improving equity in super

Our core responsibility is to grow and protect our members’ retirement savings. It’s why we’re calling for changes to the low-income super tax offset (LISTO).

sticking to super principles

The super system should allow all members to retire with confidence. But some members face inequitable outcomes. For example, low-income earners receive fewer super tax concessions than high income earners, despite needing them more.





what is the LISTO?

LISTO is a federal government super payment of up to $500 to eligible low-income earners (earning $37,000 or less per year). The LISTO was designed so that low-income earners generally do not pay more tax on their super contributions than on their take-home pay. It’s an important payment for almost 2.5 million Australians, 60% of whom are women and not working full time*.



What needs to change?

The LISTO scheme lags the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) and income tax brackets.

As a result, more than 1.2 million people (including 705,000 women) earning between $37,001 to $45,000 per year do not receive the LISTO payment.

We recommend:

  • extending the LISTO eligibility to those earning up to the top of the second tax bracket ($45,000 per year), linking the amount of the offset to the Superannuation Guarantee (SG)
  • introducing an additional payment, equal to 15% of concessional contributions, for individuals with taxable incomes below the effective tax-free threshold ($21,884 per year).

Who benefits from these recommendations?

Our research suggests that around one in four HESTA members could see higher super savings if LISTO eligibility was extended. This includes lower-paid workers, especially women and workers in regional and rural areas.

More than 60,000 additional HESTA members would receive the LISTO payment if the income threshold is lifted to $45,000.

Another 65,000 of HESTA’s lowest paid members would benefit from the recommended additional payment.

Recommended measures would be cost-neutral if existing tax concessions are distributed evenly.








what HESTA members are telling us

60% of HESTA members earning under $45,000 have unpaid caring duties for an average of 26.5 hours a week, directly impacting their ability to undertake paid work. The message from our members is clear - we need more equity in the super system to give low-income earners and women a fairer go.

We all want to look after ourselves & support ourselves - honestly and fairly. Just give low-income earners/ women a fair go; so we don’t have to rely on men &/or family!

HESTA member


Remove the ‘penalties’ that disadvantage women when they parent or are care givers for elderly parents.

HESTA member