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Australia'S "Other" Gender Wage Gap: Baby Boomers And Compulsory Superannuation Accounts

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  • Therese Jefferson
  • Alison Preston

Abstract

Government budgetary pressures and demographic trends have made retirement income policy a priority in developed economies. One option for policy reform is to increase private saving. In Australia, legislation requiring compulsory employer payments for the purposes of retirement savings addresses this option. This system poses particular difficulties for women who have broken patterns of paid employment and relatively low wages. When simulations that project likely employment participation and retirement outcomes incorporate a gendered approach and focus on the “baby boomer” cohort, the results highlight the low probability that women will accumulate adequate independent private retirement income. Over their lifetimes, Australian women baby boomers will spend around 35 percent less time in paid employment than their male counterparts. The projected average gender gap in compulsory accumulations is of a similarly large magnitude. The results emphasize the continuing need for publicly financed redistribution schemes, such as the Australian age pension.

Suggested Citation

  • Therese Jefferson & Alison Preston, 2005. "Australia'S "Other" Gender Wage Gap: Baby Boomers And Compulsory Superannuation Accounts," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 79-101.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:11:y:2005:i:2:p:79-101
    DOI: 10.1080/13545700500115902
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Preston, A & Austen, S, 2001. "Women, superannuation and the SGC," Australian Bulletin of Labour, National Institute of Labour Studies, vol. 27(4), pages 272-295.
    2. Bateman,Hazel & Kingston,Geoffrey & Piggott,John, 2001. "Forced Saving," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521481625, May.
      • Bateman,Hazel & Kingston,Geoffrey & Piggott,John, 2001. "Forced Saving," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521484718, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Deborah A. Cobb‐Clark & Vincent A. Hildebrand, 2011. "Portfolio Allocation In The Face Of A Means‐Tested Public Pension," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57(3), pages 536-560, September.
    2. Panha Heng & Scott J. Niblock & Jennifer L. Harrison, 2015. "Retirement policy: a review of the role, characteristics, and contribution of the Australian superannuation system," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 29(2), pages 1-17, November.
    3. Andrew Worthington, 2008. "Knowledge and Perceptions of Superannuation in Australia," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 349-368, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender; pensions; retirement; superannuation; wage gap; aging;

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