AUSTRALIA — Same-sex partners of deceased Victorian police and emergency services staff will be able to receive their partner's pension benefits under changes to superannuation law.
The Superannuation Legislation Amendment Bill was voted in by the Legislative Assembly on June 22.
It amends existing law to entitle same-sex partners of judges, police officers and emergency services personnel who are employees of the state to equal treatment of their super with regard to their same-sex partners, specifically with regard to reversionary pensions.
A reversionary pension is a pension or annuity that continues to be paid to a beneficiary after the death of the original recipient.
Speaking in support of the bill, Minster for Planning Justin Madden said the amendments were in line with Victoria’s legislative charter of human rights introduced in 2006.
"This bill will amend all of Victoria's superannuation acts to address any provisions that were found to be potentially incompatible with the charter," Madden said.
"Currently, same-sex partners are not eligible for reversionary pensions if their deceased partner began receiving a pension before the Statute Law Amendment (Relationships) Act 2001 came into effect on 23 August 2001.
"This bill will ensure that reversionary pensions will be prospectively paid to same-sex partners of pensioners regardless of when the pensioner began receiving their pension."
In addition, Madden said members under the age of 65 at the commencement of the bill will be allowed to accrue benefits until age 75 or as permitted under Commonwealth law.
(MCV 06 July 2010 – Andrew Shaw