This International Women’s Day we’re reflecting on what’s been done, and what more needs to be done for our members.
Over 80 percent of HESTA members are women. As a gutsy advocate for our members, we invest to influence and advocate for policy change. This International Women's Day, we're celebrating four ways we are working towards a #EachForEqual.
1. IN SUPPORT OF THE SUPER GUARANTEE INCREASE
To make super fairer for women, and to narrow the super gender gap we support lifting the super guarantee to 12%. “We need to ensure the design of our super system is fairer for women instead of being modelled on a typical male pattern of continuous, full-time work that is increasingly not the norm for many Australians,” says HESTA CEO Debby Blakey. “A fundamental step to ensuring greater adequacy is to lift the super guarantee to 12%. This is a legislated promise of additional retirement income which all Australians have a right to expect, and is crucial to boosting women’s long-term retirement savings.”
2. CHANGING THE SUPER RULES TO SUPPORT CASUAL AND LOW INCOME WORKERS
Currently, workers who earn less than $450 per month from one employer don’t receive any super. This is due to broken work patterns, people working part-time or for multiple employers. The workers most often affected by this policy are young people and women. We are pushing for changes to these rules with a submission to the Australian Senate Inquiry into women’s economic security in retirement.
3. INVESTING FOR POSITIVE OUTCOMES FOR WOMEN
When we decide who to invest with we look for opportunities that will provide strong returns and where possible, how we can make a difference. Because of this we have chosen to invest with Northern Arc Capital through our investment manager LeapFrog. Northern Arc Capital works with financially excluded households and businesses in India, providing microfinance, affordable housing finance, small business lending, and commercial vehicle funding. Most of Northern Arc Capital’s beneficiaries are women and families and many live in semi-urban and rural areas.
4. CALLING FOR LEGISLATIVE CHANGE TO HELP FAMILY VIOLENCE SURVIVORS
As a society we need to do more to support women seeking to leave abusive relationships. We think super could be a much-needed lifeline. That’s why we have been talking with the Federal Government about changing super rules to allow family violence survivors, as a last resort, to access up to $10,000 of their super.