Women don't own a fair share of super

Published on
International Women's Day - Female superannuation balances

Australian women, despite making up 50% of Australia's population, own roughly 40% of all superannuation funds under management (FUM), equal to $1.2 trillion.

Rainmaker Information analysis released in the latest Superannuation Benchmarking Report recognised this imbalance.

Superannuation's gender inequality is present at all stages of a woman's working life.

Women make up 50% of millennial superannuation accounts, yet their account balances represent only 43% of the age groups' respective FUM.

Women make up 53% of retirees yet own just 44% of retiree superannuation FUM.

"Women own four in every $10 of Australia's superannuation wealth," said Alex Dunnin, executive director of research and compliance at Rainmaker Information.

"Some super funds have high concentrations of women members because of the industries and employers they serve, including health, education, retail, hospitality and the public sector."

"Many of these funds, particularly if they are also led by women, are among Australia's best performing and best value funds."

Rainmaker's analysis of APRA superannuation fund membership indicates that Rest is Australia's most popular super fund for women, with over 1.1 million of its 1.8 million members being women.

Rest also serves over 660,000 young women superannuation members, being those aged under 35 years. This is 290,000 more than the second-placed Hostplus.

Despite serving a smaller pool of members overall, the Australian Defence Force Superannuation Scheme (ADF Super) has the highest percentage of young women members, with 91%.

This is followed by the Grosvenor Pirie Master Trust (managers of Cruelty Free Super, Lindfield Super and Simple Choice Super), CBA Essential and the Tidswell Master Trust (managers of Spaceship, Student Super, Super Estate, Mobi Super and the Australian Expatriate Superannuation Fund) with 74%, 66% and 65% representation of women in their young membership bases respectively.

"Given Grosvenor Pirie and Tidswell Master Trusts work very closely with disruptor superannuation products, the high proportion of women members in these funds suggests that young women in particularly are looking for something different that the larger mainstream funds may not be providing," said Dunnin.

Aware Super was found to have the greatest level of FUM for women, with over $74 billion. Aware Super is also the most popular fund among retired women.

Funds that have the highest level of female representation among their members were GuildSuper, HESTA and Mercy Super with 85%, 79% and 77% respectively.

Australia's top six funds with the most women members are Rest, AustralianSuper, HESTA, Aware Super, Hostplus and Sunsuper.