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Federal Labor vows to boost retirement savings for thousands of Australian women

The Federal Opposition would top up the superannuation accounts of thousands of Australian women receiving Paid Parental Leave, in a bid to close the gap of economic disadvantage for women.

On average, women are $100,000 worse off than men when they retire.

Labor’s financial services spokesperson, Claire O’Neill, said the $400 million election policy on 3AW Mornings.

“The most important change is that for the first time Labor will pay super on Commonwealth paid parental leave and dad and partner leave,” she said.

“One of the big barriers for women as they enter retirement is they often taken long career breaks while they raise children.”

Women who can access the government’s paid parental leave scheme receive $719 a week for 18 weeks.

Labor would contribute nine per cent into superannuation funds, which would work out to be roughly $1000 per child.

“This is going to mean literally tens of thousands of dollars more for women, that’s because we are helping women make the saving upfront,” she said.

“The big winner here is Australian women, and that’s because that’s where the problem is at the moment.”

Neil Mitchell questioned why the taxpayer should fund the superannuation top-ups for women.

“It will cost $2.6 billion over 10 years,” he said.

“There’s a fairness issue here, there is no question of that, the argument is whether taxpayers funds should be used to address it.”

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told a press conference it was a modest payment.

“You shouldn’t have to pay a motherhood penalty, and retire poor,” he said.

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