MLC calls on women to take action on super

5 March 2014

Ahead of International Women’s Day, MLC is raising awareness about the importance of superannuation and the amount of savings women will need in retirement.

Women retire with 40% less super than men which means too many women are risking a very basic lifestyle in retirement. Additionally one in four women will have little or no super at retirement age.

MLC spokesperson Lara Bourguignon said this International Women’s Day MLC is encouraging women to take an active interest in their super to help overcome the retirement savings shortfall.

“While the issue is on the minds of most Australians, people are not doing enough about planning for their retirement, particularly women who have a larger savings shortfall than men,” Ms Bourguignon said.

“International Women’s Day is about empowering women financially and so it’s a great reminder for women to take some small steps today to make sure they have enough superannuation to last through retirement.”

MLC data about women and super shows:

  • Australians are living longer – and women live longer than men (a 60 year old male is expected to live on average to 85 and a 60 year old female to 90).
  • The average super balance for men in Australia is just under $300,000, but the average super balance for women is just $195,000.
  • 56% of Australians expect a financial shortfall at retirement and one third of women (36%) say they’ll have far from enough money at retirement.
  • Women retire with 40% less super than men as they take time out to care for children and their elderly parents, and often work part time.
  • Women experience significant economic inequality. A young woman of 25 today will earn almost 50% less over her lifetime than a young man of the same age.
  • 47% of women are unprepared for retirement.
  • Almost half (45%) of women think they will struggle to make ends meet or just be able to afford the basic living expenses in retirement.
  • Just 35% of women have a formal retirement plan in place compared to 43% of men1

1 Data from the MLC Wealth Sentiment Survey, 2013 MLC Investment Trends Retirement Income Report, and other publically available data.

Top tips for women to boost super:

  • Awareness is the first step in taking action. Take action today and don’t wait. Think about the retirement lifestyle you want, how much you might need to retire on (use an online super calculator) and check out what your super balance is.
  • Seek financial advice – find out how you can maximise and protect your super and how it complements your other investments like the family home.
  • Consolidate and sacrifice your super – your superannuation is real money and it’s yours, so look at it like any other savings account. Changing simple things today like finding lost super, consolidating your super and sacrificing a couple of extra dollars each week of your salary can make a big difference.
  • Co-contribution – low income earners should consider making the most of the Government’s co-contribution scheme. If you earn under $48,517 and make a personal after-tax superannuation contribution, the Government may contribute up to $500 per year to your super.
  • Income – consider investing in a pension product with longevity protection that eliminates the risk of outliving your savings.

“It’s never too early to start planning for retirement. It’s really important women take action today to secure the retirement lifestyle they’ve imagined and deserve,” she said.


Newsreel of MLC’s Lara Bourguignon and our women and retirement ambassador Tracey Spicer can be viewed here:

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Emily Ritchie

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