Women’s Statement fails to add super to parental leave

Posted: Tuesday 20 November, 2018

The Government’s failure to commit to superannuation on paid parental leave in its inaugural Women’s Economic Statement is disappointing, says Industry Super Australia.

Today at the National Press Club, Women’s Minister Kelly O’Dwyer, officially announced a raft of policies to boost the financial security of women.

Early access to superannuation on family violence grounds, and more flexible parental leave were amongst those policies, but a commitment to add super to the government’s 18-week paid parental leave (PPL) scheme was missing.

Industry Super head of consumer advocacy, Sarah Saunders, said it was disappointing the retirement savings gap had been overlooked.

“Women are still retiring with around 40 per cent less super than men, and targeted policies are needed to address this shortfall,” said Saunders.

“We know that time taken out of the workforce to provide care is at the crux of the gender super gap”.

“Women still provide the lion’s share of care to children, ageing parents and grandkids in a system unforgiving of broken work patterns,” she said.

“Adding super to paid parental leave would help women build their retirement savings,” she said.

“It is a simple and important change that should have bi-partisan support,” she said.

In September the federal opposition promised to pay super on government PPL from July 2020; and, with women twice as likely to work part time, phase out the $450 per month SG eligibility threshold.

Official figures show that mothers comprise well over 90 per cent of PPL recipients.

While Saunders welcomed early access to super for family violence, she said government had to ensure women’s community support services were properly resourced.

Media contact: John Hill 0412 197 079