CANBERRA, AAP – A controversial plan to allow domestic violence victims fleeing relationships to withdraw money from their superannuation accounts has been dumped by the federal government.
The proposed policy would have allowed women to withdraw up to $10,000 from their super on compassionate grounds.
Minister for Women Marise Payne told parliament on Monday night the plan had been scrapped after concerns were raised.
“We have been considering the feedback that has been received from stakeholders including domestic and family violence experts, a number of superannuation funds, industry bodies and legal groups,” she said.
“There was support for the measure from some, but also a number of stakeholders who raised concerns that the measure would disproportionately affect victims and survivors of domestic violence compared to perpetrators.”
Senator Payne said it would be difficult to ensure domestic violence victims were shielded against financial abuse and coercion.
“It would be difficult to square the requirements of readier access to funds through early release of super with the sorts of appropriate protections,” he said.
Labor frontbencher Jenny McAllister said stakeholders had been raising concerns since the domestic violence early super access scheme was first floated in 2018.
“The government needs to explain why it’s taken them three years to realise that women shouldn’t have to choose between leaving a violent relationship and security in retirement,” she said.