Jelena Dokic criticizes plan to ban early release of pensions
Tennis commentator Jelena Dokic has criticized the Albanian government’s plan to prevent early retirement – and pointed to her own experience of fleeing domestic violence.
The 39-year-old former teenage star told ABC’s Q&A program Monday night how she escaped abuse when she was 19, arguing that many women in that situation would be financially destitute without access to savings like retirement plans.
“There are a lot of different areas where I think you should be able to access it,” she said.
“Women are so afraid to leave and one of the reasons is because they feel like they won’t be able to start again, they won’t be able to set them up.
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Former teen tennis star Jelena Dokic has announced that she supports giving women fleeing domestic violence access to up to $10,000 from their pension
“I was in that position when I was 19, I just got lucky with the fact that I was a pro athlete, I was already on a tour, I had the opportunity to actually go from there and make a living, but I left home with nothing, I was basically on the street.’
Reasons why early access to Super is allowed
compassionate reasons: Palliative care for the individual or someone dependent on them.
Incurable medical condition: Two doctors in private practice have to conclude that someone will die within 24 months.
Permanent incapacity: Someone cannot work because of a physical or mental disability.
Financial difficulties: This must be proven to the super provider.
Early access to the pension is only allowed in situations where someone is permanently unable to work, has a physical or mental condition that prevents them from working, is dying or their loved one is dying.
Severe financial difficulties are another reason for early access, but domestic violence is not specifically mentioned as the onus is on the individual to prove they urgently need the money for their pension fund.
Dokic said it would help them financially bridge a part of their super by allowing women who are leaving an abusive relationship to access some of it.
But she abusively mentioned her relationship with her estranged father, Damir Dokic, who the tennis star recalled, in her 2017 autobiography, Unbreakable.
“There’s so many women out there that are in the same position, so maybe where you can retire, maybe it’s $10,000 — you can have those situations where you’re actually putting your money where you really need it ‘ said Dokic.
Her political position echoes former Liberal Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s aborted proposal in 2021 to allow victims of domestic violence to have $10,000 deducted from their super.
Dokic said giving women leaving abusive relationships access to some of their super would help them financially (she is left with Victoria’s Sport Minister Steve Dimopoulos, Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley and former tennis Double champion Todd Woodbridge pictured).
The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet developed this policy in 2018 as part of its Women’s Economic Security Declaration, and the previous government announced two years ago that it would review the idea, only to abruptly drop the plan.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers on Monday announced new legislation to prevent future governments from allowing early access to Super.
The government’s argument is that early access to pensions risks people squandering that money unwisely, making them even more dependent on taxpayer-funded welfare and retirement services.
Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s coalition government had allowed workers to loot up to $20,000 from their Super – over two installments of $10,000 in 2020 – in the early months of the Covid pandemic.
The 39-year-old sports commentator told Q&A how she was fleeing domestic violence as a 19-year-old player and argued that many women would be financially destitute in that situation (she is pictured aged 30 in 2013).
But she abusively mentioned her relationship with her estranged father, Damir Dokic (right in 1999), whom the tennis star remembered, in her 2017 autobiography, Unbreakable
dr Chalmers called the early release a “debacle” that “forced Australians to choose between making a better income in retirement or paying their bills” after $36 billion was withdrawn.
When you can access your pension
For those born before July 1, 1960, it is 55
The number rises to 56 for baby boomers born between July 1, 1960 and June 30, 1961
It is 57 for those born between July 1, 1961 and June 30, 1962
It is 58 for those born between July 1, 1962 and June 30, 1963
It is 59 for those born between July 1, 1963 and June 30, 1964
It’s 60 for anyone born after July 1, 1964
“Never again,” he said. “Our government will take a different approach.”
“Some of the most disastrous policy proposals we’ve seen in recent years – like withdrawing billions during the pandemic – are partly due to our predecessors navigating the super landscape without a compass.”
The Liberal Party campaigned in the last election to give Australians access to $50,000 from their Super to buy their first home, which Anthony Albanese campaigned against before becoming Labor Prime Minister.
Coalition policy would have allowed first-home buyers to invest up to $50,000, or 40 percent of their pension, if they saved for a down payment of at least 5 percent.
Australians born after July 1, 1964 will have to wait until they turn 60 to access their retirement benefits, but Dokic said unfortunately many women in situations of domestic violence don’t age.
“There are so many people who don’t even retire,” she said.
The mandatory pension was introduced in 1992 when Paul Keating was Labor Prime Minister.
While union membership has declined over the past three decades, unions have been active investors with Industrie Super.
The mandatory super quota increases from 10.5 percent to 11 percent from July 1, 2023, increasing by half a percentage point each year until it reaches 12 percent in July 2025.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (pictured centre, with his girlfriend Jodie Haydon) has his Labor government trying to impose tougher rules on early retirement
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/uncategorized/jelena-dokic-slams-plan-to-ban-early-release-of-superannuation/ Jelena Dokic criticizes plan to ban early release of pensions