Skip to main content

HESTA calls for fairer super system to erase gender gap

Oksana Patron11 October 2023
Old couple walking on pile of coins, businessman behind them on other pile of coins

Industry super fund HESTA has called for fairer superannuation system, built on a more equitable retirement income system, to help eliminate the gender gap.

According to the fund, the dignified retirement income system, including all Australians irrespective of their income levels, will also need transparency in measuring progress towards this goal.

In its submission on the Superannuation (Objective) Bill 2023 and Superannuation (Objective) (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2023, HESTA stressed the importance of providing financial security for low and middle-income earners, especially women, who comprise 80% of its more than one million members.

HESTA’s three key recommendations are:

  1. Including in the explanation of the “equitable” key concept that superannuation system settings should not entrench or create inequitable outcomes
  2. Stating an ambition to close the gender super gap, and
  3. Ensuring sufficiently robust accountability mechanisms are in place to assess superannuation policy against the objective, both at the time superannuation policy change is proposed and over time through a periodic review

“We believe in the power of superannuation to transform lives and advocate for a system that truly works for all,” HESTA chief executive, Debby Blakey, said.

“We cannot move forward while leaving some behind. Our superannuation system must actively work to redress imbalances.

“Our aim is simple: A future where the gender superannuation gap is a thing of the past.”

In its submission HESTA has also proposed strengthening accountability measures to facilitate more effective policy assessments.

“We must not only aim for equity but also measure our progress,” Blakey added.

“The ambition to target support in the superannuation system to those most in need can only be achieved if the distributional outcomes of superannuation policy are measured on different groups over time.

“A Gender Superannuation Impact Assessment can help us achieve this goal.”




Subscribe to comments
Be notified of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
7 months ago

Is this virtue signaling claptrap??

I’m 100% behind equal opportunity for all, race/sex whatever way you choose to define your identity. I am not in favour of 100% equal outcomes.

Some people work a lot, some don’t, some care for children, others bring home the money for the family.

Other than motherhood statements what specific policy objectives to they suggest should be implemented? Are they suggesting different treatment for different people? Some may not have noticed but the law is referred to as COMMON law, i.e. the same applies to everyone.

Or do we continue to legislate and attempt to make constitutional changes based sex, race, religion or other societally divisive grounds? Building in discrimination so everyone is NOT treated equally.

If they could provide any suggestion that helps build super balances for all, especially the lower socio economic parts of society, I would be supportive of those concepts. Whether they are women or not is irrelevant.

I have a female client with much less super than her husband. She has NEVER worked. She chose not and lives in one of the most expensive suburbs in Sydney. Her super balance will significantly contribute to the “gender super gap”. She is not lower socioeconomic and she is not hard done by and she will not want in retirement.

To divide, discriminate, elevate some at the expense of others is frankly at odds with our culture, our legal history and just what means to be Australian.

Can we please stop trying to tear these principles down?

7 months ago

“Including in the explanation of the “equitable” key concept that superannuation system settings should not entrench or create inequitable outcomes”

This statement sounds rather Marxist.