Women in the workforce face a frightening financial reality

THE disparity between women’s and men’s superannuation balances at retirement has been drawn into focus at a recent Senate Inquiry into the Gender Pay Gap.

The Fair Work Amendment (Gender Pay Gap) Bill has been introduced in an effort to remove restrictions on employees who currently limit their ability to discuss information about pay with colleagues.

Secrecy clauses in employment contracts can have the effect of hiding gender discrimination and bias in the form of different pay rates between men and women for doing the same job.

The effects of this Bill, if passed, should help to highlight the difference between women’s and men’s pays and open up workplace discussion about appropriate levels of pay for all employees.

Ian Ritchie, financial adviser for Ritchie Advice, said submissions to the Inquiry had highlighted the fact that women faced a 19 per cent pay gap in the workforce.

“The effects of these frightening discrepancies between pays for men and women stretch into retirement through greatly reducing the level of superannuation contributed towards women’s retirement compared to men’s throughout employment,” he said.

“Over a lifetime of employment, the super contributions made by women are relatively less due to lower incomes and the greater likelihood that women will take time off in the form of maternity leave in order to take care of the family.”

The effect of lesser superannuation contributions for women has meant that generations of women have retired in poverty.

Mr Ritchie said this trend was unlikely to change according to current predictions.

“There is a need to actively work against such inequality in the workplace to ensure that superannuation for future generations of women are not affected by this issue,” he said.

“If the gender gap can be decreased, inroads can be made into decreasing the effects this has on superannuation available to women upon retirement in future generations.”

If you have any questions or wish to look at your own superannuation position contact Ritchie Advice today for an obligation-free first interview by phoning 6234 1488.

This advice may not be suitable to you because it contains general advice which does not take into consideration any of your personal circumstances. All strategies and information provided in this article is general advice only.

Ritchie Advice Pty Ltd ABN 12 150 128 448, is a Corporate Authorised Representative 408050 of Dover Financial Advisers Pty Ltd, Australian Financial Services Licensee No. 307248.

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