Three days ago I received an email from my sister with the subject line “Super News”. I didn’t open it.
Yesterday, I got a text: “Did you read my email about super? Make sure you put all yours in one easy account and then you won’t have to worry about being destitute when you’re 60 xxxxxx“.
I haven’t replied, but the six kisses on the end really drove the terror deep into my soul.
You see, I know nothing about superannuation. Well, almost nothing.
I know what it’s for, why it’s important and why it’s especially tricky to grow if you’re a woman, but that’s about all I’ve got.
I have no idea how much I have or even where all mine is, let alone how to ensure I’m making the most of it.
In Australia, women retire with less than half the super balance of men, around $138, 154 compared to $292,510*.
This is due to a number of factors. The first being the big ol’ gender pay gap which, despite it being 2017, is still hovering at around 16%**.
The gap can largely be blamed on persisting sexist stereotypes about "women's work" and what it's worth.
Whether knowingly or not, employers still overwhelmingly reward men with higher wages, bigger bonuses and bigger promotions.
Did you know fewer women run top Aussie companies than men named John? Or Peter? Or David? Seriously.
Then there's the kid thing. Women generally take more time out from the workforce to have children then, on top of that, we're usually the ones saddled with the bulk of the unpaid childcare responsibilities, and caring for other family members, too.
And you know what less time at work equals? Less money to retire on.
The disparity is so big, last year there was a senate inquiry to figure out how to give economic security to the half of our population that's still getting royally shafted.
It was entitled "A husband is not a retirement plan". Too bloody right.
Now, while the global gender pay gap may not close for another 170 years (*cries*), there are still things you can do to make the most of your money, starting today, which I imagine is what my sister was getting at.