Govt pushed again on super gender gap

One industry lobby group has called on the government to consider women working part time in the bottom two tax brackets before making superannuation changes in the budget, with research suggesting it would create more intense financial struggle for this particular group. 

Industry Super Australia chief executive David Whiteley said data released by the ATO, showing super savings by taxable income, gender and age, indicates the gender gap is most acute for women earning below the tax-free threshold.

Mr Whiteley said these women on average hold 42 per cent less in super than men in the same tax bracket.

“It beggars belief that on current policy settings they will pay more tax on their super contributions from next year,” said Mr Whiteley.

The data did reveal, however, that women in higher tax brackets have on average slightly higher super savings than males on the same income.

“Clearly women, with the benefit of higher discretionary incomes and attractive tax incentives can be better super savers than their male peers,” said Mr Whiteley.

The data indicated there are almost 40 per cent more women than men in the bottom tax brackets, however.

“With lower levels of contributions, it is absolutely necessary to increase the potency of them through stronger tax incentives. Rebalancing concessions to these groups will be fairer and more efficient,” said Mr Whiteley.

“In contrast, abolishing the low-income super contribution, without a replacement will only make matters worse.”

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