Last month we saw the Australian Government announce the 2021-22 Federal Budget, and along with many positive initiatives to take place, women’s issues were at the forefront for changes.
Out of the $3.4 billion package of new measures taking place from the budget, The Australian Government committed $1.9 billion to support women’s security.
The main three areas released were reforms on:
- Women’s safety
- Women’s economic security
- Women’s health and wellbeing
The Women’s Budget Statement said: “When women are safe, economically secure and healthy, it provides benefits for individuals, families, business, and the economy. Improving outcomes in these areas will not only enhance the lives and livelihoods of Australian women; it will grow our economy and build a better society for all Australians.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison specifically said, “Our values have informed our approach to developing this Women’s Budget Statement of respect, dignity, choice, equality of opportunity and justice – these are fundamental to the safety and economic security of women in Australia.”
Along with an additional $1.1 billion to be spent on women’s safety with new deals to ensure states boost front-line services for domestic, family and sexual violence areas. Financial assistance has also been approved with $164.8 million in funding for women affected by family violence and $57.6 million for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Women’s health was also on the agenda, with $351.6 million spent on new research, treatment and medicines for women’s health initiatives surrounding maternal, sexual and reproductive health.
Super assets and divorce
The current system in divorce has a lack of responsibility of parties to be fully transparent of their superannuation assets. Previously it’s been a costly and challenging process for many women to fully disclose their husbands’ super assets while going through a divorce.
The new announcements will shortly introduce enabling legislation to improve the transparency of super assets for those going through a divorce. This will secure a far better outcome for women to ensure their fair entitlement to superannuation splits.
In a recent article by Choice, Sandra Buckley, CEO of Women in Super, said, “It is an issue fraught with complexity, particularly where one partner is experiencing domestic violence or financial abuse.”
For many Australians, super is the most significant asset they own after their home. Dividing up these savings can be a costly and emotionally draining process. This new legislation will hopefully ease some of the pressures for women to rightfully gain access to their entitled superannuation and avoid the personal and mental trauma associated with lengthy and contested divorce proceedings.
Also, for many women, superannuation is often the only part of the property pool they might have access to. This new legislation means less burden on family violence survivors and less court time wasted to enforce disclosure documents.
At Charter Partners, we are committed to providing our clients with high-quality support and assistance with superannuation.
We work with our clients to always ensure their Superannuation Funds act accordingly with the latest legislation. Whether you need help consolidating your super, setting it up from scratch, audit advice or special assistance around tax planning and retirement, we have the experience to assist your needs.
Contact us today for an appointment.
Anthony McPhee, Principal
B.Bus (Accy) QUT | FCPA, SSA (SMSF Specialist Advisor with the SMSF Association) & Registered Tax Agent
Anthony has over 25 years accountancy, taxation and superannuation (SMSF) experience. He eagerly welcomes a challenge and his passion is in small business accounting, superannuation, consulting and taxation advice. He provides real business benefits for each of his clients and is well regarded for his succinct and accurate accounting skills. Anthony is also a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) specialist with Australia’s leading SMSF body, The SMSF Association.