Definition of spouse for purposes of the downsizer contribution

I have a question regarding clarification of a spouse under the superannuation act.


I know that a spouse under ATO is a person who you are in a relationship with even though not legally married. We are not married, however have been in a relationship for many years and wanted to confirm if we will be treated as a spouse for the purpose of being able to make use of the superannuation downsizer contribution as a result of my partner selling a property.

A: Graeme Colley, Executive Manager, SMSF Technical & Private Wealth with SuperConcepts, has provided the following answer:


“The definition of spouse for downsizer contribution purposes includes someone who is ordinarily considered to be your spouse and another person  with whom you live with on a genuine domestic basis, although you may not be legally married to them.  An example would be a couple who live in a bona fide de facto relationship.


If you have been in a relationship for many years and are recognised to be in a spousal relationship then you would most likely to meet the definition of spouse for purposes of the downsizer contribution.


Here is the definition as it applies to downsizer contributions:


“spouse” of an individual includes:

(a)  another individual (whether of the same sex or a different sex) with whom the individual is in a relationship that is registered under a * State law or * Territory law prescribed for the purposes of section 2E of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 as a kind of relationship prescribed for the purposes of that section; and

(b)  another individual who, although not legally married to the individual, lives with the individual on a genuine domestic basis in a relationship as a couple.”

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