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The big super split

 

It's only been 10 years since the Family Law Act was amended to provide for the splitting of super upon the breakdown of a marriage.


 

     

 

And it's only been four years since the law was further amended to provide for the splitting of super in most Australian states upon the
breakdown of a de facto relationship.

Since these amendments, superannuation is treated as property which can be divided between
separated couples as part of their property settlements.

Super News Alert, published by Thomson Reuters, reported late last week the
passing of amendments providing a method for the valuation of
defined-benefit superannuation interests held in the Judges' Pension Act
Scheme and the Governors-General Pension Scheme following the breakdown
of relationships.

Obviously, the latest amendments will have possible implications for very few people. However, these changes serve
as a reminder of the significance of Australia's super-splitting
provisions.

And that significance of super splitting is increasing as the value of superannuation dollars grows and as waves of
baby boomers near or enter retirement.

As Smart Investing discussed last month, ABS research on marriage and divorce rates suggests that more
than 40 per cent of marriages are going to end in divorce. And that's
not counting failed de facto relationships.Publications from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority - a special issue of Insight magazine and Statistics - quarterly superannuation performance - show that total super fund assets have multiplied almost three times since the introduction of super splitting a decade ago.

The point has been reached where the value of some couples' combined super savings exceeds the value of their family homes.


By Robin Bowerman
Smart Investing
Principal & Head of Retail, Vanguard Investments Australia9
18th  March 2013



8th-May-2013