Policy & Politics |
Monash University

Monash Experts: Victorian Government's push for minimum 15% superannuation

A Monash University expert is available to discuss the sweeping reforms proposed by the Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, to increase superannuation payments of all Australians to at least 15%. 

Dr Carly Moulang, Senior Lecturer in Accounting, Monash Business School

Carly is currently based in the USA, but available for further interviews on email: carly.moulang@monash.edu or Skype @carlymoulang 

Read more commentary by Carly on Monash Impact

Comments provided below by Carly can be repurposed in the media.

“I welcome the proposed reforms, particularly the focus on improving retirement outcomes for women, carers and some of our most vulnerable workers in the gig economy,” Dr Moulang said.

“Our research shows that women accumulate less than their male peers in their superannuation savings contributions from the very beginning of their employment. In addition to the gender pay gap that impacts most employed women, we also see that women experience significant ‘gaps’ in their superannuation savings for reasons such as maternity leave and caring responsibilities. 

“These ‘gaps’, when women are not accumulating any super, have significant financial consequences for women upon retirement and is often called a ‘care penalty’. Our research shows that when women have ‘gaps’ in their savings earlier in life, the more detrimental this is to their retirement savings. Women are also more likely to work part-time during their careers, particularly when they have a young family, resulting in lower super contributions during these years, which also ‘catches up with them’ financially later in life.

“The proposal to continue contributions to a woman’s super during times of maternity leave can have a big impact upon retirement and will help in addressing one of the many disadvantages that many mothers currently face.  Likewise, the cumulative impact of reducing fees during such times should not be underestimated and it is very encouraging that this is also being proposed.

“Carers, who also tend to be predominantly women, also deserve better treatment and protection in terms of saving for retirement. As a society we need to appreciate and demonstrate the value that carers provide and the financial opportunity costs that they forgo and work actively to protect them financially. 

“Seeing that these proposed measures specifically identify carers as a target for improving their retirement outcomes, is promising. Paying carers superannuation on their government benefits, as proposed, is essential to protecting the long-term financial outcomes for carers.

“Women are also more likely to work in low-paid and casual employment and fail to reach the $450 super guarantee threshold, leaving many with little to no retirement savings.

“The call to remove the $450 threshold guarantee is long overdue and would help women, but also some of our most vulnerable workers. Part-time, casual and on-demand workers in the gig economy deserve the opportunity to financially prepare for retirement. Every person who works should be entitled to have retirement savings.

“Women and carers are clearly disadvantaged in retirement - they are retiring with significantly less savings, higher reliance on the pension and in many cases experience a lower quality of life.  The essence of this proposal clearly acknowledges this important gap and is working towards improving retirement outcomes for those who need it most.”

For any other topics on which you may be seeking expert comment, contact the Monash University Media Unit on +61 3 9903 4840 or media@monash.edu