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Comment - Women’s rights: stand out reason to reform superannuation

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Lee Rhiannon 21 Jun 2013

Lee was unable to post this comment on The Drum as comments for 'Do major parties address women's super disadvantage?' have now closed.

Comment: If you are looking for a reason to reform Australia’s superannuation system women’s rights would be the stand out. The tax subsidises that underpin our superannuation remain highly inequitable. This form of welfare for the rich clearly disadvantages women.

Ensuring women have enough super to last them throughout their years of retirement requires policy changes. The Greens plan involves taxing superannuation contributions at a person’s marginal tax rate minus 15 per cent.

This is a simple but highly effective way to reduce the level of discrimination against low income earners inherent in the current super system. Under our proposal those on low pay, mainly women, would pay no tax and therefore will save more for their retirement.

We also propose removing the $450 per month Super Guarantee Charge threshold under which employers are not required to makes super contributions, and for superannuation to be part of any paid parental leave scheme.

As both Labor and the Coalition shape up to each other over their respective women’s policies this is one policy area where they should make the right decisions so women can enjoy their retirement years without being penalised for the years of caring for children and parents, and working part time while their male partner forged their careers.

A disrupted working life in and low paid work should no longer mean that women lose out when it comes to superannuation payments.

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