retirement income review


On September 27 2019, the Government announced a Retirement Income Review (RIR) to look into our current superannuation system.

The Review Panel has been tasked with establishing a “fact base” of the current retirement income system, focusing on all three pillars: the government age pension, compulsory superannuation and voluntary savings including home ownership, ans is made up of Michael Callaghan, Carolyn Kay and Dr Deborah Ralston. They are due to provide a final report to the Government on 30 June 2020. 

The Terms of Reference of the RIR made no mention of women, or the significant differences in outcomes for men and women. This is obviously inadequate, and so Women in Super coordinated an open letter to the Treasurer requesting an amendment to the Terms of Reference be made.

A consultation paper released by the Panel, on 22 November 2019, asks two questions in particular that we will be focusing on in our subequent submission:

  • Does the system provide equitable outcomes for women, given they are more likely to take career breaks, work part-time and have lower lifetime earnings and longer life expectancy?
  • Is there evidence the system encourages and supports older Australians who wish to remain in the workforce past retirement age? To what extent does the retirement income system compensate for, or exacerbate, inequities experienced during working life? What are the implications of a maturing SG system for those who are not covered by compulsory superannuation?

The Panel identify key criteria for assessing the retirement income system of adequacy, equity, sustainability and cohesion. WIS supports these criteria, provided that there is a strong focus on gender outcomes particularly in the adequacy and equity areas of focus.

Women in Super intends to make a submission to the Panel and we are currently identifying the types of evidence that will assist in highlighting the drivers and other factors relevant to inequitable gendered outcomes resulting from current settings of the retirement income system.

We would particularly like to include case studies and real stories to illustrate the points being made in our submission. These stories will help us build a case for amendments to the super system that explicitly focus on improving outcomes for women.

If you would like to share your story, please contact the WIS CEO, Sandra Buckley.


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