Planning for retirement is a daunting task and many Australian women lack confidence in financial decision-making. Fortunately, there are some small steps women can take today to make a positive difference to their future.

It’s probably no surprise to hear that Australian women often retire with less money than their male peers. New research* by CFS confirms that even in 2024, this is still the case. 


There are several reasons for this, including well-documented wage gaps and the uneven burden of raising a family which often results in women taking breaks in their careers.


Not only do women end up investing less money through super over their careers, but this means they’re also missing out on the compounding effects that future returns will have on their balances. 


And CFS found that while 78% of men have made plans for their financial future, only 67% of women had done similar. Women were also less likely to set financial goals*. 


All is not lost, though. Read on for some simple steps that will help women start to take control of their super and their future. 

Knowledge is power

It’s important to note that women care about their finances just as much as men do. In fact, women are more likely to feel worried about their finances or guilty that they’re not doing enough to manage finances compared to their male peers*.  


So, what’s holding them back? Our research shows one major hurdle is confidence – or more specifically, that women aren’t as confident with money and investing as men*. It’s hard to make good financial decisions when you don’t trust that you know what a ‘good’ decision looks like. 


Luckily, financial confidence is strongly linked to knowledge. The more we know about super and investing, the more confident we can be in our decisions. 


What’s more, there are several easy ways for women to brush up on their financial knowledge and be able to back themselves.

Is there good news?


Australian borrowers breathed a sigh of relief with the double rate pause, while the announcement of Michele Bullock taking over as RBA governor was well-received. She will become Australia’s first female central bank leader in the RBA’s 63-year history and will serve a 7-year term. 


Some economists are suggesting that interest rates have now reached their peak. Others remain uncertain, however it certainly signals a slowdown in pace and lessening rate hike pressures.

  • Regularly check up on your super

Many people approach their super with a ‘set-and-forget’ mindset, but this attitude can leave you in the dark when it really matters.


Aim to regularly check in on your super, making sure your contact details are right (so you’re receiving all the important information and notices) and that you’re happy with the performance of your investment option. Our app makes this easy.

  • Bring it all together

Most Australians have more than one super account and are paying multiple sets of fees as a result. Consolidating all your super into one account can help you save on fees and make your super easier to manage We make super consolidation easy. Find out what you need to know.


What’s more, you may even have super money that you’ve forgotten about. According to the ATO, there’s more than $16 billion in ‘lost’ super as at 30 June 2023 – accounts which have stopped receiving regular deposits, typically after someone has changed their job, name or address . Here’s how to find out if you have any lost super and reclaim it.   

  •  Top up

We know most women have lower super balances than men^ , but the power of compounding (where you earn interest on your money AND on the interest it has earned) means you can start making a difference today. Here are some tips to top up your super balance.

  • Build your knowledge base

CFS has created a wealth of useful videos, articles and explainers to help you decipher finance jargon or take a look under your super fund’s hood to see how everything works. You can check out our Superannuation Guide  to get you started.

Summing up

Taking hold of your financial future is easier than you think. Here’s a summary of our tips to get you started:

  • Check your super balance. You can download our app to make it easy to keep track.
  • See if you have any lost super or multiple accounts you might like to consolidate.
  • Look at topping up your super. Even a small amount could make a difference.
  • Learn more about super. You can start with our complete guide to super and then explore the other information and tools we offer.

Want more?

It’s easy to find out how much you’ll need in retirement by using our Retirement Calculator. Our retirement calculator has a feature that allows women to see how career breaks might affect their super balance at retirement so they can make more concrete plans.  


If you feel some professional help is what you need, our Find an Adviser service will help you connect with a financial adviser near you.

Tools and Resources

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What role shares play

What role shares play

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* Source: CFS commissioned survey of 2,966 Australians and research was completed in March 2023. Findings and statistics in this article are based on this research.   


^ Source: Australian Families Then & Now: Income and wealth (  


Avanteos Investments Limited ABN 20 096 259 979, AFSL 245531 (AIL) is the trustee of the Colonial First State FirstChoice Superannuation Trust ABN 26 458 298 557 and issuer of FirstChoice range of super and pension products. Colonial First State Investments Limited ABN 98 002 348 352, AFSL 232468 (CFSIL) is the responsible entity and issuer of products made available under FirstChoice Investments and FirstChoice Wholesale Investments.


Information on this webpage is provided by AIL and CFSIL. It may include general advice but does not consider your individual objectives, financial situation, needs or tax circumstances. You can find the target market determinations (TMD) for our financial products at which include a description of who a financial product might suit. You should read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Financial Services Guide (FSG) carefully, assess whether the information is appropriate for you, and consider talking to a financial adviser before making an investment decision. You can get the PDS and FSG at or by calling us on 13 13 36.