KiwiSaver gender gap concerns
Concern is building about a “gender gap” in superannuation but smaller balances are only one of the issues advisers need to consider when working with female clients, an industry leader says.
Tuesday, February 12th 2013, 8:00AM 8 Comments
by Niko Kloeten
The gender difference was highlighted recently when Westpac revealed female members of its KiwiSaver scheme had smaller balances on average than men of the same age, with a discrepancy of 25%-30% between mid-30s and mid-40s.
Westpac said the difference was probably due to three factors: Women choosing lower contribution rates than men; lower average wages for women; and/or career breaks for women who took time off for maternity leave.
The Financial Services Council has called for a taxpayer-funded top-up for KiwiSaver members who don’t have enough to buy a pension equivalent to NZ Super from age 65.
“This not only helps women who may have spent time outside of the workforce, it will also help anyone who has had very low earnings over their adult lives,” FSC chief executive Peter Neilson said.
“It will also help anyone who has had poor returns on their investments close to retirement, which would have taken their retirement pot below the level needed to fund a fixed-term pension equivalent to NZ Super at 65.”
Institute of Financial Advisers president Nigel Tate said the difference in longevity between men and women was as big an issue as the savings gap when it came to retirement planning.
“Women live four years longer on average than men and I wonder whether retirement plans being done are taking that into account.”
Niko Kloeten can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
|« 'Natural' to buy wealth products direct||Fund managers call for level playing field »|
Comments from our readers
Add your comment:
|Printable version||Email to a friend|