If you’re involved in a separation or divorce, the couple often pools their assets to be divided between the both of you.
While assets like a car or a house are simpler, your Superannuation may not be as obvious to determine or calculate. That’s because your Superannuation is an accumulated fund as a part of your salary and wage earnings over time to provide an income stream when you retire. It’s generally inaccessible until you reach 65 years of age.
So, is superannuation classed as an asset in a separation?
In nearly all circumstances, your superannuation is considered an asset which forms part of the property pool and can be divided between the separating parties.
When you separate and you begin to calculate your total assets, you have an obligation to disclose all of your superannuation funds.
How to obtain my superannuation balance
You can obtain the details and valuation information about your superannuation, or your spouse/partner’s superannuation by completing a Form 6 Superannuation Information Request and writing to the superannuation fund.
They will supply the information and amounts you need for your separation.
In some cases, the superannuation fund may not be able to provide you with a value of the fund but will instead provide the information you need to have the fund valued for the separation asset pool.
For example, many defined benefit funds such as those held with the Defence Force, Military Super or Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme (CSS) do not provide you with a valuation. However, the information they do provide will allow you to have the superannuation valued by a specialist Superannuation Valuer – this is a separate service.
However, in most cases, simply submit the Form 6 Superannuation Information Request form above.
When is superannuation not considered an asset?
There are some limited circumstances when your superannuation may be considered a financial resource, not an asset. However, in most circumstances, your superannuation interest will be considered an asset.
How do you determine what your superannuation should be?
If you are unsure if your superannuation interest should be considered an asset or a financial resource for your separation, you should seek legal advice.