Are You Two Interdependent? Family, Property and Same-Sex Couples in Australia's Superannuation Regime
Sydney Law Review, Vol. 28, 2006
40 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2006
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: Suggested Citation