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ACTU pushes for women to be paid more superannuation than men

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) is calling for women to be paid more superannuation than men, in an attempt to correct the superannuation gender gap.

Currently, the superannuation guarantee sits at 9.5 per cent, and it’s set to rise to 12 per cent by 2025.

A government review into retirement income is currently underway and the ACTU has suggested the guarantee be increased to 15 per cent across the board, but the union body says it should be increased for women before men.

Chair of Women in Super, Cate Wood, agrees something needs to be done to ensure women retire with adequate superannuation.

“Women have been retiring with about half the super savings of men. That’s improved a bit but it’s still a very big gap, like 30 per cent less as a minimum,” she told 3AW’s Tom Elliott.

Ms Wood said the discrepancies in super earnings between men and women begin at around the age of 35, when many women take time out of work to care for children.

“There’s lots of studies around that point to the huge value to GDP out of unpaid work performed by women. We’re all contributing to society and this should be recognised,” she said.

But Ms Wood said increasing the superannuation guarantee to 15 per cent wouldn’t be her preferred method for ensuring women retire with enough super.

“I think it has to be tested,” she said.

“I’ve suggested … adjusting the tax concessions in super, so they don’t favour the very wealthy who are likely to be able to look after themselves in retirement.”

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Image: MillefloreImages / Getty