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International Women’s Day – 8 March – is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women and look at the role we can play as individuals and communities to improve conditions for women across the globe.

This year the International Women’s Day (IWD) theme is #EmbraceEquity which asks us to look beyond equality to a world where women are given the support they need to thrive.

legalsuper supports IWD and the achievement of its aims, not only on 8 March each year, but throughout the year.

One of the ways we demonstrate this support is by being a proud and active member of Women in Super, a not-for-profit organisation that works to improve women’s retirement outcomes, by advocating for a super system void of gender-based inequality.

Through Women in Super, we continue to advocate for changes to make superannuation more equal for women, including via workplace gender equality; superannuation and paid parental leave; and more women on superannuation fund boards.


On average, when women and men retire, women usually have around 30 per cent less in super than men. In dollar terms, this equates to a $67,000.00 disparity.

Add in the fact that your super balance will continue to earn compound interest in retirement, the actual gap, over time, is even bigger.


There are several historical, structural and cultural reasons why women continue to be unfairly disadvantaged when it comes to accumulating super and saving for retirement.

Gender pay gap

The gender pay gap is a significant contributor to the gender super gap.

According to data from the Federal Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), the current gender pay gap is 22.8% – women, on average, earn $26,596 less than men each year. For every $10 earned by a man, a woman, on average, only earns $7.72.1

In relation to the legal profession, WGEA notes that in a group of professions called Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, and which includes lawyers, accountants and others, the gender pay gap for average weekly full-time earnings is 25.3 per cent.

The caregiving burden
Women are more likely to be primary carers. Women account for more than 70 per cent of primary caregiving, on average, taking five years out of the workforce to act as a carer.

Return to workforce barriers

Women often face barriers to returning to work after taking time out as a carer. Whether due to limited opportunities or necessity, they may accept employment in roles below their skill level to balance caring and earning responsibilities.

Part-time workers
Women are more likely to work part-time or casually than men, and this is contributed to by a lack of workplace flexibility to accommodate caring responsibilities. This not only affects the amount women earn, but career and wage progression as well.

Historical and ongoing discrimination and bias in hiring, pay decisions, promotions, and the undervaluation of ‘female’ jobs in male dominated industries.

Tax advantages
Males are eligible for a disproportionate number of tax concessions within super. Women receive one third of government tax concessions on super, while men receive the other two thirds.

Compound interest
A lifetime of earning widens the gap, and compounding interest deepens this divide further. Males are earning compound interest on their larger savings, which means more interest in the long term.


While there are a number of unarguable unfair systemic and cultural barriers placed in the way of women seeking to save for the retirement they want and deserve, there are strategies which might help some women at different stages of their careers and lives.

Ways to contribute to your super

In addition to the superannuation paid into your account by your employer under the Superannuation Guarantee, you can also consider growing your super via salary sacrifice; personal voluntary contributions; spousal contributions; contribution splitting; and by checking to see if you are eligible for government contributions. More information on these and other strategies can be found on the legalsuper website or the Australian Tax Office website.

Contribute sooner rather than later
Compounding interest means the longer your money is invested – the more interest you make. Boosting your super, or your spouse’s super, is a way to help close the super gap.


Too often we can put the needs of others before our own, to our own detriment, and this includes not prioritising our long-term financial future.

legalsuper is here to empower all members to make choices leading to better outcomes in retirement. For women, we are working to close the super gap and increase the long-term financial security of our members, so that generations of women which follow us can achieve the same.

If you’d like to meet with us to discuss any aspect of your super – whether it be in relation to contributions, your investment options, insurance and fees or consolidating multiple super accounts into one account – our team is available for 1-to-1 consultations, offering tailored information and support. Book an appointment online or call us on 1800 060 312, 8am-8pm (AEST), Monday to Friday.

Legal Super Pty Ltd ABN 37 004 455 789 is the Trustee of legalsuper ABN 60 346 078 879 AFSL 246315.. The information contained in this document is of a general nature only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should therefore consider the appropriateness of the information and obtain and read the relevant legalsuper Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Target Market Determination (TMD) (available at or by calling 1800 060 312) before making any decision in relation to legalsuper. Past performance is not a guide to future performance.