Divorce and super
21 March 2022
If your marriage or de facto relationship breaks down it impacts almost all parts of your life, including your superannuation.
How does divorce impact your super?
Superannuation splitting laws1 mean the retirement savings you have in your super account/s can be divided when a marriage or de facto relationship ends (opposite sex or same sex).
You should also review your beneficiaries and insurance when your relationships change or breakdown as you may also need to update these.
Super is considered property under family law, meaning it can be split between partners. The splitting process involves 3 key steps.
- You need to find out how much super you and your ex have and whether the funds can be split. This information will need to be requested from the super funds involved.
You can request this information from your ex’s super fund and they are able to request the information from your super fund. To request information from BUSSQ call us on 1800 692 877 and we will explain the process.
2. You need to reach an agreement, known as a superannuation agreement, with your ex spouse or de facto on how super will be split or if you are unable to agree, the court is able to make an order. Once the agreement or court order is finalised and provided to the super fund/s it’s binding on the Trustee as long as it complies with legislation at that time.
3. Once the superannuation agreement is accepted the super fund/s will need to know where to pay your portion of the money. You can choose to have the money put into your BUSSQ super account, another super account or if you’ve met a condition of release, such as preservation age you could take the money as cash.
Super funds typically charge a fee for requesting information (valuation fee) and for splitting an account. BUSSQ does not charge valuation and splitting fees. For more information on the process see our Super Handbook or call our team on 1800 692 877 for assistance.
If your relationships change you may need to update your beneficiaries.
Your beneficiary is the person or people you want to nominate to receive your super and any insurance benefit when you die. You’ve worked hard to build up your super, so it’s important to nominate who you wish to receive this benefit in the unfortunate event of your death.
As a BUSSQ member you can also nominate for your super and insurance to be paid into a Child Income account if you pass away. A Child Income account provides regular income to support your dependant child or children. Find out more about a BUSSQ Child Income account.
When your circumstances change it is also important to review your insurance to ensure that your cover will provide the financial support you and your family need if you have to stop work due to illness or injury or if you die.
You can change your insurance cover by logging into MemberAccess. As a BUSSQ member you also have access to personal financial advice on insurance as part of your BUSSQ super account at no extra cost*. Call us on 1800 692 877.
Getting the help you need
Managing a relationship breakdown is difficult and getting the right help can make the process easier for you.
A lawyer can help with the process of splitting your super and the other legal requirements you have when going through a divorce. Moneysmart also has some helpful information on sorting your finances when a relationship ends.
Some of our BUSSQ’s partners may also be able to assist you:
- Mates In Constructioncan help with counselling and support
- BERT (Building Employees Redundancy Trust) may be able to provide you with financial assistance or financial advice.
1. Superannuation splitting laws do not apply to de facto couples in Western Australia. *Personal advice is limited to BUSSQ products and is advice on insurance, investment choice, contributions and retirement. The cost of this advice is included in the administration fees and costs and this advice is provided by Link Advice Pty Ltd (ABN 36 105 811 836 AFSL 258145). Source: ag.gov.au/families-and-marriage/families/superannuation-splitting. This article provides general information only and does not take into account your personal financial situation or needs. Before acting, you should review the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to ensure you have all the information about the relevant BUSSQ product and how it works and consider the appropriateness of the information to your needs or obtain financial advice tailored for your personal circumstances. You can download BUSSQ's PDSs and Target Market Determinations or call us to request a copy. Prepared by BUSS(Queensland) Pty Ltd ABN 15 065 081 281, AFSL 237860, Trustee of Building Unions Superannuation Scheme (Queensland) (BUSSQ) ABN 85 571 332 201.