Big four firm pushes government on women’s super issues

While several of the measures announced in the federal budget will improve the retirement incomes of women and low income earners, one of the big four firms has urged the government to take further policy steps.

KPMG tax partner Dana Fleming says while the announced changes, such as the increase in tax offsets associated with contributions to low income spouse accounts and the low income superannuation tax offset, will go some way to improving the retirement balances of women, more work needs to be done by the government in this space.

Ms Fleming told SMSF Adviser the government has announced that tax offsets associated with contributions to low income spouse accounts, most of which are accounts held by women, will be extended with eligible recipients’ income limits increased from $10,800 to $37,000.

“The government has also announced changes which will allow those with superannuation balances of less than $500,000 to rollover their unused concessional cap amounts for a period of five years.”

“The government’s budgetary announcements are welcomed as they address many of the KPMG proposals and the recommendations of the bipartisan Economics References Committee. However, much more needs to be done to remove the gender retirement incomes gap.”

Other areas the government needs to consider, Ms Fleming said, include applying the superannuation guarantee to income replacement payments such paid parental leave and workers compensation.

In a paper on the issue of gender super imbalance, Ms Fleming also stressed the need to address the wider pay gap disparity between men and women in order to boost retirement balances for women.

“[The] retirement income parity for women with men can only be substantially addressed by addressing the wider socio-economic inequities that result in women earning less income than men,” she said.

“The recent Senate Economic References Committee report clearly shows that we still have a long way to go.”

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