Aneeta Clark was working hard to establish a career in Darwin’s hospitality industry, saving money and enjoying her independence before she became pregnant.
When she gave birth to her son, Chesney, everything changed. “It’s a financial shock,” Ms Clark explained. “If you’re lucky enough to have a disposable income, you lose it; you’re financially reliant on a spouse or the government, and you still have a mortgage or rent to pay.”
According to the latest analysis by Industry Super Australia, Ms Clark is expected to join around 15,000 mothers in the Northern Territory who have lost millions of dollars in retirement savings over the previous ten years.
Because the federal government’s parental leave program does not include superannuation, this is the case.
“I’m grateful for the paid maternity leave program,” Ms Clark said, “but I believe it will be difficult to return to work after four months.”
Industry Super Australia’s head of advocacy, Georgia Brumby, described the impact on Territory moms as “quite alarming.”
“There is a large gender super gap in the Northern Territory, with women retiring with around 30% less than men,” she said.
According to the super giant’s estimate, the Commonwealth’s parental leave scheme’s absence of superannuation has cost NT women more than $16 million over the last decade.
Up to 8,930 women in the Solomon electorate lost $10 million in super, while 5,660 working mothers in Lingiari lost $6.3 million.
According to the findings, 1,655 Territory women missed out on $2.1 million in super contributions in the 2019-20 financial year.
The data also shows that women are the ones who are losing the most money in their retirement accounts, with women accounting for more than 99 percent of those who used the Commonwealth parental leave scheme in the Northern Territory.