Hesta, an industry superannuation fund with women constituting more than 80% of its member base, has pushed for simpler splitting of the super assets to help women claim their fair share when relationships end.
The fund, which is currently working with Women’s Legal service Victoria (WLSV), said that the process of splitting super assets was currently unnecessary complex and often required costly legal advice.
“This results in many women, especially those from low-income households or who are most vulnerable, simply walking away from their rightful share of super assets,” HESTA’s chief executive, Debby Blakey, said.
Both organisations as well as advocacy group, Women in Super, are working together with other superannuation industry leaders, government and regulators to develop solutions and develop the Simpler Super Splitting initiative which would aim to eliminate the need for legal advice for division of super assets.
HESTA head of impact, Mary Delahunty said super splitting processes differed from fund to fund and the complexity surrounding obtaining and completing superannuation splitting orders made it extremely difficult to complete the required forms without legal assistance.
“We’re working to create a streamlined process that we hope can eventually be adopted by all super funds, with a simple template form that anyone can fill out and lodge without the need for a lawyer,” she said.
The push for change comes off the back of WLSV’s 2016 research project titled ‘Small Claims. Large Battles’ that examined the barriers disadvantaged women experience in the family law system.