Please give the warmest Mouths of Mums welcome to our newest panel member, Deborah Barr. I first met Deb at Christmas Drinks last year through a mutual friend. We immediately hit it off and discovered that we lived in neighbouring suburbs. 5 months later we moved house only to discover that we are now only houses away!
Deb astounds and inspires me. She has two young girls and right in the midst of a stellar career with some of our country’s largest financial institutions, she decided to strike out on her own and create a financial services option that women felt comfortable with. From now on, Deb’s going to touch on financial issues that have many of us confused (me included) and help us make sense of ever-changing legislation – as well as some more down to earth issues like sticking to a budget!
So, read on – this article has already got me checking for lost super and questioning whether I’m putting enough away each month …
What Women Want … More Super!
The latest debate in the lead up to the election is not on the question of paying super while on parental leave, but rather it’s about what amount and how long employers should offer paid parental leave. In my view paid parental leave should be mandatory. This issue should be about SUPER.
Thank goodness there are some organisations willing to lead the way. You may have read recently that Westpac intend to start making Super Contributions for Female Staff on Unpaid Maternity Leave. The first such measure to be adopted by an Australian bank would affect all group companies of Westpac, would see the group pay as many as 39 weeks in employee superannuation contributions in addition to existing parental leave entitlements. The initiative is the first of its kind to be adopted by an Australian private sector company, and is thought to worth approximately $72,000 in extra retirement cash to an employee who earns $55,000 annually and has had two periods of parental leave starting at the age of 28.
So why do we need super?
It’s a growing concern that the government pension is unlikely to be enough to keep us living in the style we desire in retirement. Building up your own super will help set you up for a more comfortable lifestyle in retirement.
Superannuation is not a product. It’s a tax effective vehicle for saving for your retirement. It is not an asset class like shares or property but rather a vehicle offering tax breaks when you invest in these assets. (Contributions into super are taxed at 15%). If you organise your superannuation properly, and early enough, you will be in a better position at retirement than if you hadn’t planned for it at all. Super is your money…so make the most of it, invest wisely and watch it grow over time.