What are the rights for same sex couples when it comes to super disputes?

Published 29 Jul 2016

Often when you are looking for information about superannuation claims where someone loses a partner and needs to make a claim, you see talk of spouses and de facto partners. Rarely do you see information aimed specifically at people who are in same sex relationships. Let's start by looking at exactly what the definition of 'spouse' is. According to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO):

"Your spouse includes another person (of any sex) who:

  • You were in a relationship with that was registered under a prescribed state or territory law
  • Although not legally married to you, lived with you on a genuine domestic basis in a relationship as a couple."

What are your rights if your partner passes away?

If your same sex partner's super fund provides cover through insurance for death and your partner passes, you should be able to make a death benefit claim. One major deciding factor when determining the legitimacy of superannuation claims is whether you were in an interdependent relationship with your partner. 

This looks at standard relationship dynamics. For a relationship to be considered interdependent, it needs to be determined that:

  • You and your partner had a close personal relationship
  • You lived together
  • One or each of you provided the other with financial support
  • One or each of you provided the other with domestic and personal support

If you have any doubts or uncertainties as to wether your claim would be successful down the line, it would make sense to nominate your partner as a beneficiary - if you haven't already. Such a nomination needs to be renewed every three years using a binding nomination form.

Nominations that are binding help to eliminate any doubts regarding who will be the beneficiary of a super should you or your partner pass.

Still in doubt? Speak to the experts

When it comes to superannuation disputes, the team at Gerard Malouf and Partners has all the experience and expertise you'll need to help you. We understand the sensitivity that comes with making death benefit claims so we do everything we can to make the process as stress and hassle-free as possible. To show how hard we work and strive to get the best for our clients, we work on a No Win No Fee basis.

So to hear about our unique service guarantee, get in touch with the team today. 

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