Women are increasingly confident of taking control of their superannuation, making it imperative for government to create the legislative and regulatory environment that further encourages them to do so, says Andrea Slattery, Managing Director/CEO of the SMSF Association.
She says the evidence is mounting, especially for women in the self-managed super fund (SMSF) sector, that they are playing a far greater role in the overseeing of their SMSFs, so it is critical that government facilitate this development by removing structural impediments to allow them to improve their superannuation balances before and after retirement.
“Measures that will give women greater control over their superannuation include extending the benefits of the low income tax offset, the ability to carry forward unused concessional contribution caps, removing the ‘work test’ for people aged 65 to 74 and abolishing the ‘10 per cent rule’ for personal deductible superannuation contributions.”
Research undertaken for the SMSF Association and the Commonwealth Bank highlights some important indicators that clearly demonstrate women are far more involved with their superannuation than they have been generally credited with, she says.
“Although it shows more men than women are likely to initiate the establishment of an SMSF, when you dig deeper into the statistics it shows the disparity is narrowing as more women from Gen X and Y take the initiative.
“This is what you would expect. Many women of the Baby Boomer and Traditionalist (over 70) generations lacked the opportunity to have the career focus of the younger generations, who now have the confidence and education to take control of their retirement income strategies.
“On the issue on who makes the investment decisions, SMSFs are split three ways between those where one person is the decision maker, another third use professional advice, and, interestingly, another third share the decision-making process, reflecting the growing involvement of women in this process.
“But perhaps the most significant piece of data was the statistic showing 91% of all SMSFs surveyed were either ‘very confident’ (49%) or ‘somewhat confident’ (42%) of having sufficient knowledge to take over the sole responsibility for managing their SMSF investments.
“I take great heart from this figure. It suggests to me that the decision-making in SMSFs is far more collective than is reflected in the raw numbers, and that women have the confidence to take control of the fund in the event of divorce, separation or death.”
Slattery says it is imperative that government “take advantage” of this growing interest by women in their superannuation by creating the right framework to help narrow the gap between the retirement income balances of men and women.
She says there is widespread appreciation by many women that SMSFs are the best option to take control of their superannuation, as evidenced by the fact that 47 per cent of the more than one million SMSF members and trustees are women.
“Women appreciate the fact that SMSFs offer greater choice, flexibility and control to help boost their super balances.
“They are also increasingly disposed to seek out specialist SMSF advice to assist them on their superannuation journey, mindful of the complexities in all areas of overseeing an SMSF, especially when the rules are undergoing constant change. Our SMSF specialists have the skills to deliver these services to them.”
About the SMSF Association:
The SMSF Association is the authoritative voice for the self-managed superannuation fund sector. The Association, which represents professionals providing a range of services across various disciplines in the complex area of SMSFs as well as engaging trustees to become better educated and informed. The SMSF Association is an advocate for the highest professional standards and competence to ensure SMSF trustees always receive the best possible advice.
Contact for Interviews
SMSF Association Managing Director/CEO
M: 0417 898 317
Contact for Media
M: 0409 585 979