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Women's super a 'disgrace'

THE retirement savings of women are a "national disgrace" and lifting the superannuation contribution to 12 per cent would result in the average 30-year-old woman retiring with an extra $108,000.

THE retirement savings of women are a "national disgrace" and lifting the superannuation contribution to 12 per cent would result in the average 30-year-old woman retiring with an extra $108,000.

ACTU president Ged Kearney, in a speech to a superannuation forum in Melbourne today, will also call on the federal opposition to support the Gillard government's proposal to lift the superannuation contribution from 9 per cent to 12 per cent.

"Women live much longer than men and yet their superannuation balances are, on average, 30 per cent lower than men's," Ms Kearney will say.

Ms Kearney's speech says it is a "national disgrace" that after a lifetime of work "women are forced to live on so much less than men".

Lifting the rate to 12 per cent would add an extra $3000 a year in retirement for women or $108,000 more superannuation.

Unions are also pushing for women to be paid superannuation while on parental leave.

But shadow assistant treasurer Mathias Cormann said yesterday the Coalition would not support the increase and said any rise "would hurt low and middle-income earners the most" and would be funded by a reduction in the take-home pay of workers. Women should be able to choose to use that extra income to pay off a mortgage or deal with the rising cost of living rather than see more of their income devoted to superannuation. "That's not in the best interests of either men or women."


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