The Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws – Superannuation) Act 2008

The Same-Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in Commonwealth Laws – Superannuation) Act 2008 (the Act) received royal assent on 4 December 2008.

The purpose of the Act is to eliminate discrimination against same-sex couples and the children of same-sex relationships in the Commonwealth defined benefit superannuation schemes and in related taxation and regulatory legislation. The superannuation schemes that have been amended in the Finance portfolio are:

  • the Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme (CSS);
  • the Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Scheme; and
  • the scheme under the Superannuation Act 1922.

The Public Sector Superannuation Scheme (PSS) has been amended by delegated legislation.
These changes came into effect on 1 January 2009.

Individuals seeking further information about the Act can access the Act [External Site] and the Explanatory Memorandum [External Site].

For more information in relation to the CSS [External Site] and PSS [External Site] visit the respective scheme website.

Replacement Payments

Section 4 of the Act provides a mechanism for people who would have been entitled to death benefits if the legislation had commenced from 1 July 2008 to receive replacement payments.

The superannuation schemes covered by these provisions are those established under the following legislation:

  • Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Act 1973
  • Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Act 1948
  • Federal Magistrates Act 1999
  • Governor-General Act 1974
  • Judges’ Pensions Act 1968
  • Law Officers Act 1964
  • Military Superannuation and Benefits Act 1991
  • Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Act 1948
  • Superannuation Act 1922
  • Superannuation Act 1976
  • Superannuation Act 1990

Individuals seeking further information on these payments can contact:

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Last updated: 02 January 2014