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The year that was: same-sex marriage

Rainbow flag, same-sex marriage

As 2017 draws to its end, Nest Egg looks back on the stories, the moments and the economic and cultural discussions that epitomised this year. Today, we look at the same-sex marriage conversation.

The legalisation of same-sex marriage in December may not have rated in international or even local markets, but for the people behind the funds, the historic postal vote and government decision was a big deal.

ANZ senior economist Cherelle Murphy in September predicted that legalised same-sex marriage could inject $650 million into the economy, more than five times the cost of the postal vote.

In October, Rice Warner flagged potentially misleading superannuation calculators. The financial consultant slammed superannuation calculators that are unable to produce retirement forecasts for same-sex couples, saying the gap in life expectancy between men and women is “reason alone” to consider more inclusive calculators.

Rice Warner also called out the Australian Securities & Investments Commission for providing a retirement calculator that, while catering for couples, does not require the gender of either person and as such “is not accurate”.

“Interestingly, some of the funds that do provide inclusive tools come from the faith-based sector which might prefer to stick to the traditional definition of marriage, whereas some of the funds that did not allow for same sex couples are amongst the largest industry funds with the broadest membership,” Rice Warner observed. 

Following the postal vote, St George Bank said LGBTQI Australians still face an “uneven” playing field when it comes to finances.

Referring to the St George research into LGBTQI financial wellbeing, general manager of St George Bank Ross Miller said: “I’m concerned that, at its heart, the report identifies a strong perception among Australians that there’s an uneven playing field when it comes to financial fairness and wellbeing for LGBTQI Australians.”

Then, upon the passing of the legislation, Australian Unity Trustees said Australian same-sex couples considering a trip down the aisle should also think about how marriage could alter their legal situations.

Australian Unity Trustees’ national estate planning manager, Anna Hacker said: “Marriage generally revokes any previous will automatically, so those entering into marriage should consider updating their wills to make sure they take into account the marriage.”

Continuing, she said that anyone in a de facto relationship should have an appropriate will and estate plan which features a Power of Attorney.

Regardless of outlooks on same-sex marriage, the new year will be one rung in with wedding bells and, in the words of Bob Katter; let there be a thousand blossoms bloom.

The year that was: same-sex marriage
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Because it is ineffective policy.
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