Cost of motherhood: women behind on superannuation

Women taking a career break need to contribute $70 a week to superannuation to have enough, according to Lynette Argent, CEO of Million Dollar Woman.

Research from Roy Morgan showed that the average superannuation balance of Australian men, at $84,000, is almost twice that of Australian women at $45,000.

Based on the national average wage for women of $41,000, Australian mums need to budget a minimum of $70 a week, or 9%, to ensure they remain competitive in the superannuation stakes, said Argent.

“Career breaks to start a family contribute to the great divide in Australian super balances,” she noted. “Superannuation is typically the second most valuable asset after the family home, so mums need to think about topping up their balance if they have an extended break from the paid workforce.”

Argent encouraged mothers to reconsider superannuation as part of their wealth creation plans over the turn of the financial year. Million Dollar Woman has released three strategies, based on income, designed to maximise Aussie mums’ contributions.

1. The small business owner (income under $61,920)
Your superannuation can be bumped up through Government co-contributions if you earn under $61,920. This contribution can be paid to employees as well as to the self-employed, and is particularly relevant for ‘mumpreneurs’ running small businesses from home.

2. The part-time worker (income under $31,920)
Co-contribution is the best strategy if you are earning in this income bracket. A big plus is that you will qualify for the maximum Government co-contribution, where the Government will match every dollar you contribute (up to $1,000).

3. The casual worker (income under $10,800)
Earn less than $10,800 and your partner can claim a tax offset of up to $540, based on contributions of $3,000 into your superannuation account.

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