More than a third of women retiring in poverty

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A new study has claimed 39% of single women retire in poverty.

Industry Super Australia (ISA) has told a Senate Inquiry that changes must be made to tax concessions on super in order to close the gender gap. In a submission to the Inquiry, ISA said women are retiring with 44% less super than men.

ISA deputy director Robbie Campo said current superannuation settings are weighted against women.

“These settings magnify rather than moderate gender differences in lifetime earnings. For example, the persistent gender pay gap, currently at 18%, blows out to a far worse gap in super savings of 44%. We can’t afford a system that fails half the population so badly," Campo said.

Campo said current tax concessions disproportionately benefited top income earners.

“For instance, single men in the top 1% of income earners gain the most from the system, benefitting from an estimated $2.8 million in tax concessions over their working lifetime. This supercharges their retirement income, even though they don’t need financial help to reach a comfortable standard. It makes no sense," she said.

ISA's submission has recommended a raft of reforms, including paying the super guarantee on parental leave and moderating recent changes to the pension means test.

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