Superannuation benefits should be made available to assist victims of domestic violence, according to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA).
ASFA CEO Dr Martin Fahy said that in many cases of domestic violence the victim does not have access to funds to support them to leave the perpetrator and find a new place to live.
In a submission to a Treasury consultation on the early release of super, ASFA supported claims for the early release of super on compassionate grounds being extended to include domestic violence victims and suggested specific eligibility criteria be prescribed.
“In cases where a member wants to leave their partner and has limited or no financial resources, they should be able to access an amount of their superannuation to help them leave,” Dr Fahy said.
In its submission ASFA suggested that, where such a member had accessed domestic violence support services, including through the welfare system, they should be able to apply for early release of some of their superannuation.
ASFA recommended the amount released be restricted to a bond to obtain new accommodation, together with an amount for short-term living costs.
“Domestic violence is a significant issue in the community, so providing access to funds at such a critical time can make a real difference for victims seeking to escape the cycle of violence,” Dr Fahy said.
For further information, please contact:
Teresa Mullan, Media Manager, 0451 949 300.
ASFA is the peak policy, research and advocacy body for Australia's superannuation industry. It is a not-for-profit, sector-neutral, and non-party political national organisation, which aims to advance effective retirement outcomes for members of funds through research, advocacy and the development of policy and industry best practice.