Superannuation – Splitting Order – How does it work?

09/11/2015

There are different types of superannuation interests.  Superannuation entitlements could be either:-

  1. Accumulation interest.
  2. Self-managed superannuation fund.
  3. Defined benefits interest and percentage only interest fund. 

Not all superannuation entitlements can be split.  We will advise you in relation to all alternatives in relation to your superannuation and the superannuation of your spouse or de facto partner.

Superannuation will not be splittable when it is of little or no value or has been prescribed as unsplittable under the Regulations.

A party to a marriage or a de facto relationship can request the Trustee of a superannuation fund to provide information about their own superannuation or that of their partner.  There are prescribed forms for these enquiries.

How does a Superannuation Splitting Agreement or Order have to say and when does it take effect

The Splitting Agreement or Order must specify:-

  • An amount known as a base amount.
  • A method for calculating the base amount, or a percentage that is to apply to all splittable payments made in respect of this superannuation interests. 

It is necessary to obtain legal advice in order to make a payment Splitting Agreement.  Independent legal advice is required. 

Once a Superannuation Splitting Order is made it is served on the Trustee of the fund who will then comply with the Order or the Agreement.  This should occur as soon as possible but is delayed for four days to allow the relevant administrators of the fund to implement the Agreement or Order. 

There is also provision in the legislation for flagging Agreements or Orders and this means that the superannuation entitlement is protected until a final decision is made in relation to division.

What happens when the interest is split?  Do you get the entitlement?

The result of a Splitting Order or Superannuation Agreement is that the person receiving the entitlement becomes entitled to that part of the superannuation which has been split.  This does not mean it is released as cash but rather it means it will be available for the person as their superannuation either in a fund created in the original fund or in a separate new fund in their own name.

How do you achieve a split of superannuation?

The technical requirements of this area and the likelihood that the split will be one part of an overall property division following breakdown or marriage or de facto relationship.  We prepare all necessary documents and approvals relating to a Splitting Order or Agreement.

Watson & Watson are experienced in acting for the benefit of one spouse to a marriage or one partner in a de facto relationship so as to achieve a favourable outcome for our client.

Watson and Watson family solicitors are experienced in drafting and achieving superannuation divisions as part of the property division process.

Richard Watson or Dennis Grant our experienced family law solicitors can be contacted on (02) 9221 6011 and can assist you in relation to any issues that you may have regarding how “superannuation” is dealt with and achieving an equitable financial/property settlement.

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