Women and Superannuation

Posted 28 November 2017 8:24am

Australia wide, the average superannuation balance of women at retirement is about half that of men. CSC schemes offer a number of ways that members can add to their superannuation and maybe narrow this gap. Your Relationship Managers are available to discuss member education and other strategies that can assist you and your staff.

The Senate Economics References Committee has identified a combination of interrelated factors which drive the discrepancy, including:

  • women's lower workforce participation rate and disproportionate representation in part-time and casual employment
  • occupational and industrial segregation
  • the gender pay gap
  • pregnancy related workplace discrimination and
  • the disproportionate amount of unpaid caring work undertaken by women.1

Women undertake part-time work in the APS at a rate five times greater than men. Women in the APS also occupy a greater proportion of positions below the EL2 level. Women undertake non-ongoing employment at a greater rate than men and at a rate disproportionate to the 59% of APS employees who are women.2

Because of the close link between superannuation, salary and working hours, these factors can impact on the account balances of your staff. The design of the CSC schemes, however, means that members may be able to take action that could offset at least some of these impacts.

For example:

  • members can choose to make their own contributions to our schemes above the mandated employer contribution
  • in the PSSap, members can make a range of choices about their insurance and in the PSS elect to top up their insurance through Additional Death and Invalidity Cover
  • in the PSSap, for employers using Fortnightly Contribution Salary, employer contributions are payable during all periods of maternity leave. In the PSS and CSS, the member may choose to make contributions
  • members have access to financial advice through our in-house advisors to help them plan for their retirement
  • PSSap members can consolidate their super from other funds into the PSSap which may reduce the total fees they pay. Soon, PSSap members will be able to keep contributing to the PSSap even after they leave Government employment
  • PSS and CSS members can make salary sacrifice contributions into the PSSap in addition to those they make to their primary scheme. If they do this, they can also opt into PSSap lifePlus Choice insurance. Members need to pay regard to caps on contributions and the associated tax implications when considering this.

These strategies illustrate some of the ways that members can influence their retirement income. They may not suit, or be possible for, everyone. Also, please be aware that this is general advice only and doesn’t take into account any personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before anyone acts on this general advice, they should consider whether it is appropriate to their own circumstances. They may like to consider consulting a licensed financial advisor. All of our schemes have a Product Disclosure Statement available on the respective scheme websites, and the appropriate PDS should be read and considered before making any decisions about superannuation.

For more information, or to enquire about CSC’s Financial Advice Service, members can call:

1 ‘A Husband is not a Retirement Plan’: Achieving Economic Security for Women in Retirement, Senate Economics References Committee, 2016, Chapter 6

2APS Statistical Bulletin 2016-7, Employment By Gender

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