According to reports in Nine newspapers, an exposure draft will be released "soon", which will increase visibility of superannuation accounts and balances during divorces, according to the Superannuation Minister Jane Hume.

Further details are expected in the 2021-22 Budget announced in May. 

According to the 2018 Women's Economic Security Statement, 17% of women have experienced violence from a current or former partner since the age of 15, equating to 1.6 million Australian women.

"Extending early access to superannuation, in addition to other support, can provide an important last resort lifeline needed to begin the recovery process in a safe environment," the report said.

The report also said women typically retire with 42% less in their super accounts than men.

While the report was focused on women, the proposed withdrawal scheme appears to be gender-agnostic, with approximately 500,000 Australian men also having experienced physical or sexual violence with a cohabiting partner since age 15.

Labor superannuation spokesperson Stephen Jones was reticent to wholly endorse the policy.

"[Survivors] should not be forced to choose between their safety and their financial futures," he told Nine newspapers.

“Such women need and deserve paid domestic violence leave and real progress on closing the gender pay gap, including their superannuation contributions."

Help is available...

  • Family Relationship Advice Line - 1800 050 32
  • Lifeline - 13 11 14
  • Family violence, abuse and sexual assault counselling - 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732)
  • National Debt Helpline - 1800 007 007
  • Relationships Australia - 1300 364 277
  • Good Shepherd Australia Financial Independence Hub - 1300 050 150

There have been a few steps to stamp out financial abuse recently, with some banks aiming to block abusive messages sent through transfers.

Domestic financial abuse has been described as a "hidden epidemic", with research showing it affects 15.7% of women and 7.1% of men.

The news comes after the Government mulled over allowing homebuyers to withdraw super to pay for their deposit.

Photo by Prateek Gautam on Unsplash 

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