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Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

New Financial Literacy Fact Sheets for Women

A new Australian Government initiative will assist women who want to better manage their money.

The Women Understanding Money fact sheets – published online today – are designed to help women of all ages and income levels improve their financial security, especially as they approach retirement.

There are 14 topics detailing real life stories will provide women with essential and practical information on important financial issues, making the fact sheets relevant and easy to understand.

The Australian Government recognises the barriers women face in ensuring their long term financial security and these fact sheets provide a simple way for women to access the practical information they need.

Women often make the day-to-day spending decisions in families as well as important decisions about their financial future.

Women now have more choices about how they manage their money than ever before but are still more likely to have time outside the paid workforce, have lower incomes and live longer than men, and this can limit their ability to accumulate adequate superannuation.

Recent figures show that women are less financially independent in retirement:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Retirement and Retirement Intentions 2006-07 figures show that almost half (47%) of women at retirement rely on their partner’s income as their main source of income, followed by a government pension or allowance (33%) and superannuation or annuity (7%).
  • By comparison, men rely predominantly on a government pension (52%) and on superannuation or annuity (22%).
  • AXA Retirement Scope 2008: Results for Australia with International Comparisons report found that the mean monthly income for retired women ($1616) is far less than their male counterparts ($2249).
  • It also found less women (48%) than men (69%) are able to access superannuation when they retire.

Fact sheet topics include managing on a low income, superannuation, understanding financial terms, managing money when a relationship ends and the financial considerations when starting a family.

The information is communicated in plain English and uses personal stories, tips and jargon busters to provide women with a practical resource to learn more about their money and the importance of preparing for retirement.

The Women Understanding Money fact sheets are available online at Women – Economic Independence and on the Understanding money website (www.understandingmoney.gov.au)