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Exposure Draft Regulations: Non-member Spouse Standing Before the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal


Monday, 27 June 2005

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The Family Law Act 1975 was amended in 2001 to allow for the allocation of superannuation assets between parties to a marital breakdown. Under the reforms, superannuation trustees were given particular powers within the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994(Cth) and the Family Law (Superannuation) Regulations 2001(Cth).

Trustees may now be required to calculate the future entitlement of a superannuation fund member’s former spouse pursuant to a Family Court splitting order. This process can involve formulas within the regulations and it may be necessary to adjust the amount of the person’s interest over time.

This created the potential that former spouses of superannuation fund members, entitled to future payments from superannuation assets under a Family Court agreement or order, may need to complain to the Tribunal about a trustee’s decisions with respect to their entitlement.

As part of the 2001 reforms, section 4B and new definitions within section 3 were inserted into the Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Act 1993 (Cth) ('SRC Act'). The policy intention of these reforms, as stated in the bill's Explanatory Memorandum, was to allow such 'non-member spouses' standing to make complaints to the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal ('SCT') about their treatment by the superannuation fund.

These reforms do not achieve their full intended effect and, as the SRC Act currently stands, 'non-member spouses' lack standing before the SCT. The purpose of these Regulations, therefore, is to give effect to this intention of the Family Law Legislation Amendment (Superannuation) Act 2001.

The Regulations provide, for the purposes of the SRC Act, that a non-member spouse may bring complaints before the SCT, as they will be deemed:

  • a member or former member of a superannuation fund;
  • a beneficiary or former beneficiary of an approved deposit fund; or
  • a holder or former holder of a Retirement Savings Account (RSA).

The Government invites comments on the draft regulations.

Submission closing date: 29 July 2005

Address written comments to:

Investor Protection Unit
The Treasury
Langton Crescent

Email: srcamendments@treasury.gov.au

Documents Available:

Acrobat (PDF) documents

 Acrobat (PDF)

Draft Regulation - Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Amendment Regulations 2005  13.80kb

Microsoft Word (RTF) documents

 Microsoft Word (RTF)

Draft Regulation - Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Amendment Regulations 2005  167.43kb

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