Boost your super now

Are you worried about not having enough money to retire? Well, if you're a woman, you should be – study suggests. The good news? There are some simple things you can do to build up your nest egg.
woman holding piggy bank

ACCORDING to recent statistics, women are still lagging behind men when it comes to superannuation balances, with the average man having 45 per cent more than average woman.

Why do women have less super?

  • The average income for women is lower than for men

  • Women often take time out of the workforce or work part-time while raising a family.

  • While women are often great at managing the household budget, they are not always financially literate about ‘big picture’ issues

  • Women tend to live longer than men so their super needs to last longer.

  • Women who divorce may lose their nest egg if their partner retains all the super when assets are divided

For all these reasons, many women reach retirement age and suddenly realise they do not have enough super to live comfortably.

How to grow your super:

Start your retirement planning early: Although most young women are just starting their careers and retirement may seem like a long way off, it is never too early to begin planning for the future.

Don’t be a financial dummy: Get your statement out and familiarise yourself with your super. Look at how your money is invested, the performance of your fund and the fees you are paying. Improve your financial literacy by seeking advice from a financial planner or signing up for a financial workshop.

Consolidate multiple funds: On average, Australians have 3.5 super accounts each, wasting as much as $1.1 billion a year in unnecessary fees. Websites such as can help you track your missing super. Once you have found it, consider consolidating it into a single account to keep fees to a minimum.

Consider spouse super contributions: This is a good strategy for women if they are not working or are working part-time while raising a family. Their partner can make contributions to their superannuation and receive an 18 per cent tax offset.

How much is enough? Working out what you will need in retirement is always a difficult task. A general figure of 65 per cent of a person’s pre-retirement income is often used as a guide when looking at how much a person might need in retirement, however expected lifestyle is also an important factor.

Consider salary sacrificing: While your employer must contribute the 9 percent Government Super Guarantee, it is a good idea to top up your superannuation by salary sacrificing. Depending on how much you can afford, try to put another 2-5 percent of your income into your super.

While it is important for women to start building their nest egg early on, it is never too late to get your retirement planning on the right track.

Dianne Charman is an AMP financial planner and mother of two.

Dianne Charman is an Authorised Representative of AMP Financial Planning Pty Ltd, ABN 89 051 208 327, AFS Licence No. 232706. Any advice given is general only and has not taken into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this, before acting on any advice, you should consult a financial planner to consider how appropriate the advice is to your objectives, financial situation and needs.

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