After separation, when separated couples consider a property settlement, superannuation can be one of the biggest assets that they have. There is no requirement that superannuation be subject to a property settlement by way of adjustment, however you may be considering adjusting yours or your former partner’s superannuation – this is known as a ‘superannuation split’ or ‘splitting orders’.
Superannuation can be one way of making something happen for the settlement – for example, if you want to retain the former matrimonial home and you have agreed with your former partner there need to be monies paid to them this could be part cash and part superannuation. Of course, accessing superannuation may not be possible unless certain conditions are met and it is important that you obtain legal and financial advice in relation to your individual circumstances. If you do not know if this is right for you – please give us a call to schedule an appointment and we can discuss this with you.
If you or your former partner have a defined benefit fund, such as PSS, Military Super or CSS, you may consider obtaining a superannuation valuation. Defined benefit funds calculate member’s interests differently to accumulation funds, such as PSSap, HESTA and HostPlus, and consequently, the dollar value that you see on the member statement may not actually be a true reflection of the member’s interest. A superannuation valuation can help determine the actual value of the fund as at a particular date. There are costs involved in obtaining a valuation – for example special information that is required (that you need to obtain from the superannuation fund, also known as a Form 6 form) and the cost of the valuation itself. There is also no requirement that you obtain a valuation, however you may wish to do so.
Depending on the type of superannuation and what payment phase it is in (for example if it already in the payment phase) – this can be done as a percentage split (eg. 50%) or a base amount (eg. $100,000). Different superannuation funds have different rules about the wording of the superannuation split and there are legal requirements regarding the process and providing notice to the fund. It is important to obtain legal advice so that you are aware of those requirements.
When considering a property settlement, it is also important to obtain financial advice and consider the long-term effect, including on your retirement plans. At Claire Naidu & Co, we have experience in superannuation splitting and working closely with superannuation valuers and financial advisers to help you to consider the whole picture in a property settlement.
If you would need advice regarding a property settlement and superannuation splitting, please contact us. If you are unsure of the best and next step for you, Claire Naidu & Co offers a flexible engagement service and we would love to assist you with your matter and answer your questions. Click here for our contact details.
Note: This blog does not constitute legal advice and Claire Naidu & Co is not responsible for any reliance upon its contents. If you need legal advice, we invite you to contact us!
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