What is a Superannuation split?

What is a Super split?

We see it time and time again, often outside of your real property assets, superannuation is a major asset of Australian couples. It is an interesting asset as it is a contingent piece of property as you cannot access its benefits until retirement age.

The laws surrounding superannuation splitting are different to property splitting. It allows each person to value their superannuation interest and split the payments if necessary. This is more so common in the breakdown of relationships where one party has remained home with the children and therefore not been employed and earning superannuation while the other party has been the main earner.

A superannuation split does not convert to a cash payment, it simple transfers a portion of superannuation savings from one person to the other pursuant to the order.

To initiate a superannuation split you will need to apply for property orders. This can be done several ways such as:

  1. Binding Financial Agreement
  2. Consent Orders
  3. Initiating Application to the Family Court  

Basically, your superannuation fund will need to be valued – this changes based on the type of superannuation account you have, perhaps it is a self-managed super fund or an accumulation fund. Once the fund is valued and the parties agree on the method of splitting this may be done by simply reaching an agreement between yourselves or letting the Court decide, once this is done the superannuation fund is notified and they will perform the split. 

In some of our cases, sometimes superannuation is the only asset of the parties, in those instances it is up to the client to determine the benefit of spending the money now on legal fees to secure a benefit for later at their retirement age.

If you would like further advice please contact Bale Boshev to book an appointment with the Family Law team on 02 4969 1522. 

Article by Ellie Sumner 

Ellie Sumner – Solicitor

Ellie practises in family law, wills and estate matters and has spent the last three years working in the North West and Newcastle and Hunter regions.

Ellie also has experience in worker’s compensation and personal injury.

Ellie makes regular appearances in the Family and Federal Circuit Courts of NSW at Newcastle

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