Government moves to improve economic security for women

Women fleeing domestic violence will be granted early access to their super.

Move to increase economic security

Women fleeing domestic violence will be granted early access to their super under sweeping changes instigated by the minister for women, Kelly O’Dwyer.

As part of the women’s economic security statement, O’Dwyer announced $109m in funding aimed at assisting women bridge the gender pay gap, while addressing the financial disadvantages of leaving an abusive situation.

The government will also continue to support the Good Shepherd micro-finance no-interest loan scheme, to help with the purchase of household items, rental bond and other necessities in setting up a new home, while also providing $50.4m in new mediation services to help resolve separations faster.

“Even though we have come a long way, we still want Australian women to be able to do even better,” O’Dwyer said.

“We want to ensure that women can build their financial security to help them choose their own path, so they and their families can live their best lives.

“These new measures will help give women and their families greater choice and will also help grow the Australian economy.

“When women do well, their families do well, and our economy and nation prosper.”

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) welcomed the domestic violence measures announced by the Government, but said the economic package fell short of improving retirement outcomes for women.

AIST chief executive Eva Scheerlinck said it was disappointing that the Government had backed away from including key measures to help many Australian women achieve a more dignified retirement.

“Women need economic security throughout their lives, which includes financial security for an increasingly long retirement,” Ms Scheerlinck said.

“The broken work patterns of many women, coupled with the persistent gender pay gap, mean there is an urgent need for targeted measures to prevent many Australian women retiring in poverty.”

Key measures that the AIST had called for to include in the package were:

• Abolition of the $450 monthly income threshold for compulsory super payments;

• Paying super on paid parental leave – this is the only form of leave that doesn’t attract super;

• Providing low income earners, most of whom are women, with an additional super contribution. Modelling shows this would make the biggest difference to closing the gender retirement gap which sits at over 40 per cent; and

• A firm commitment to move to 12 per cent compulsory super in accordance with the legislated timetable, which is very important to improve retirement outcomes for women.

Ms Scheerlinck also welcomed the move to improve the visibility of super assets in family law proceedings, which she said would help women achieve fairer financial outcomes by reducing costs and delays in the courts.

What do you think of the Government’s economic security statement for women? Does it do enough to close the gender pay gap? What measures would you like to have seen included?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    Karl Marx
    21st Nov 2018
    Super is for retirement & shouldn't be touched for any other reason, period.
    There are all these studies & articles being published about the super gap between men & women. Allowing women to access super early for any reason will only increase that gap & more studies showing it increasing.
    21st Nov 2018
    I agree. Once you let one group access their super early, it leaves it wide open for other disadvantaged groups. Short term expediency. I’m glad the Govt is continuing to support Good Shepherd though

    21st Nov 2018
    Just to clarify, there is no gender pay gap. The amounts earned by one person over another is wholly dependent on the hours worked; not the hourly rate involved. This subject has been done to death in this forum and it's about time that the truth be told and then let's all move on.

    I note that there are some items that are recommended but have not been included and with good reason. Why should women get an additional payment merely because they are women and work less hours than men? Who would pay that additional amount? If it is the employer there's a chance that men will be more favoured in job applications because they will cost less. If it is the government, will an additional tax be levied to cover the payment? As regards the threshold of $450 per month, this figure has not been altered to allow for inflation since first legislated. If no adjustments are made in the future, it will become meaningless.
    21st Nov 2018
    Old Man if you read the suggestions they are not helping the person Male or Female in a domestic violence situation.
    Its saying you have this money in super - use that first.
    Too bad about the future.
    Isn't that similar to unemployment benefits or have the regulations changed.
    21st Nov 2018
    Most women in domestic violence situations do not have any super. Partner has isolated then to be a stay at home mum. This is their way of control. Anyway, don't agree they should have access to it if they have any.
    21st Nov 2018
    Exactly. How silly is this scheme?
    It looks helpful and yet it is just adds to their never ending burden.

    21st Nov 2018
    Many good points from OM above. Agree, there is NO Gender pay gap - it is illegal in Australia. If women work less, or in lower paying jobs, they will naturally earn less income. Also, when they have children, naturally their income stops as they are not having children as part of the employment duties!

    The discrimination against men - some who also are in abusive relationships and may get excluded from their children by lies from manipulative women and the court system favouring women unfairly, or by receiving less money while working harder in jobs - is astounding. Being completely ignored by this one-eyed, crazy, feminist Minister.

    The key to sound outcomes for all is to promote (and incentivise through tax breaks) Marriages as the basis for equal benefits for all, as even in divorce both then get equal share so no problem! The System needs to focus on PRESERVING marriages, not BREAK-UPS / SEPARATION, as the solution, by investing a lot more in Marriage Counselling. Shows how much such crazy Feminists have been brainwashed, and continue to brainwash others with their stupid ideas.

    Not once did I read above any concern for the man or for marriage, the latter being the BEST environment for children to grow up with both parents to BE THEIR BEST (not by separation as mentioned by this stupid Minister) - that says it all. She seems to ignore Men from the concept of "families"!!! Is this the Liberal party? One would have thought the Greens, or Labor, may spew such garbage.
    21st Nov 2018
    Yes, George, the only remedy the government has for any situation is to throw or divert money to it.
    21st Nov 2018
    I agree to some degree that woman need to be looked after in some situations but early access to super is not I went through an abusive situation myself and I was the one that was left in the gutter through the child support agency (who didn’t care) I was left with $50 a week to live on and when I appealed to child support they said I had no grounds to appeal and now that I’m on an aged pension we are still getting trod on I agree help the woman but also help the aged pensioners (we are struggling as well)
    21st Nov 2018
    So increase the super contribution to 12% and at the same time give them access to their super?
    How about the government just helps women in domestic violence situations instead of making them even poorer.
    What a ridiculous plan.
    21st Nov 2018
    If the gender benders get their way, under paid women wont know if they are Arthur or Mather.
    On the Ball
    21st Nov 2018
    Gee Willikers!
    Good responses (most).

    Its about time this Government talked to real people instead of saying I hear you, but turning a deaf ear.

    They come up with (yet another) pre-election panic and think because THEY like it, the rest of us will.

    Any of you live in Victoria?
    Support Daniel Andrews and send the same message the people of Wentworth sent...
    Otherwise Slo-Mo will think the caps and pies advertising campaign has worked!
    21st Nov 2018
    I have to smile whenever I see O'Dwyer get in front of the cameras. She's a bit like Hanson-Young and you know you are going to get feminist BS when she starts.
    I had the discomfort if listening to a prominent female a few weeks ago who named the 3 main cancer killers in Australia and claimed these were breast cancer, bowel cancer and lung cancer. No mention of prostate cancer which actually KILLS MORE MEN than breast cancer does women. Such is the value of the rhetoric which comes from the feminist machine and O'Dwyer is a member of the club. A waste of space.
    21st Nov 2018
    Except it isn't feminist BS this time.
    Its "You have money in super - use that first and then we will help." Then we will take 12% of your lowly income as compulsory superannuation.
    There are no hand outs here.
    Nothing like being in a life or death situation and needing help from Centrelink. Scrooge is alive and well just before Christmas.

    21st Nov 2018
    1. Will make women more expensive to hire especially in part time or casual positions
    2. women will have less money in super because of this scheme and they will come up with even more reasons to give women more freebies

    21st Nov 2018
    More pandering to bloody feminists. Given the way men are ripped off in divorce, it's men who need economic security. Homelessness is dominated, after all, by men.

    21st Nov 2018
    Wish she would fix her crooked yellow teeth

    Surely she can afford it
    22nd Nov 2018
    How is giving early access to super going to ensure financial security for women?
    You cannot whinge about the level of women's super and then allow access to it for reasons other than at retirement. How will the money be repaid? And if it isn't to be repaid to super, why not just provide another welfare payment of an equivalent amount to cover rental bond, rent etc as a one off payment to anyone (including men) escaping domestic violence. And limit it to a single payment once only.
    22nd Nov 2018
    That’s too logical
    You must be male and not a labor supporter
    22nd Nov 2018
    And you assume that how?
    22nd Nov 2018
    Elementary my dear Watson
    22nd Nov 2018
    I groan every time I hear the name Kelly O'Dwyer - before I even hear what she is saying.And yet again I ask ( slowly shaking my head ) how is this woman a minister? And I do not think any true feminist would welcome her!

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