Part-time work widens super gender gap

Women approaching retirement will have 37% less in their superannuation balance than men, latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show.

Women aged between 55 to 64 years old will have an average of $196,000, while men retire with a significantly larger amount of $310,000.

ABS program manager Dean Bowley said one key influence driving the superannuation balance gap is that a higher proportion of women are working part-time.

Forty-four percent of women work part-time - about three times more than men (16%).

Ironically, young women continue to achieve higher levels of education than young men.

As of 2017, the ABS shows 45% of women attained a bachelor's degree or higher by the age of 30 - only 32% of men did so.

After graduating, women started off on a median full-time salary of $59,000. For men it was $60,100.

"Despite this progress, there are still plenty of challenges. The gender pay gap has remained stable over the last decade, with women earning 89% of the earnings of men, taking into account the differences in working hours," he said.

Additionally, one-in-six chief executives of non-public sector organisations is a woman and the rate is increasing slowly.

"However, there are more notable increases in the rate of women in other leadership positions, particularly those roles that help influence decisions within organisations. Over the same period, the proportion of female key management personnel, general managers and other executives increased by three percentage points with females now occupying around 30% of these roles," Bowley said.

If elected, the Labor Party recently announced it will work to narrow the retirement savings gap by topping up the superannuation accounts of women on parental leave among several other measures.

Labor leader Bill Shorten has announced a plan to add $400 million to the super balances of women in receipt of Commonwealth Paid Parental Leave entitlements. It will also apply to those receiving Dad and Partner Pay payments.

Read more: superannuationAustralian Bureau of StatisticsBill ShortenDean BowleyLabor Party
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