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Focus on gender divide, says Cooper

Katarina Taurian
24 September 2013 — 1 minute read

The gender divide in longevity strategies has not been adequately addressed in the SMSF sector, according to Challenger’s Jeremy Cooper.

A “significant issue” associated with longevity risk and SMSF trustees is that female members of an SMSF typically outlive their male partners who have been the primary decision makers, Mr Cooper told SMSF Adviser.

“By far the majority of SMSFs are a husband and wife retirement savings vehicle, and at least the typical case has been that the male makes all the decisions,” Mr Cooper said.


“But we know on average the female member of the partnership is actually going to live [on average] three years longer than the male.

“I don’t think that has been thought through well enough… what’s the plan for the situation where the person that has been making all the decisions pre-deceases the other member of the partnership?”

Female trustees and their advisers should be aware of this discrepancy, Mr Cooper said, and plan for the “genetic facts” of life expectancies.

“[It’s] a hard one to talk about, but it plays out in a very specific way with SMSFs because by far the majority of SMSFs are a husband and wife retirement savings vehicle,” Mr Cooper added.

Focus on gender divide, says Cooper
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