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Superannuation after separation or divorce

Separation and divorce can be stressful and it can have both an emotional and financial impact. There are various things to think about when adjusting to your new change in circumstances and it’s important to consider how your super could be affected.

 

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Important tips to maintain your financial wellbeing

Consider your financial position

The first step is gather information about your finances. This can include information about your bank accounts, super balances, bills, financial commitments and other legal documents. If you’re a member of Sunsuper, log into Member Online to check out your current super balance and past statements.

Explore our advice options

It can be an overwhelming process and receiving some financial advice can make the future a little clearer for you. Sunsuper has both internal advisers in the Member Advice Centre (MAC) to assist with all things super, and an established panel of accredited external financial advisers for members that have more complex advice needs. Call 13 11 84 or find out more about these services.

Get legal help

A lawyer or solicitor can help you through a separation or divorce and represent you in Court if it becomes necessary. Sunsuper is unable to provide legal advice, however The Australia Government’s MoneySmart website lists Community Legal Centres and Legal Aid agencies that may assist you.

Family Law Superannuation Splitting

Superannuation is considered an asset and the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) allows super to be split between separated parties. There are two documents that can be used to split a superannuation account for family law purposes:

  • Sealed Court Orders / Sealed Consent Orders
  • Signed Binding Financial Agreement (BFA)

Superannuation Information Kit (Form 6)

To begin the process of splitting super, parties may require a valuation of their own super account or a third party’s account to determine how much superannuation to split. The Federal Circuit Court of Australia publishes the Superannuation Information Kit which contains the information and forms an eligible person is required to complete to obtain information from a superannuation fund for the purpose of a family law split. 

The Superannuation Information Kit is available on the Federal Circuit Court of Australia website. We only require pages 4 and 5 to be completed. 

Sunsuper charges a fee in respect of providing information about a superannuation interest. This fee allows for up to two requested dates within 7 years per application for an account with a splittable interest.

Fee to enquire on your own account: $90.00

Fee to enquire on someone else’s account: $99.00 (includes GST)

Payment can be made to Sunsuper via cheque or money order and posted to:

Sunsuper
GPO Box 2924
Brisbane QLD 4001

DIY Consent Orders

If both parties have reached an agreement between themselves and are attempting this process without legal representation or legal assistance, the Family Court of Australia website has an Application for Consent Orders (do it yourself kit). Sunsuper is unable to provide legal advice. This application is made directly to the Family Court.

Draft Court Orders or a Draft Agreement (Procedural Fairness)

Before a financial agreement or court orders can be finalised, we ask that Sunsuper receive a draft of the orders or agreement to ensure it contains the correct wording and instructions for a superannuation split. Sunsuper will then respond, confirming whether the terms are acceptable or an amended draft is required. This is referred to as providing ‘Procedural Fairness’.  There is no fee for this process and the documents can be delivered in person, posted or emailed to Sunsuper.

Post:
Sunsuper
GPO Box 2924
Brisbane QLD 4001

In person:
(Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.00pm)
Sunsuper Building
30 Little Cribb Street
Milton QLD 4064

Email: familylaw@sunsuper.com.au

Please note, the procedural fairness responsibilities set out under section 90MZD of the Family Law Act 1975 and Rule 10.16 of the Family Law Rules 2004 require a copy of the draft orders that the parties intend to apply for, be provided to the Trustee at least 28 days before filing the application.

Sealed Court Orders or a Signed Binding Financial Agreement

Once the orders or agreement is finalised we require a copy to process the split. This can be served by either party involved in the separation.

Copy of sealed orders

In person, via post or by email.

Certified copy of signed binding financial agreement

In person or via post.

Post:
Sunsuper
GPO Box 2924
Brisbane QLD 4001

In person:
(Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.00pm)
Sunsuper Building
30 Little Cribb Street
Milton QLD 4064

Email: familylaw@sunsuper.com.au

Other than providing either Sealed Court Orders / Sealed Consent Orders or a Signed Binding Financial Agreement (BFA), there is no specific form required to allow Sunsuper to action a family law split, however we do appreciate a covering letter with any available details for both parties, such as name, date of birth, postal address, contact phone number and member number. Alternatively, when splitting super by court orders, the spouse receiving the split amount can complete a Regulation 72 Notice and submit this to Sunsuper with the sealed orders. Please email familylaw@sunsuper.com.au or call us on 13 11 84 to obtain a copy of the Regulation 72 Notice.

The fee for processing a family law split is $135.00. Unless stated otherwise, this amount will be shared equally between the two parties and is deducted from the benefits at the time of the split.

Once the final paperwork has been received by Sunsuper, we will write to both parties to confirm the split has commenced. Both parties will also receive final confirmation once the split has been finalised.

Are you the spouse receiving the super split?

Sunsuper’s governing rules allows you to become a member of Sunsuper. As of the operative date stated in the orders or agreement, a Sunsuper account will be set up in your name.

A number of options will be available to you. You can request:

  • you continue as a Sunsuper member, or 
  • we transfer a benefit for you to another superannuation fund nominated by you, or
  • if eligible, we pay a benefit to you as a lump sum (please refer to Retirement Eligibility and Early Access Eligibility).

Flagging Orders

A Court, in accordance with section 90MS of the Family Law Act 1975, may make an order in relation to a superannuation interest directing the trustee not to make any splittable payment in respect of the interest without the leave of the Court; and requiring Sunsuper to notify the member spouse and the non-member spouse, within a period specified in the order, of the next occasion when a splittable payment becomes payable in respect of the interest.

The fee for applying a payment flag due to flagging orders is $70.00. If the final agreement or final sealed orders do not provide for a superannuation split, Sunsuper must receive one of the following, accompanied by a $45.00 flag-lifting fee:

  • A binding financial agreement that stipulates the payment flag is to be lifted, or
  • Sealed orders terminating the operation of a payment flag.

Unless stated otherwise, all flagging fees will be shared equally between the member spouse and the non-member spouse.

For the non-member spouse

Payment can be made to Sunsuper via cheque or money order and posted to:

Sunsuper
GPO Box 2924
Brisbane QLD 4001

For the member spouse

Their share of the fee is deducted from the member’s superannuation balance.

Subpoenas

Subpoenas relating to obtaining account information for a member can be served via post or in person:

Post:
Sunsuper
GPO Box 2924
Brisbane QLD 4001

In person:
(Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.00pm)
Sunsuper Building
30 Little Cribb Street
Milton QLD 4064

Sunsuper does not charge any fees in respect of providing information in response to a subpoena however conduct money is accepted.

Fees

In accordance with the Family Law (Superannuation) Regulations 2001 (Cth), Sunsuper charges fees in respect of Family Law related services: 

Fee type Payment method Cost

Form 6 Superannuation Information Request Fee:

Valuation on a member’s own account

Cheque or money order $90.00

Form 6 Superannuation Information Request Fee: 

Valuation on a third party’s account

Cheque or money order $99.00

Splitting Fee:

Sealed Court Orders or a Signed Binding Financial Agreement

Deducted from the benefits at the time of the split $135.00

Flagging Fee: 

Sealed Court Orders

Cheque or money order $70.00

Flag Lifting Fee:

If the agreement does not provide for a payment split

Cheque or money order $45.00

Flag Lifting Fee:

Sealed Court Orders terminating the operation of a payment flag

Cheque or money order $45.00

Other services relating to an interest covered by an agreement or orders

Dependent on service $90.00 per hour + any actuarial fee

Do you have any further questions? 

If you have any further questions relating to Superannuation and Family Law, you can email familylaw@sunsuper.com.au or call us on 13 11 84.