Urgent passage of the family law super changes has been encouraged by The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST), Women in Super (WIS), Women’s Legal Service of Victoria (WLSV), HESTA, the Economic Abuse Reference Group, and Financial Counselling Australia in a letter to Treasury.
The Government released exposure draft legislation for Treasury Laws Amendment (Measures for Consultation) Bill 2021: Superannuation information for family law proceedings to help identify superannuation assets by parties to family law proceedings, which would leverage information held by the Australian Tax Office (ATO).
The AIST, WIS and WLSV had previously welcomed the move , and the all six organisations in the letter supported the Bill without amendment and requested its swift passage through Parliament.
“The information-sharing measure in the Bill will allow information about superannuation assets to be provided directly to the Family Court by the ATO during property settlement,” the submission said.
“This will have a significant positive impact by removing the cost, administration and time barriers which currently make it difficult for applicants to gain full visibility of superannuation assets, and cause many to walk away from their entitlement.
“In particular, the measure will improve economic security for women across Australia, who overwhelmingly have lower superannuation balances than their former spouses.
“It will be of significant benefit to women who are leaving situations of financial abuse and domestic violence, where perpetrators actively seek to hide assets.”
The proposal had also been backed by Super Consumers Australia who said one person not disclosing their super in divorce proceedings could have disastrous consequences for the other side.