Indigenous males as bad off in retirement as non-indigenous females

A cluster research program has been set up by several high-profile universities and the CSIRO, with two key themes: superannuation and the economy, and Australians over 60. One of the tasks is to model retirement for all Australians, including Indigenous folk. A working paper published already is based on Indigenous retirement outcomes, in a comparison to other Australians.

It won't come as any surprise that retirement outcomes in this demographic are not great, but an interesting finding is that an Indigenous male has the same retirement outcomes as non-Indigenous women. The study, Retirement adequacy of Indigenous Australians, assessed the typical 40-year savings route of an average Indigenous worker. Simulations offered comparisons with non-Indigenous Australians, with males and females also compared. 

Key findings

  • Retirement outcomes of Indigenous workers are around 27 per cent lower than the average non-Indigenous worker.
  • The gender gap in retirement outcomes is wider for non-Indigenous workers than Indigenous workers. 
  • Indigenous females have the lowest retirement outcomes, with Indigenous males having the highest levels of retirement adequacy. 
  • Non-Indigenous female workers have outcomes commensurate with Indigenous males. 
  • A non-Indigenous female with no career breaks has similar results to an Indigenous male. 
  • These outcomes are attributed to the current earnings gap between the four cohorts at the start of their careers. 

The research cluster involves CSIRO, Monash University, the University of Western Australia, Griffith University, and the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom.