Media Release: Government Review Fails To Acknowledge Gender Gap In Retirement
2.50pm | October 14, 2019
HON JULIE COLLINS MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGEING AND SENIORS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR FRANKLIN
STEPHEN JONES MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES
MEMBER FOR WHITLAM
SENATOR JENNY MCALLISTER
SHADOW CABINET SECRETARY
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER TO THE LABOR LEADER IN THE SENATE
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
GOVERNMENT REVIEW FAILS TO ACKNOWLEDGE GENDER GAP IN RETIREMENT
Women in Australia currently retire with almost 50% less superannuation than men and 23% of women retire with no superannuation savings at all. Women in retirement are more likely to face poverty, housing stress and homelessness. Despite this, the Government has failed to specifically include women in the Terms of Reference of their Retirement Income Review.
Today the Shadow Minister for Financial Services wrote to the Treasurer to ask that the Government include Women and gender analysis in their Terms of Reference.
This significant oversight shows that the Government has no plan to address growing inequality and economic insecurity for women in retirement. Women cannot afford to be overlooked; the Review must explicitly consider how women interact with Australia’s retirement income system.
Women are more likely to work lower paid jobs in less lucrative industries. Women are more likely to provide unpaid care, whether it is taking time out from the workforce to spend with their children, or to care for sick or elderly relatives.
It is not as though the government is unaware of these issues. In 2015, there was a Senate Inquiry into the Economic Security of Women in Retirement, led by Senator Jenny McAllister. Its report made 19 recommendations and received bipartisan support. However, since then the government has shown little interest in implementing these recommendations.
As highlighted today in an Open Letter to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, co-ordinated by Women in Super and signed by over 100 leading women and men, it is imperative that the Review include a gender analysis of current and alternate policies settings.
SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGEING AND SENIORS AND SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN JULIE COLLINS SAID:
“It is clear the current superannuation guarantee rate is inadequate and making it more difficult for women to accumulate the savings required for a comfortable retirement.
“But it is hardly surprising the Liberal/National Government would fail to consider the experiences of women in the terms of reference when the review into retirement income is being led by a Treasurer who said in Parliament that the gender pay gap had ‘closed’.
SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER AND SHADOW MINISTER FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES STEPHEN JONES SAID:
“The Australian Governments gender problem is reinforcing a gender Superannuation problem”.
“Gender gaps in superannuation are a clear problem. This omission is a serious oversight and I call on the Government to rectify it immediately”
SHADOW CABINET SECRETARY SENATOR JENNY MCALLISTER SAID:
“We must look for ways to position younger women for more secure retirement, and ways to soften the blow for older women served poorly by the current system.”
“Australia’s retirement system has a gender problem. We have already failed a generation of women. Let’s not fail another.”
MEDIA CONTACT (COLLINS): LIAM CARSWELL 0438 469 119
MEDIA CONTACT (JONES): AMY SMITH 0459 846 926
MEDIA CONTACT (MCALLISTER): LEILA STENNETT 0436 632 388