Are You Two Interdependent? Family, Property and Same-Sex Couples in Australia's Superannuation Regime

40 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2006

See all articles by Miranda Stewart

Miranda Stewart

University of Melbourne - Law School; Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

Abstract

Australian law provides an exemption from tax for benefits paid to dependants on the death of a member of a superannuation fund. The federal government recently amended the law to recognise people in an 'interdependency relationship' as dependants for the purpose of this exemption. In contrast with the federal government's general refusal to grant legal recognition to same-sex couples, this reform was apparently aimed at allowing same-sex couples to benefit from the exemption. This article examines in detail the concept of 'interdependency relationship' and shows that it does not create equality of treatment for same-sex couples. Significant discrimination continues to exist in the superannuation regime against same-sex couples and their children. The article then considers the politics and policy of the 'interdependency relationship' reform. This analysis raises some fundamental questions about the intersection of concepts of family and property rights in superannuation on death.

Keywords: family, property, supperanuation, same-sex, interdependent

JEL Classification: K20, K40

Suggested Citation

Stewart, Miranda, Are You Two Interdependent? Family, Property and Same-Sex Couples in Australia's Superannuation Regime. Sydney Law Review, Vol. 28, 2006; U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 181. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=934967

Miranda Stewart (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

Melbourne, Victoria 3010
Australia
+61 3 8344 6544 (Phone)

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy ( email )

7 Liversidge Street
Lennox Crossing
Canberra, ACT 0200
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://https://crawford.anu.edu.au/people/academic/miranda-stewart

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