Greens call for Senate inquiry into women’s super

The Australian Greens party announced yesterday it will call for a Senate inquiry into the retirement savings gap for women.

In a statement, Australian Greens federal member for Melbourne Adam Bandt said the party wants to move its Boosting Superannuation for Women Bill to a Senate inquiry for an Australia-wide look at the problem of women retiring without enough money.

Late last year, Mr Bandt gave notice of a private member’s bill, the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Boosting Superannuation for Women) Bill 2014, which proposes that employers be able to contribute more super for women employees than male employees without being considered to have breached anti-discrimination legislation.

“If our bill passes, all companies, regardless of their size, can take risk-free steps to equal up the super balance for women,” Mr Bandt said yesterday.

On average, women have $44,000 in their super account, compared with $82,000 for men, he said, labelling the discrepancy as an “extreme level of inequality”.

Both the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees and Women in Super said they support a Senate review of the retirement savings gap and urged the government to prioritise the tax reform of superannuation as a significant step towards improving retirement outcomes for women.

AIST chief executive Tom Garcia welcomed the decision by the Greens, but said the current tax inquiry needed to consider fairer distribution of tax concessions in superannuation to improve the outlook for women.

 

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