A super fund to break down barriers to improve women’s financial security
HESTA, a pension fund of 850,000 members, 80% of whom are women, has called the system “Simpler Super Splitting” and wants to make the procedure for sharing pension assets simpler, faster and fairer.
HESTA’s impact manager, Mary Delahunty, said in a statement that the variety of procedures between multiple funds can make the process more complicated than necessary, and that the new initiative, which involved other grounds for advocacy, including including Women in Super, “can potentially be adopted by all super funds, with a simple template form that anyone can complete and file without the need for a lawyer.”
Debby Blakey, CEO of HESTA, agrees. “The division of pension assets through the family law system is unnecessarily complex and often requires expensive legal advice. “
“This causes many women, especially those from low-income or more vulnerable households, to simply walk away from their fair share of super active. “
“If they can’t claim their share of the super, for a lot of women that means losing their only retirement income beyond the age pension,” she said.
The simple super-split strategy will call for the elimination of legal advice before super assets are split and provide a model form that can be relied on throughout the industry and by the courts.
These changes were initiated by a report in 2016 by the WLSV which investigated the financial barriers women often face in the family law system. The report found that for more than one in five women, the retirement pension was their only major asset.
Blakey reminded us of some terrifying statistics in her statement, adding that “women are already retiring, on average, with around 40% of super men and are more vulnerable to poverty later in life, we urgently need to improve the system so that more women are not left behind.
Tania Clarke, Senior Policy Advisor at WLSV, shared her concerns about the limited assets and heavy debts facing many women victims of domestic violence, as well as the urgent need for initiatives such as Simpler Super Splitting.
“For many women, the retirement pension is the only asset they can claim from their ex-partner,” she said. “Still, we know they are moving away from access because the super division system is just too expensive and complex to navigate.”
“Making it easier to access superannuation splitting will mean less financial and emotional burden on survivors of family violence and less time wasted in industry and the courts trying to deal with a pension splitting. retirement. It is a win-win solution for everyone involved in the system.
In October, Christopher Budd, a working father, published an opinion piece on Women’s agenda, explaining how the current pension system indirectly discriminates against women. His article, where he recounts the daunting and largely bureaucratic hurdles he had to overcome to transfer some of his super to his wife, reveals why systems like Simple Super Splitting are vital.