March 7 2024
Media Release

Super on Commonwealth Parental Leave Pay scheme is a win for equity: Rest

Rest, one of Australia’s largest profit-to-member superannuation funds, says the Australian Government’s commitment to include superannuation contributions on the Commonwealth Parental Leave Pay scheme is a major milestone towards closing the gender super gap.

Rest Chief Executive Officer Vicki Doyle said Rest has long been an advocate for the change, which represents a significant step forward for millions of Australians. The change was Rest’s priority recommendation in the Rest 2024-25 Pre-Budget Submission to the Federal Government.

“This is a much-needed improvement for our two million members, including the more than one million who are women,” Ms Doyle said. “We know every super dollar counts for these members, who often work in low income, part time or casual jobs. This change will undoubtedly help enable a more equitable retirement future and go some way to address the gender super gap. We congratulate the Federal Government on this important reform.

“The gender super gap for Rest members nearing retirement sits at around 27 per cent1. In recent years, this gap has been wider than the national average and is progressively widening. We know significant work is required to improve super settings to address this imbalance, including dealing with the motherhood penalty experienced by those who engage in unpaid caring work, such as time on parental leave.”

Modelling2 shows the impact of paying super on Commonwealth Parental Leave would be significant. A mother of two children who received super on the Commonwealth Parental Leave Pay scheme will be $14,500 better off in retirement.

“This amount would provide a significant boost to many women’s retirement savings. For example it would be like adding another 16% onto the current average account balance of a female Rest member nearing retirement1,” said Ms Doyle.

“Rest supports the payment of super on every dollar earned, including on all forms of parental leave. Now that we have certainty that super will be paid on Commonwealth Parental Leave, we want to encourage further discussion on the payment of super on employer-funded parental leave. We recognise many employers already choose to pay this important benefit.”

The introduction of super on Commonwealth Parental Leave Pay continues the momentum of recent changes to the super system which have supported fairer member outcomes, including the removal of the $450 monthly income threshold and the introduction of payday super.

“We look forward to working closely with government, unions, employers and the industry on the next steps to close the gender super gap and make super fairer for the benefit of our two million members.”

1 As at 31 December 2023, the average balance for Rest’s female members aged 60-64 was $88,000, compared to $120,600 for male members. This is a gender super gap of 27 per cent.

2 Securing a dignified retirement for more women, Super Members Council of Australia, December 2023.

About Rest

Established in 1988, Rest is one of Australia’s largest profit-to-member superannuation funds, with around two million members and around $80 billion in funds under management as at 31 December 2023.

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 – Media Relations
m: 0498 709 830

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