Gender superannuation gap seeing "no real progress"

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The average superannuation held by women intending to retire in the next 12 months is just over half (57.3 per cent) of the average male balance, according to the latest research from Roy Morgan.

An estimated 392,000 people intend to retire in the next 12 months, and of those female retirees, their average balances will be $177,000 compared to the male average balance of $309,000. 

Roy Morgan research also showed that while the average superannuation balances of intending retirees over the last decade for both men and women has more than doubled, it’s clear that women still remain well behind the male average.

The gender gap in superannuation 

In 2008, the average superannuation held by women intending to retire was $79,000 – 55.2 per cent of the male average of $143,000. Over ten years this gap has only closed by 2.1 percentage points.

Roy Morgan research confirms that “despite a great deal of publicity being given to this issue over the last decade in an attempt to close the gender gap in superannuation, there has been no real progress”.

Superannuation Balance of Intending Retirees Male vs Female


Source: Roy Morgan

Norman Morris, Roy Morgan Industry Communications Director, says that despite real gains in employment for women over the last decade, “they still lag males in terms of full time and overall employment levels.

“This has been one of the major reasons that overall female income levels are around 25 per cent lower than males, which obviously in turn leads to lower superannuation contributions and balances when compared to males.

“The end result of this lower income and interrupted employment being more likely for women, has been that over the last decade they have been unable to close the gap to males and generally show inadequate superannuation for retirement.

“It is likely to take some considerable time and changes to superannuation conditions for females to achieve an adequate level of superannuation more equivalent to their male counterparts,” said Mr Morris.


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