Oatley resident Michael Rice has dedicated his working life to closing the superannuation gap for women in retirement. For his work he has been appointed as a Companion to the Order of Australia in the 2020 Australia Day honours for distinguished service to business and economics, particularly to the actuarial profession. Mr Rice, 65, is executive director of Rice Warner, the actuary, research and consultancy firm he founded. He is proud that his company was one of the first to introduce an equal superannuation package for all his female staff. "We do a lot of work on the gender gap in retirement. We found that a lot of single women in retirement and who rent are living in poverty," Mr Rice said. "We looked at that and thought what could we do to help. We had to go to the Human Rights Commission and had to get exemption from the Sex Discrimination Act as we could have been seen as discriminating against men. "We pointed out that women generally live three years more in retirement so we won that argument and became the first company to pay higher contributions to our female employees. We pay two percent above the 9.5 per cent. This was a first and now a couple of other organisations such as UnionsNSW and ANZ now also do the same." Mr Rice has been a fellow of the Actuaries Institute a Board member of StatePlus and an honorary member of the advisory board of the College of Business and Economics at the Australian National University. Over the years he has also been a contributor to Personal Investment and Money Management publications. "I'm very lucky I've specialised in superannuation. It's been constantly changing throughout my career. Our company has contributed to many government inquiries," he said. "Working in this system you realise how better-off Australia is in retirement income compared to the rest of the world. "We have one of the top two to three superannuation systems in the world."