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GROW Super launches fee-free super for new parents


GROW Super's head of content Madeleine Gasparinatos with son Archie.

New parents won't be charged any super fees by the fund for up to six months after the birth of their child.

GROW Super has launched fee-free super for new parents as a way to raise awareness of the growing superannuation gap between men and women in Australia. The fund announced it will not charge new parents any fees for up to six months after the birth of the child, available to both men and women as long as they are the main caregiver.

Unlike the well-known gender pay gap, the superannuation gap isn't as widely discussed. But the issue is just as real. Australian women are on average retiring with almost 40% less super than men, and almost one third of Australian women have no superannuation at all. According to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia women are retiring with just $157,000 on average, which is estimated to last only five or six years after retiring.

The effects of the superannuation gap has devastating consequences, which will only get worse with Australia's aging population. Single women over the age of 55 are the fastest growing demographic of people experiencing homelessness, and couch surfing among this demographic has doubled over the past four years alone according to Homelessness Australia.

The leading cause for the growing superannuation gap is the number of women taking time out of the workforce to raise a family. The problem is two-pronged; not only are women often not earning superannuation while they're not working, but they're also still paying superannuation fees.

Head of content at GROW Super Madeleine Gasparinatos is passionate about closing the superannuation gap, and hopes other super funds will follow in the footsteps of their new fee-free initiative. "What we do now compounds over time and makes a staggering difference to quality of life in our later years. Age old advice still rings true; small actions now can make a big difference in the future," she said.

Madeleine encourages Australians to consolidate their super accounts to avoid multiple fees, to check your fund has classified your job correctly for your insurance cover and to continually top up your super to benefit from compound returns. A popular feature of the GROW Super app is the ability for members to have their everyday purchases rounded up, with the difference automatically added to their super.

GROW Super says that if you add the cost of a coffee to your super every day from the age of 30, this would add more than $161,000 to your super balance by the time you're 65.

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Image: Supplied by GROW Super.

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