When we launched Really Simple Money almost a decade ago, we promised to help families aged over 30 find help with their finances.
We saw that the advice sector was largely ignoring this important group of Australians because they were not yet rich enough to generate the fees that could be garnered from those about to retire with fat super accounts and a life time’s savings.
In 2020, when COVID-19 ravaged the Australia, we launched a campaign to help bring down the price of financial advice at a time when ordinary Australian families needed it most. Thanks to legislation brought in ostensibly to protect consumers, the average price of advice on how to deal with savings, retirement funds and insurance had risen to $5,500.
We got a good result – advice will hopefully soon be a available in chunks so you can receive the help you want and pay for it without fees for services you don’t really need.
Today, we are launching a campaign which we think is even more important.
We want to persuade all political parties in the upcoming election to legislate compulsory parental leave super contributions.
Why? Because the gap in super savings between men and women is so big that it is now a national disgrace – a third of women retire with virtually no retirement savings. And because women aged 55+ are the fastest growing homeless group in Australia.
Here’s why we are doing this now:
This is not a new problem – and every political party acknowledges it needs fixing.
In 2015, then Treasurer Scott Morrison said: “People over the course of their working life can have their work patterns disrupted. For women in particular, that’s been known for a long time – but it’s not just women, as you know, it’s a lot of carers as well.
“We need to have a superannuation system that I think reflects that, those changes in people’s lives.”
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says women were particularly affected by COVID-19, losing 54 per cent of the 872,000 jobs lost in Australia at the height of the pandemic.
We already know how you feel. We polled our readers last week. An astonishing 82 per cent said women should receive super payments during parental leave. Another 81 per cent supported the idea of women receiving free financial advice from the age of 30 about their retirement savings.
And 65 per cent said they would support a political party with the parental leave super on its agenda.
We’re running this campaign for future generations of mothers who should have the right to a dignified old age.
Award winning Melbourne documentary maker Sue Thomson is about to launch a film about the plight of those who form the fastest growing group of homeless in Australia: women aged over 55. It’s gritty, emotional. We defy you to watch this and not join our campaign!
Here’s a snatch of what these proud Australian women they told Sue:
The film will have an impact campaign which will include showings to young students at high schools throughout Australia. Sue’s team is looking for funds – please help. Contact us for details.
Over the coming weeks we will be detailing the problem and outlining why our amazing super system is not so super for women.
We know we are not the first to try and persuade our politicians to make this change. The super industry has been trying for years. And we are proud to say they are supporting this campaign today.
We understand that businesses will say it is too expensive as they try and recover from COVID. And that political parties will say they have other pressing issues.
But this is a pressing issue – and the time has come to fix it.
What do we want from you?
Go to our campaign page and add your name and thoughts on this issue. Like us on Facebook. And we’ll be asking you to send your local representative an email suggesting they support us.
We will be running a huge campaign on social media, in The Financial Review and through supporting media.
Mothers who leave the workforce to take care of kids over a period of five years stand to be $100,000 worse off thanks to the lack of super payments on parental leave.
In this election year, let’s get this changed.