women stop work to have children because it’s their choice to do that and, while they are not working, they don’t get paid nor is any superannuation paid either. There is equality in the workplace. What is the government expected to do? Should they pay women for the jobs they would like to do while they stay away from work just so they can have some superannuation funds? I don’t think so.

    Women want equality and when they achieve it, they want more. They want equal representation on boards, government departments, parliaments and all workplaces. We hear that they should be more represented in the construction industry and want places made available for them. When it is pointed out that nursing and teaching are over represented by women, they tell us that that’s OK and no places should be set aside for men. I’ve had a gutful of all of this crap where women want to promote other women ahead of men who, in most cases, are more senior, more qualified and more experienced than the women who want the jobs.

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      Reading through some of the recommendations is concerning. Removing the $450 minimum earning threshold, paying superannuation on parental leave payments, accelerating the increase of the super guarantee to 12% and increasing paid parental leave from 18 weeks to 26 is all at the cost of the employer. If a business is forced to do any or all of these things it will cause costs to rise which, in turn, will be passed onto the customer. I have no idea what fixing means-testing of the pension has to do with superannuation and making tax on super contributions fairer and ensuring tax concessions benefit low income earners does very little for women because it won’t increase the amount of contributions to superannuation funds.

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      “Women stop work to have children because it’s their choice “. Didn’t the men want children then? So in order that women don’t starve in old age, having children should be totally banned.

    • 0
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      Triss – whose income supports the woman and child while she is off work
      Whose super supports the couple when retired ??!!

      Can’t understand how thick some people are

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      Women earn less because they don’t work the same hours???? True. They work far, far longer hours – they just don’t get paid for the work they do for the selfish bastard men who want children and a nice clean home and their laundry done so they can work and earn, but don’t want to support the woman who slaves to provide all those benefits. Geez, Old Man! What a chauvinistic attitude! I’ve had a gut full of the egotistical chauvinists who think men are superior to women in qualifications and experience.

      I object to a lot of the ”equality” push, but women work harder than men at the very necessary but unpaid tasks. That’s just a fact. And they SHOULD be rewarded in retirement for their unpaid contribution to society.

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      Rainey – you have no credibility whatsoever . All you do is whinge and post rubbish

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      Can’t understand how THICK you are, olbaid. But just for the record, in our household it’s the WOMAN’S super supporting the couple in retirement. And it was the WOMAN’S income that supported the family most of the time. That said, I stand by my statement – that is neither ”whinge” nor ”rubbish” – that women who contribute to society by bearing and raising children SHOULD be supported in old age by the society they have contributed so much to.

      Love of money is a disease and it’s gripping our nation. There are things that matter more in life, and one of them is FAMILY. Another is COMMUNITY. If we don’t look after the people who do unpaid work to support family and community, our society will fall apart. But it already is. The UNADULTERATED GREED AND SELFISHNESS of creeps like you, olbaid, has destroyed the lucky country once and for all.

  6. 0
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    They could just RESIGN and let us elect a government that respects women – and does the work.

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      Is that the one way ‘Respect’ or respect we’re talking about here? Same as I ask when the Aboriginal question comes up of their ‘wanting to do things their way (and not Captain Cook’s) or ‘gay etc rights’ (which exactly rights do they not have in this nation?) – what exactly is involved in this ‘respect’ (or doing it their way)?

      Give me the nuts and bolts…..

  7. 0
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    So what about all the men:
    in low paying jobs;
    forced to give up work to look after their children when their wife is sick, dies, leaves; single Dads;
    men who take on being the main carer for other family members;
    stay at home dads whilst their partner is the main wage earner;
    who are made redundant and out of work for long periods;

    and…and…

    As far as I can see, the costs of having children include the ‘loss’ of earnings and superannuation and arrangements should be put in place by the couples involved to cover these costs. If a single woman (or man – we are talking equality after all) decides to use IVF to have a child then those future super costs should be part of the equation.

    Although we may need more children to pay for our (future) pensions(!), women alone should not be rewarded for providing the future taxpayers ( or viewed differently – punished for not doing so).

    • 0
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      KSS, I agree, no one wants to go back to the days when women were paid less than men for the same work, when women had to resign once they got married, where girls weren’t encouraged to go on to matriculation. However, men on low incomes are more disadvantaged than middle class women yet there are no specific policies to assist them in accumulating more super

    • 0
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      And don’t forget that on separation/divorce the entire household goods and finances including super future are divided…

      I take it that if women are to be handed extra privileges in super, they will no longer require a division of the old man’s super when they take off with young Damien or Jennifer, as happens in the majority of splits (80%+ of ‘marital relationship’ separations re initiated by women, primarily for reasons such as they just don’t feel ‘validated’ (gags – there’s that ‘feels’ word again – societal control/government by emotion)..

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      Something you hit on there, KSS, is the near lack of planning by couples intending to have a family – suddenly they find themselves short of dollars, and suddenly in ‘need’ of handouts from employer and/or government….. all of which is a cost borne by the end user – consumer or taxpayer as the case may be.

      I remain astounded that couples on $150k EACH would even be in consideration for PPL – just how much does a couple need to actually pay the bills and get by – as Tony mumbled on about? What sort of ‘planning’ goes into having a family when your combined income is $300k and you can’t budget to cater for time off?

      I argued long ago that PPL should only apply to the lower wage enders…. who actually need it.

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      As for Affirmative Action putting many men ultimately out of jobs and opportunities – in my argument , while in the CPS, about the intended introduction of THEIR form of ‘equal employment opportunity’ (AA by another name) – what possible value was there in arbitrarily handing to an upper middle class woman preference in employment/promotion, as opposed to a poor working class (possibly orphaned) man who was trying to get a start from the bottom of society?

      How did such an approach generate ‘equal employment opportunity’ and ‘rectify inequalities’?

      The wording of ‘equal employment opportunity’ was that (where all else was equal – I say bullshit) preference would be given to women, those from a non-English speaking background, and Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islanders.

      The results for the CPS you can see today – they are incompetent, gutless, namby-pamby tools in the hands of their political masters, rather than a section of division of powers in our form of democracy, providing unbiased advice and information to elected representatives.

      Affirmative Action by selected social group was always despotism and not a genuine attempt to rectify real issues – and the result has been a shattering of this society and nation into countless tiny little groups set one against the other.

    • 0
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      Pretty sure it was deliberate to prevent income rising TREBOR. In union meetings it was always women arguing that we “can’t go out on strike” because it will be unfair and uncaring etc. Emotional nonsense.

      Women were also more inclined to fix up the ridiculous mistakes and carry poor managers along by doing the work for them in some sort of misguided “mothering”.

      Nothing stopping a couple setting up a fund for the woman and paying a bit into it in a regular way. No need for women to be singled out because they choose to stay at home with kids for years. It doesn’t hurt kids to go to carers or childcare.

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      Hmm – some said that the PS was handed to women so as to make it a tame workforce unlikely to object to any changes downwards… the fruit may be in the current period, where PS cuts are the norm and many of those women who were pumped up via AA are now feeling the same lash.

      Men would probably strike at the very least…..

      Women ‘mothering’ bad managers… could be some merit in what you say.

      When I worked in the CPS, I always found it odd that some were ‘clerks’ and others’ clerical assistants’ – kind of silly when they did the same work, and of course back then many women were CAs ….. when AA came along, however, my simple stated in writing position was that a declaration of equality and promotion on genuine performance based merit from Day One (as specified) would solve the issues in a few years – instead the CPS went for AA for women (etc – AA by social group as defined) and the results were and are a disaster… and the issues continue to this day with massive divisions and conflicts.

      I had no issue with women who mere mainly CAs being treated more fairly on performance, knowledge and ability – but not at the expense, as occurs in all of these ‘feminist’ pushes, of all men as a group.

      That is why I oppose ‘feminism’ in all its guises and thus Labor as it now stands – the Labour Party after they too the YOU out of it.

      BTW – I resigned from the CPS over this issue – and within two years was earning as much p.a. as the head of the Sydney agency I was working in…. in that position I actually advocated for more women in management etc…. now I wonder if my care and consideration was misplaced……

  8. 0
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    There is no doubt that some women have less opportunity to have a significant balance in their superannuation than most men, the obvious differences have been mentioned already, but if we look at the changes over the past 30 years, compulsory superannuation only came about in the mid 80,s many of us didn’t benefit from it as much as the younger generation now benefit from it, compulsory superannuation is now 9.5% it was only 2.5% when it started. The way I got an increased benefit was by salary sacrifice, this was only possible in the latter years before retirement, most families have by this time become established, this gives both partners or individuals the opportunity to invest more into their superannuation, I guess everyone’s situation is different, most couples that seperate late in life get an equal share of their assets, although there are cases where women have got the larger share due to their financial circumstances, there is nothing stopping either parties from salary sacrifice depending on their individual circumstances, so at the end of the day I think there are better opportunities for both men and women to end up better off in retirement.

    • 0
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      Let’s not forget Affirmative Action which, via artificial promotion/employment etc has place countless women into the fat super situations of government ‘jobs’ – fully 70%+ of public service positions are held by women, and much the same applies in banking and real estate and so forth. All these positions have good incomes and great super and easy conditions.

      Then we have the spectacle of ACTU fat cats whining about women’s super, and politicians female and otherwise whining about women’s super – while feasting off the best value super funds in the world.

  9. 0
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    Come on please! – when would the government – any government – bring in anything to benefit people? Their absolute first and aim is to help themselves first, and then to see how much they can get from people, not give to people.

  10. 0
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    Solution is simple – women shouldn’t have children and should not get their husbands super when he dies or they divorce

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