No, women shouldn’t be able to dip into their superannuation to buy a house. Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon, the founder of TheMoneyMentorWay.com, explains why.
If you needed proof that Tony Abbott shouldn’t be Minister for Women (or that Joe Hockey has embarked on a popularity drive and stuff the economy), this is it.
Related content: A report card for Tony Abbott’s year as Minister for Women.
But. It. Would. Wreck. Females’. Lives.
Super is inherently sexist. What goes in is based on earnings, and we all know women earn an average 18%+ less than men – cheers Patricia Arquette – and for a shorter time. Whether to care for growing kids or, increasingly, ageing parents, it is still typically the woman who stops paid work.
Then we go and live an average 4.4 years longer than men – so this smaller stash has to stretch further.
I‘ve nicknamed the gender funding gap the new GFC or Girls’ Financial Crisis – because it’s that serious. But this proposal would make it almost impossible to traverse.
Let’s say a 30-year-old woman earning $70,000 a year withdrew $25,000 to top up her deposit on a nice little semi. At that point, it would represent all her savings (the average female’s balance at this age is about $23,000), says the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia.
If she worked for two more years until 32, then took three years “off” to have kids, her super balance at age 67 would be $380,000. That’s an enormous $112,000 less – almost 25 per cent – than the $492,000 she would have retired with.
Her ultimate result is $50,000 short of what it takes to fund a comfy lifestyle for as long as we are likely to need it (and she’s in real trouble if investment returns tank).
I don’t know about you, but I’d like to be able to afford to put on Sunday roasts for any grandkids. And heating.
As Pauline Vamos, CEO of ASFA, puts it: “Many women face challenges when it comes to accumulating adequate retirement savings…. [It’s] hard for them to build up the savings required to live with comfort and dignity in retirement.”