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The impact of menopause on superannuation

21 Dec 2023 4 min read

Menopause happens when a woman experiences her last menstrual cycle. But what does that have to do with superannuation? According to The Super Members Council of Australia, menopause costs women more than $17 billion per year in lost earnings and superannuation.1 A 2021 study found 83% of women experiencing menopause were affected at work, but only 70% would feel comfortable speaking with their manager about it.2

How does menopause impact super?

Menopausal symptoms can include poor concentration, tiredness, poor memory, depression, feeling low, lowered confidence, sleepiness and particularly hot flushes.3 If an employee is unable to work for an extended period of time and has used their sick leave, they may be forced to take unpaid leave. When this happens, it’s not only income that is lost but super contributions.

What can workplaces do to support women experiencing menopause?

The Australian Government has included promoting workforce participation as a priority area for older women.4

There are various ways you can create a workplace that supports women experiencing menopause. Some of the strategies outlined by the Australian Menopause Society include:

  • Creating a workplace where health is prioritised.
  • Including coverage of menopause in leave policies and assisting employees to access workplace healthcare.
  • Improve awareness around menopause — this may include training on how to have sensitive conversations at work.

Learn more about menopause in the workplace.

What can you do to ensure you have enough super?

Ideally, being part of an organisation that has awareness, strategies and policies in place to support any employee throughout their career, particularly when it comes to leave and super, is ideal. However, there are ways that you can take control of your retirement savings regardless.

Keep track of your super

No one will be as invested in your super as you are. Make the effort to check your balance and be aware of your savings. If you already have a super fund, you will be able to see your fund balance by logging into your account, or you might elect to receive printed statements of your account balance. If you’re unsure how to access your account, contact your fund.

You can also manage your super via the Australian Tax Office online services through myGov. In this portal, you will be able to see if you have multiple accounts and consolidate your super funds.

Make voluntary contributions to your super savings

Making voluntary contributions means you are boosting your super savings (in addition to the contributions your employer is making). This can be done at any time, and you don’t have to wait until later in life (although you can).

Voluntary contributions are an excellent way to ensure your savings are growing. Should you experience periods where you are not being paid for work (and therefore super), this strategy will help you to keep topping up your balance.

Get financial guidance

Speaking with an NGS Super Specialist is a great way to address any questions about superannuation, investments, insurance or transition to retirement. They can also help you decide the next steps — including if meeting with an NGS financial planner is right for you.

Our financial planners can create strategies that aim to maximise your financial position and meet your objectives for the future.

Seeking advice is a way to plan for your future, to mitigate risks and make the most of your saving opportunities. Education is integral to the planning process — it’s important that you feel confident and informed at all times.

Access more information about menopause

1 Menopause what are the symptoms? – www.menopause.org.au/health-info/fact-sheets/menopause-what-are-the-symptoms
2 Menopause what are the symptoms? – www.menopause.org.au/health-info/fact-sheets/menopause-what-are-the-symptoms
3 Kopenhager T, Guidozzi F, Working women and the menopause. Climacteric 2015;18:372–5 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25830628
4 Australian Government, National Women’s Health Strategy 2020 to 2030, 2020. www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/national-womens-health-strategy-2020-2030

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