Planners vital to closing super gap: Research

Latest research from Roy Morgan suggests there is greater potential for the superannuation gap to be closed if women were more inclined to engage a financial planner.

According to a recent survey of more than 50,000 consumers, 8.3% of females purchase their superannuation from a financial planner, compared to 9.8% of males.

Overall, 11.3% of women engage a professional when it comes to purchasing superannuation. In comparison, 14.4% of men make use of a financial planner, accountant or stockbroker.

Currently, only 68.8% of women have superannuation and the average balance stands at $133,000. This is only 71.9% of the average account balance held by the 73.6% of men that have super.

While there are a number of factors that impact a woman's ability to accumulate superannuation at the same rate as their male counterparts, the statistics have improved since 2013 when women had just 67.5% of the male average - $99,300 vs. $147,100.

However, Roy Morgan believes receiving professional advice on such a complex issue would be likely to help.

"In an area as complex and subject to change as superannuation, professional advice for both males and females has the potential to play a major role in decision making," Roy Morgan industry communications director, Norman Morris said.

"Currently 80.4% of males and 84.0% of females obtain their superannuation through their employer and as a result are generally not likely to receive a financial plan or overall advice on their retirement savings."

The research shows that with fewer women having super and those that do having a lower average balance than men, there is a risk that financial professionals may miss this important segment, he added.

Read more: superannuationRoy MorganNorman Morrisfinancial advicesuper gapgender equality
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