Rest, one of Australia’s largest profit-to-member superannuation funds, will continue to advocate for Superannuation Guarantee contributions to be included as part of the Commonwealth Paid Parental Leave Scheme, after the change was overlooked in this year’s Federal Budget.
“The exclusion of Superannuation Guarantee payments on the Paid Parental Leave scheme is a missed opportunity to make retirement outcomes more equitable and address the gender gap that continues to disadvantage women,” said Vicki Doyle, CEO of Rest.
“Rest has more than one million female members, many of whom work in low-income part-time or casual jobs. Many of these women approach retirement with modest account balances that are significantly lower than their male counterparts.
“We welcome the changes to expand the Paid Parental Leave Scheme so it is more flexible and accessible. Measures that encourage women’s workforce participation, and a more equal division of domestic and caring responsibilities, can have a positive impact on retirement outcomes.
“However, without Superannuation Guarantee payments, these changes do not go far enough. This measure should be introduced without further delay, and we call on both major parties to commit to it ahead of the upcoming Federal Election.”
The Government also announced measures to improve workforce participation through addressing workforce shortages, supporting job seekers to find employment, and making it easier for vulnerable Australians to participate in the workforce.
“Improving the work opportunities for younger and disadvantaged people, as well as improving women’s workforce participation, will have a positive impact on their retirement outcomes in the long term,” said Ms Doyle.
“We welcome the Government’s initiatives in these areas. We are also pleased to see that low income earners will have some support to manage increased cost of living pressures, through the increase to the low and middle income tax offset.”