Several submissions to the Inquiry into Economic Security for Women in Retirement have proposed reforms specifically aimed at boosting the financial prospects of women in retirement.
For example, PwC proposed that special consideration be given to single women who do not own a home to boost their economic security once retired.
“Single women, who are already likely to have much less super than men for a variety of structural reasons, are particularly vulnerable if they do not own a home. The aged pension is woefully inadequate in terms of rental assistance, equating to roughly $60 per week,” PwC said.
“Special consideration needs to be given to the economic needs of women who may find themselves in this situation in the future, and also to the needs of women who are already struggling in such circumstances right now,” PwC said.
Speaking to SMSF Adviser, principal at Paramount Wealth Management, Wayne Leggett, said he is concerned by the notion of reforms which are “divisive” along gender lines.
“I have grave concerns with them introducing or attempting to introduce rules that have a sexual bias in them. I understand the logic behind it, but you don’t need to have them specifically for women,” he said.
“Don’t make it about whether it’s male or female; make it about the issues – the issues of being underpaid, or being unable to make a super contribution for an extended period of time because you’re out of the workforce.
“Make it about the issue, not about the sex, because if it becomes male versus female, it’s automatically divisive – someone is going to want to challenge – whereas making it about the issue itself addresses the problem and doesn’t give it a gender bias.”