Do you think you, your sister or your girlfriends will have enough Super to retire on securely one day? Can you comfortably say you will just rely on your partners super to spend the rest of your days on? Cudos to you if you can, but I bet the vast majority of you will have concerns already that you won’t have enough superannuation to live comfortably on.
It concerns me that a whole generation of women who took time out to have children are at a great disadvantage not contributing to super, yet the Government does nothing to cover this gap or provide any incentive for women to be able to continue to contribute. Statistics prove women have a higher life expectancy then men and with a projected population of 6 million people aged 65+ by 2031, there are going to be a lot of women (and men) unable to support themselves.
9 Years ago when I was on maternity leave with my 2nd child I took a package from my employer and have not contributed a single cent to super since. That first year after I took the package, I attempted to contribute the minimal amount to the Government Co-contribution scheme. Imagine my surprise when my accountant said, ‘I’m sorry you do not qualify to contribute to the scheme, because you no longer work, so the Government will not assist or support you by matching your $1,500 contribution to super.
When the GFC arrived I like many others lost a substantial sum in the Global downturn. Everyone kept saying, don’t worry, you’ll make that back again. Trouble is, as I have not contributed to super since, I have not made up that lost amount in the 6 years since. Compound interest has a long way to go for me to make up the amount I lost still.
Running my own business, I don’t pay myself any super as everything goes back into the business. To supplement my business I looked for a flexible but steady role. Recently I secured an ongoing temping role within the health system. Whilst completing the paperwork to begin employment, I was given the option of 2 super funds to join. I thought things had changed and you could choose your own super fund? Apparently not so, dependant upon what workplace agreement you are on some companies can insist you join the super of their choice. My ‘old’ super has been in the fund of my choice over 20 years, it has performed well and I am happy for it to stay there. However now I must have 2 super funds, paying fees on both of them, unless I am prepared to move my old super to my new super!
This is just my case scenario, I know there would be many other women out there in a similar predicament of a lull of years not contributing to super. Why are people not talking or advocating about doing something about this gap? Why does the Government not address it especially now since we have to work until 70 and cannot access the pension. What will women survive on in 30+ years time?
There’s not much we can do but highlight this issue and hope that someone higher up the chain will take note and take steps to address and rectify the situation. Meanwhile I hope you have investments, a good inheritance or a rich husband that will hold you in good stance to live your twilight years comfortably!
Jennifer Brosnan is the business owner of Leave it with me, a service providing seniors and their families with administrative, project and support facilities to bring clarity and order to their paperwork, documentation, bill paying and records.
When Jennifer is not working she is busy with her 3 primary school aged children and loves to run or ride her bike. She is involved in her local community as a committee member on business networking groups, organising street dinners, mum get together’s and other social events.
You can visit her website and blogs at: http://leaveitwithme.com.au
Or join her Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/leaveitwithmeadminandsupport
Original image by Ken Teegardin