WOMEN are the biggest losers in the great pay packet divide, earning up to 33 per cent less than men.
A new report shows women have just a 20-year peak earning stretch, while men have 40, The Daily Telegraph reported.
As a result, women depend more on their partner in their twilight years, building up less than two thirds the superannuation that men accrue.
Nearly three quarters of women with a partner at least partly rely on them financially, the Viewpoint report said.
The economic snapshot, commissioned by the Commonwealth Bank, also found:
* ELEVEN per cent of families using childcare pay more for childcare than they earn;
* ANOTHER 13 per cent of working parents only break even after forking out for childcare;
* ALMOST a quarter of women believe the economy is going downhill compared with 21 per cent of men; and
* NINE per cent of women admit to secret bank accounts and secret credit cards.
The report, developed with the University of Canberra’s National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling, revealed men were paid most between the ages of 25 and 64.
But for women the lucrative pay period was narrowed to ages 35 to 54, largely due to parenting duties.
Half of the women say they have made career compromises for family reasons, as opposed to 40 per cent of men.
The gender wage gap is the highest in the mining-rich capital of Perth, at 26 per cent, and the rest of Western Australia, at 33 per cent.
The top earning occupations for women were public administration, professional, scientific and technical services, while mining in remote communities brought in the biggest bucks for men.
The gender gap had developed despite workforce participation rates for women climbing from 52 per cent in 1990 to 59 per cent last year.