Aussies raiding superannuation for IVF

ivf super

I have noticed an increasing trend toward this amongst my clients, and today saw this article in The Age describing the growing number of Australians using their superannuation to pay for fertility treatment.

“”It wasn’t that nagging voice in the back of her mind speaking this time. It was a doctor. He was saying that if she wanted any hope of having a baby, she had better get on with it. And soon. Then he told her how much it would cost.

Lisa Mahar and her husband had already depleted their savings on less invasive fertility interventions. Now, at 36, she was faced with a choice. Come up with $11,000 for an initial cycle of IVF or risk staying childless.

The Perth couple could never save that sort of money in time. So they did what a growing number of Australians are doing and cashed in some of Ms Mahar’s superannuation.

I do wonder about the length financial impact for families (and particularly if treatment is ultimately unsuccessful).  IVF pioneer Gab Kovacs is reported in the same article to say:

 “(…) clinics advertising superannuation as a payment option could encourage people to buy something they can’t afford. “I don’t think it’s unethical but it will put financial pressure on them in the future,” he said, adding there was still no guarantee of a baby.”