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Gender gaps can affect superannuation funds as much as they can affect salary rates. With barriers to entering into fields, lower hourly rates of pay, less hours worked and more unpaid labour affecting the amount of super New Zealand women are retiring with, as compared to men.
Currently, the median man’s KiwiSaver balance is 25% larger than the median woman’s, with the gap widening with age. In the 55-64 age bracket, the median man’s KiwiSaver balance is 30% larger than the median woman’s.
This gender divide when it comes to superannuation can be seen in the cost of maternity leave on superannuation. With women taking their time off from work and losing out on super contributions during this period of paid parental leave, it can affect their super in the long run as it exacerbates the income and superannuation gaps that were already in effect during their employment.
It can also be exacerbated by existing salary gaps across the workforce. Despite traditionally male-dominated fields experiencing high percentages of female graduates entering into the workforce, the positions that they fill are not always high-ranked, irrespective of experience.
Women are also less likely to take risks with their Kiwisaver’s investments, opting for lower-risk, lower-returning KiwiSaver funds. This means that their fund is more likely to grow at a slower rate, which results in less money available in their retirement funds.
If you have any concerns about your superannuation, would like advice on how to grow your super, or have questions about how you can better invest, come speak with us for more information.