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Splitting superannuation

When a marriage or de facto relationship breaks down, any property can be divided between the parties. Under the Family Law Act 1975, superannuation is also treated the same way.

Parties must enter a superannuation agreement or obtain a court order to allow the splitting of their superannuation. A spouse may seek a court order when the parties cannot reach an agreement about how to split super.

The trustee is obligated to pay an amount or a percentage of the member’s super to the non-member spouse, so it is essential for the non-member spouse to provide the trustee with advice on payment details. Otherwise, the non-member may be required to pay interest on their half of the super in the fund, or the trustee will transfer the benefits to another fund commissioned by the non-member spouse.

A payment flagging arrangement recognises a member’s fund may be the subject of a super split in the future and puts a flag on their account. Both parties may want to consider this arrangement, as it prevents the trustee from making any payments out of the superannuation interest or transfers to other funds until the flag is lifted.

Posted on 22 July '15 by , under Super.

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What to consider when consolidating your super

The ATO reported that 45% of working Australians were not aware that they had multiple super accounts in 2016. Having multiple super accounts is particularly common for individuals who have had more than one job. If this is you, it is important to identify and manage your super accounts because having more than one can be costly as a result of account fees from multiple funds.To combat this, you may want to consolidate your super, which moves all your super into one account. Not only does this save on fees, but it also makes your super easier to manage and keep track of.

Before consolidating your super, it is important to do the following:

Research your funds' policy
Compare your active super accounts so you can make the right choice about which one you should close. Things to assess include:

  • Exit fees
  • Insurance policies
  • Investment options
  • Ongoing service fees
  • Performance of the funds

Check employer contributions
Changing funds may affect how much your employer contributes, as some employers contribute more to certain funds. Check your current accounts to see if changing funds will affect this. Once you have selected a super fund, regardless of whether you choose a new super fund or one of your existing ones, provide your employer with the details they need to pay super into your selected account.

Gather the relevant information
When consolidating your super, you will need to have the following details ready:

  • Your tax file number.
  • Proof of identity. This could include your driver's license, birth certificate or passport.
  • Your fund's superannuation product identification number (SPIN).
  • Your fund's unique superannuation identifier (USI).
  • Details of your previous fund.

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