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Crucial government retirement modelling fails women

Published: 08 Mar 2021

New research reveals three-quarters of women are unlikely to retire having received a full 40 years of super contributions, and yet key government modelling assumes everyone retires with four decades of super. 

For the bottom fifth of female wage earners there is less than a 5% chance they will receive super for 40 years. Across all income percentiles women average just 30.1 years of contributions, the male average is 36.2 years.

The new research to be released this week analyses two decades of Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey to estimate the actual labour force experience of women over their life and accounts for working when super is not paid.     

It highlights a dramatic flaw in the Retirement Income Review base case modelling which assumes everyone receives 40-years of super contributions – leading to big overestimates in retirement balances.

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