An industry survey has found women have been less likely to make voluntary superannuation contributions born from a lack of confidence and guidance when planning for retirement.
Fidelity International managing director Alva Devoy said the “Fidelity Financial Independence – January 2022” marked a decrease in the number of women making voluntary contributions despite life factors including unpaid parental leave, reducing their retirement funds.
“In a previous study we asked women ‘what do you think you need to retire relative to men’ and what women thought they needed to retire was around the $600,000 mark. Yet women are out of the market longer and require saving because they are actually living longer [on average],” Devoy revealed.
According to survey participants, 55 per cent of women contributed zero monies to their superannuation compared to 44 per cent men.
The genders revealed a 5 per cent difference with regard to their willingness to contribute 10 per cent or more of their income into super. But an overall analysis from Fidelity noted the average amount contributed from women was not equal to their male counterparts.
Devoy observed 33 per cent of female participants indicated they did not feel ready for retirement and had not made regular contributions to their super while only 18 per cent of men surveyed expressed a similar sentiment.
“[Women are] less likely to plan – just think about that it in terms of your own personal life – if you’re not feeling comfortable and capable, you will procrastinate. You’re not feeling that you can make the first step, which is all any of us have to do in order to be better, and that is something that we, in the financial services industry, have to do,” she said.
“There is a significant opportunity for the finance and investment industry in Australia to step up and do more to support women in this goal. Around one in two women say that investment communication is complicated, and one in four describe it as intimidating.”''