Super and divorce

Super is treated as property if a couple divorces or permanently separates. It can be divided between the parties, either through 'splitting' or 'flagging' the money.

Splitting involves dividing the money between the two parties. Flagging means that neither party can cash in or transfer the money until a flag is lifted (subject to preservation). To arrange for your super to be split or flagged, you must provide the Plan with evidence of marital breakdown and either a Superannuation Agreement or Family Court Order.

These two documents instruct the Trustee about your arrangements for division.

What does it mean to my Superannuation

The law allows:

  • eligible persons to obtain information about a member's superannuation without a member's knowledge.
  • it also allows superannuation benefits to be split on separation or divorce.

Requests for information

A fund must provide information about a member's superannuation on request, and without the member's knowledge to:

  • a married spouse of the member (but not to a de-facto spouse)
  • a person entering into a pre-nuptial agreement with the member, which covers superannuation.
  • other eligible third party.

What information is made available?

The information that can be made available for family law purposes includes:

  • whether the member's superannuation is already subject to a split or a flag.
  • the date on which the member commenced employment and the date they joined the fund
  • detailed information relating to the member's benefit.

What information is not made available?

The following information will not be provided under any circumstances:

  • the address or contact details of a member.
  • the fact that inquiries have been made about a member's benefit.

Splitting agreement

A splitting agreement may be made to indicate how the superannuation will be split upon separation. This may be a voluntary agreement or a court order. The split does not have to be in equal shares.

It must be implemented on the 4th working day after one of the following documents has been served on the Trustee:

  • the Superannuation Agreement Form
  • the divorce decree
  • a declaration by the parties confirming their separation status

Flagging agreement

A flagging agreement may be made where the parties wish to defer the split of the superannuation interest. This will prevent the trustee from dealing with a superannuation interest until the flag is lifted. The flag is lifted when a superannuation agreement has been entered into.

What is the process?

For information about the Level of Benefit available:

A request must be made in writing to the Trustee for a "valuation request declaration form". There is a cost for this service.

For an Agreement or Court Order to Split Funds:

The standard document "Superannuation Agreement Form" must be completed by a solicitor and sent to the Trustee.

For an Agreement or Court Order to Flag Funds:

A written agreement or court order must be sent to the Trustee. The flagging will be implemented on the 4th working day after receipt. The member will be informed when benefits are payable and the couple must arrange a payment splitting agreement.