28 May 2018
Media Release - #2018060, 2018

In the role of: Minister for Revenue and Financial Services [19 July 2016 - 28 August 2018]

New proposals to improve compensation for victims of crime

The Turnbull Government is acting to ensure that the superannuation accounts of criminals cannot be used as a safe haven to protect their assets from the victims of their serious crimes.

The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, today released for public consultation two draft proposals on access to superannuation for victims of crime.

  • The first is for a new claw-back mechanism for ‘out of character’ superannuation contributions made by criminals to shield their assets from use in compensating victims of their crimes.
  • The second is to allow victims of serious, violent crimes to be able to access a perpetrator’s superannuation as compensation, where other assets have been exhausted, subject to appropriate limits and thresholds.

“For too long people who have perpetrated horrific crimes have been able to shield their superannuation assets from their victims,” Minister O’Dwyer said.

“Criminals should not be able to protect their assets through superannuation in circumstances where a victim would otherwise be granted access to those assets.”

The purpose of this consultation process is to seek detailed feedback on the two draft proposals. The Government is particularly interested in views on the likely effectiveness of the draft proposals, including their interaction with existing state and territory criminal and civil procedures.

“The State and Territory Governments have a particularly important role to play in ensuring the draft proposals can work within their current legislative and administrative frameworks for compensating victims of crime. I have written to the appropriate Ministers in each administration to encourage their engagement in this process and look forward to their strong support,” Minister O’Dwyer concluded.

Stakeholders are invited to comment on the draft proposals, as set out in a consultation paper accessible from the Treasury website, by lodging a submission. Submissions are due by 15 June 2018.

Responses to the draft proposals will assist the Government to develop legislation on this issue. The Government plans to introduce legislation before the end of the year.

Separately, the Government will continue to progress the broader review relating to early release of superannuation on compassionate and severe financial hardship grounds.