May 14 2024
Media Release

Women better off thanks to Budget, but more action needed to address inequity in superannuation: Rest

Rest, one of Australia’s largest profit-to-member superannuation funds, says tonight’s Federal Budget is a positive step towards a fairer and more sustainable future for all Australians, but more steps are required to achieve equity in superannuation.

Rest Chief Executive Officer Vicki Doyle said the Budget represents significant progress in achieving the fund’s recommended reforms to improve retirement outcomes for its 2 million members, as detailed in its Pre-Budget Submission.

The funding commitment to include superannuation contributions in the Commonwealth Paid Parental Leave scheme from 1 July 2025 fulfils Rest’s priority recommendation and helps to address a longstanding gender imbalance in retirement outcomes.

“The gender super gap for Rest members nearing retirement has widened in recent years. This reform will help to close the gap, but it’s one of many needed to fully address this issue. We must build on this and enact further changes to make the super system fairer,” said Ms Doyle.

“This is a major investment in gender equity and a fairer retirement for countless Australian women. We congratulate the Government for making a change that will lead to better financial outcomes for many Rest members.”

Further commitments in relation to the Net Zero Economy Authority and the development of sustainable finance markets in the Future Made in Australia policy, also provide further clarity that would help investors like Rest identify a long-term pipeline of good-quality investments that support the energy transition.

“We represent one million young Australians under the age of 30 who will retire in a post-2050 world,” said Ms Doyle.

“We strongly support efforts to create long-term investment opportunities that enhance our members’ financial interests and also help contribute to the quality of the world our members retire into.”

Ms Doyle said Rest would also continue to advocate for its other recommended reforms, such as extending super eligibility to all under-18 workers and updates to the Low Income Super Tax Offset (LISTO).

“All workers under the age of 18 should earn super regardless of the number of hours they work,” said Ms Doyle.

“We know that 77 per cent of Australians think it’s unfair that under-18s aren’t eligible for super unless they work 30 hours or more per week, and 82 per cent agree with changing this rule.1 It would allow every young Australian to engage with and benefit from our super system from the very first dollar they earn.”

Ms Doyle added that measures to address housing affordability, increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance and ease cost-of-living pressures will likely help many Rest members through a sustained period of financial stress.

1 Research conducted by CRNRSTONE Australia, on behalf of Rest, via an online survey of 1,000 Australians aged 16-70 between Tuesday 30 April to Wednesday 8 May 2024.

About Rest

Established in 1988, Rest is one of Australia’s largest profit-to-member superannuation funds, with around two million members and around $85 billion in funds under management as at 31 March 2024.

About the Rest 2024/25 Pre-Budget Submission

In its 2024/25 Pre-Budget Submission, Six Actions for a Fairer and More Sustainable Australia, Rest made the following recommendations:

  1. Recommendation 1 (Priority Recommendation): That the Commonwealth Government legislate, without delay, for the payment of superannuation guarantee contributions on the Commonwealth Parental Leave Pay scheme.

  2. Recommendation 2: That the Commonwealth Government update the Low Income Super Tax Offset (LISTO) settings so that:
    1. The income threshold is raised from $37,000 to $45,000;
    2. The annual cap is increased from $500 to $750; and
    3. Arrangements are put in place to align future LISTO settings to the top of the second tax bracket and future super guarantee rate increases.

  3. Recommendation 3: That the Commonwealth Government legislate to extend the superannuation guarantee to all under 18s including those working less than 30 hours per week, with an appropriate transition period for businesses.

  4. Recommendation 4: That the Commonwealth Government consult with First Nations peoples and the First Nations Super Working Group with a view to reforming superannuation binding death benefit nomination arrangements (and associated taxation arrangements) to recognise kinship structures for First Nations peoples.

  5. Recommendation 5: That the Commonwealth Government, working with State and Territory Governments, prioritise the following three actions to catalyse institutional investment in social and affordable housing:
    1. Improving planning and zoning systems and increasing land availability for large-scale social and affordable housing projects.
    2. Reviewing and standardising definitions relating to social and affordable housing, including a national definition of essential workers, which includes retail workers, eligible for affordable housing.
    3. Reviewing and improving the regulatory environment applying to housing investments by super funds.

  6. Recommendation 6: That the Commonwealth Government outline a roadmap (and provide appropriate resourcing within Government) for the next phase of the sustainable finance agenda, including a focus on decent work and social and economic inequality.  

For further information please visit out media centre or contact:

Michael Mills
Senior Manager, Communications – Media Relations
m: 0428 499 722

Emma Kerswell
Senior Manager, Communications – Consumer and Content
m: 0498 709 830

This information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information or deciding whether to acquire or hold a product, consider its appropriateness and the relevant PDS and TMD which is available at Issued by Retail Employees Superannuation Pty Limited ABN 39 001 987 739, AFSL 24 0003 (Rest), trustee of Retail Employees Superannuation Trust ABN 62 653 671 394

Rest media releases are point-in-time statements and are current as at the date of publication. Information may not be current and up to date after the date of publication. Please note the date of issue and check Rest’s website for other information on the same or related matters.