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How Mums Can Boost Their Superannuation

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Superannuation for Mums

This blog post is sponsored by CareSuper

Did you know that the average woman’s super retirement payout is 43% less than men? The reasons are pretty obvious too. Women earn approximately 17.5% less due to pay inequality (that sucks), women stop work to start a family, some women work part time (and women live almost 5 years longer than men and therefore have less money to look forward to.

So superannuation looks pretty dismal for us Mums, doesn’t it? Just last week Mr. G and I had an enthralling conversation about superannuation. He’d received a superannuation statement and we started talking about what his balance was. It made me think about how much I have in comparison…it was a bit sad.

So yes, Mums really get the raw end of the deal when it comes super and pay, but the good thing is there are things we can do to make it hurt less. Here are some ideas I’ve come across to help Mums give their super a bit of a boost.

Make small contributions

It’s all about going back to the drawing board, revising the family budget and finding some extra dollars that you can contribute to your superannuation. It’s a long term thing, but small, regular contributions will go a long way. In fact, CareSuper has a new calculator which shows how making small changes today can make a big difference to your retirement income! Alternatively, MoneySmart also has a retirement calculator which helps you determine the actions you can take to boost your super and retirement income.

Spouse contributions

Now this is cool and something I wish I had known about earlier. According to the Australian Taxation Office, if you earn less than your spouse (an assessable income of between $0 and $13,800), your spouse can make after tax contributions to your super fund and in doing this, may be eligible to claim a tax offset on their tax return.[2] N.B. A spouse can be married or a defacto partner of the same or opposite sex. It does not include people living away from each other permanently.

Super Co-contributions

As a low to middle income earner, Mums could be eligible for the government co-contribution scheme. If you are eligible, the government will match your super contributions up to a maximum amount. To be eligible, you must meet the eligibility criteria.[3]

Reassess your super

How is your super fund looking? Where is the money invested? Can you afford a more aggressive approach or would you be better off selecting more conservative investments while you are contributing less?

Consolidate your funds

It’s likely that you have more than one super fund. If that’s the case, it means you’re paying multiple fees and could be losing money. Consolidate your super funds into one and channel the money into investments instead of fees.

We are women, we have babies, and we make ultimate sacrifices to raise our little darlings, one of them being our retirement savings. Unfortunately, our culture is a long way off removing the glass ceiling too and so the best we can do is continue to be smart about our finances and come out on top.


Happy budgeting!


The opinions expressed are my own based on information available from CareSuper and the Australian Taxation Office. You can read my disclosure policy here.

[1] Australian Taxation Office,https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/people-with-disability/in-detail/video-guides/5-step-super-for-women—subtitled-video

[2] Australian Taxation Office, https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/income-and-deductions/offsets-and-rebates/super-related-tax-offsets/

[3] Australian Taxation Office, https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/super/in-detail/growing/super-co-contribution/

Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)
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  1. December 19, 2014 / 8:38 pm

    I need to get hubby on to spouse contributions AND sort out mine so part of my income goes to my super account!

  2. January 20, 2015 / 3:51 pm

    Eeek this post is very timely for me. I had 9 years at home looking after the children so my super came to a standstill then. And since I started my own business 2 years ago, I haven’t yet “gotten around” to organising anything … must do that …

  3. Shannon Elizabeth Meyerkort
    January 20, 2015 / 9:16 pm

    Despite being the primary breadwinner for a number of years while my husband went to uni, things have reversed and now his income far eclipses mine. My super reflects this, and I doubt I could feed my family for a year on my current balance. Maybe it’s time to look at making extra contributions. Thanks Eva.