New research conducted by Aware Super highlights in inequity in our retirement system.

  • Almost 3 in 4 Australians believe improving access to childcare or reducing the cost of childcare would improve the retirement outcomes for women 
  • More than 1 in 2 women believe they will not have enough money to retire when they want to and have a comfortable retirement 
  • More than 1 in 4 women worry they will have nowhere to live during retirement. 

As we prepare to mark International Women’s Day, themed #ChooseToChallenge, new research undertaken by Aware Super has revealed four in every five Australian women expect they will need to rely on the age pension when they retire.

By comparison, 60% of Australian men believe they will have enough money to be comfortable in their retirement.

The research also reveals that 63% of women worry that they will run out of money during their retirement, with nearly 40% believing they will need to rely on family to help out with the shortfall if they do run out of money.

Interestingly, 74% of Australians believe that by improving access to childcare or reducing the cost of childcare would improve the retirement outcomes for women.

Calling out gender bias and inequity was also evident in the research which revealed, more than 55% of Australians believed reducing the wage gap and 45% believed paying super on maternity leave, would improve retirement outcomes for women.

These are all policies that Aware Super strongly support and advocate for.

It is an uncomfortable reality that Australian women face greater economic uncertainty in retirement, however the more this inequity is challenged, the greater the opportunity women have to prepare for the retirement they deserved.
– Deanne Stewart, Aware Super CEO 

More than two thirds of our members are female, and we see firsthand from our interactions with members, and seeing the data on their average retirement balances, the impact of the gender pay gap. This, alongside the loss of compound interest due to broken work patterns that see women take on caring roles in their younger years, is having a real impact on the retirement outcome of our members.

While the gender pay gap is showing signs of improvement, there is further need for us to challenge the system and advocate for change.

We have, and continue to, advocate for:

  • A 12% Super Guarantee for all, 
  • Removal of the $450 superannuation payment threshold, 
  • payment of superannuation for up to 12 months of family leave, 
  • changes to family law to ensure a more equitable split in super assets due to partnership breakdowns, 
  • allowing couples to equalise their super through a joint account, 
  • better access and reduced cost of childcare, to enable women to return to the workforce. 

Creating an inclusive workplace

We also believe the workplaces have a role to play. By creating an inclusive environment that allows flexibility and encourages the sharing of caring and other household responsibilities we can improve the equity of retirement outcomes. As a WGEA Employer of Choice, we firmly live by these principles and endeavour to create an inclusive environment that supports our employees and their wellbeing.

Our wellbeing program, which in its latest iteration offered over 30 educational and wellbeing webinars to our employer partners’ staff, has provided valuable support over the last year and it’s something any workplace or member can access by visiting

Education matters

Our research showed that education around the options in super really matters.

43% of women did not know or were not confident that they understood what superannuation could offer them. This is compared to only 22.8% of men.

Our research also showed that, whether male or female, many Australians do not know how much the age pension is or when they are eligible to claim it, and yet many expect to need it

Our public webinar and seminar programs are extremely valuable to our members and are designed to provide the knowledge all Australians need to make the most of their super and plan for retirement. You can find our upcoming webinars at