Paid parental leave super a welcome move

Content type
Media release

March 2024

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) welcomes today’s commitment by the Australian Government to pay superannuation on the Government’s Paid Parental Leave from 1 July 2025.

The move aligns with AIFS’ submission to the Inquiry into the provisions of the Paid Parental Leave Amendment Bill 2023, which outlines how the retirement income gender gap puts women at heightened risk of poverty in old age.

AIFS Executive Manager, Families, Society and Lifecourse Research, Dr Jennifer Baxter, said taking time out of employment to care for children can have a significant negative impact on women’s superannuation balances.

'While some new parents will continue to have superannuation contributions over this period through workplace policies, it is not a universal experience,' Dr Baxter said.

'One Australian study showed that even if a woman is more highly qualified than her male partner, these gendered disparities in superannuation wealth persisted, highlighting the significant impact of parenthood on retirement savings.'

The same study, drawing on HILDA data from 2001 to 2015, showed that women’s median share of retirement savings wealth was 33 per cent of the overall wealth pool in Australia.

Dr Baxter said this income disparity in retirement puts women at heightened risk of poverty in old age.

'While the period of paid parental leave may be short relative to a woman’s lifetime in employment, this research and other studies show the significant impact it can have on their superannuation wealth in retirement,' Dr Baxter said.

'Today’s commitment by the Australian Government is a very welcome move, and is supported by our research.'

AIFS has a long history in undertaking research on the leave-taking and employment of new parents, reporting on parental employment trends and has ongoing involvement in the International Network of Leave Policies and Research.

Media contact     
Kate O'Connor      
Phone: 0499 860 257  
Email: kate.o'[email protected]