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Don’t lose sight of super in divorce

The superannuation gap between men and women in Australia is troubling, especially when women’s longer life expectancy is taken into account. The super gap is slowly closing amongst younger generations. However, the superannuation account balances of women over 55 continues to lag behind their male counterparts.

When going through a divorce, superannuation is treated as property. It may be divided up by a court order or negotiated throughout a settlement process. Research indicates that women are far more likely to prefer retaining the family home than to pursue superannuation.

For many women, it may be hard to rebuild super following divorce. This is especially true if they are caring for dependent children.

Women should always carefully consider the long-term consequences of their choices in divorce settlements, and make a reasonable assessment of their ability to increase their superannuation.

At every stage of life, women should consider making additional superannuation contributions whenever possible. Even small sacrifices early on in your career can make a huge difference to the nest egg that you have when you retire.

Posted on 24 November '14 by , under Super.

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Transition to retirement

The transition to retirement (TTR) strategy allows you to access some of your super while you continue to work.

You are able to use the TTR strategy if you are aged 55 to 60. You can use it to supplement your income if you reduce your work hours or boost your super and save on tax while you keep working full time.

  • Starting a TTR pension: To start your TTR pension, transfer some of your super to an account-based pension. You have to keep some money in your super account so that you can continue to receive your employer's compulsory contributions as well as any voluntary contributions you may be making.
  • Government benefits and TTR: The benefits you or your partner receive might be impacted if you choose to opt for this strategy. How and what exactly will change might become clearer upon discussing this with a Financial Information Service (FIS) officer.
  • Life insurance and TTR: In some cases, the life insurance cover you have with your super may stop or reduce if you start a TTR pension – check this before making any decisions or changes.

TTR can help ease your mind as you transition into retirement but it can be a bit complex. Before you choose whether you want to use TTR to reduce work hours or save on tax, or even if you want to use TTR altogether, you should figure out how this will impact all aspects of your finances.

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