FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT MILLENNIAL WOMEN FACE A DEPENDENT FUTURE: NEW RESEARCH
Three in four Millennial women, including those who are financially independent, don’t believe they’ll retire comfortably, and more than half are disillusioned with the country’s superannuation system - more so than any other generation.
These are the findings of new research into the nation’s attitudes towards, and expectations of, superannuation. The survey was conducted by Lonergan Research and commissioned by Verve Super – Australia’s first superannuation fund for women - and forms the basis of the Make Our Future Fair report.
The generational survey of 1,030 respondents highlights that a whopping 86% of female Millennials do not want to be reliant on a partner, family or the government to live comfortably in retirement.
To that end, more than half (51%) are willing to sacrifice holidays, career breaks and forgo material items in order to boost their retirement savings.
“Despite this effort to maintain their financial independence, the majority of Millennial women will require financial support into retirement through no fault of their own,” said Verve Super CEO Christina Hobbs.
“Just like the 60% of older single Australian women who currently retire below the poverty line*.
“Sadly, they feel the odds are stacked against them in achieving anything more. It’s nothing but reflective of a superannuation system that’s broken and needs fixing urgently,” she said.
More than half (52%) of Millennial women believe the level of retirement they will be able to afford will require some form of financial support/assistance, or anticipate they will need to rely on money provided by their spouse
Twice the number of Millennial women than men believe they will require the pension or government assistance into old age.
They cited time out of the workforce to have kids (60%), worries about the future state of the economy (78%) and the impact of taxes, fees and charges on their retirement savings (79%) as their biggest concerns and predicted setbacks.
A large majority of Millennial women (73%) were also more likely to agree that that Australia’s superannuation system is not designed to support the average Aussie woman to retire comfortably.
“And they’re right, with women, on average, reaching retirement age with around 37% less in superannuation savings than men – $195,000 in the bank compared with $310,000 on average for men**,” said Ms Hobbs.
“Men also currently receive two-thirds of the $36 billion in tax concessions handed out through Australia’s superannuation system***.
“This research shows that Australians of all ages and sexes believe our superannuation system is broken for women. Now is the time for the Government to take decisive action,” she said.
As part of the Government’s proposed shake up of the superannuation system, Ms Hobbs called on the Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology, Jane Hume, to help champion initiatives that take into account the complex working needs of women.
“The proposed review of the superannuation system must look at introducing caring credits or other reforms to support unpaid carers, paying super to parents, primarily women, on paid parental leave, extending super guarantee payments for workers earning less than $450 a month, and boosting the old-age pension to support women who are currently living in poverty due to a lifetime of financial inequality.
“If no dedicated changes are made to the system to make it fairer for women, then Australia’s superannuation system will be stuck in the past and continue to exist as an institutionalised form of sexism.”
The research also shone some light on national attitudes towards superannuation to reveal:
- Two thirds (69%) of Australians believe they won’t be able to afford a comfortable retirement
- Two in five (60%) Aussies are concerned that taxes, fees and charges on their super will erode their chances of a comfortable retirement
- Three quarters (76%) of regional Australians don’t expect to retire comfortably, with 41% believing they will require some form of pension or financial assistance to cover basic needs like housing, food, electricity etc.
- There is a generational decline in optimism when it comes to expectations for living comfortably in retirement. 67% of Gen Zs believed they’ll earn enough in super to live comfortably compared to 50% of Millennials, 28% of Gen X and 32% of Boomers
NOTES TO THE EDITOR
*** Women In Super
- ‘Financially independent’: can afford all of living expenses without the support of a family member, partner or govt. If they manage living expenses with a partner, they are able to cover their share
- ‘Comfortable retirement’: can be involved in a broad range of leisure and recreational activities, have a good standard of living, and are able to afford things such as new household goods, private health insurance, domestic and occasionally international holiday
- ‘Modest retirement’: able to afford basic activities above a retirement on the Age Pension e.g. limited travel within Australia, limited meals eaten out
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About Verve Super
Verve Super is Australia’s first superannuation fund for women, by women - dedicated to building the wealth and financial power of women everywhere. Its respected fund managers are responsible for ethically investing more than $600 million in superannuation in companies that build a better world for women, communities and the planet via renewables, healthcare, social wellbeing, sustainable production, and community finance, as examples. Verve offers free and tailored financial services, education and guidance designed by women including online financial literacy/coaching programs, and member events and webinars. www.vervesuper.com.au