Superannuation and Property Settlement

      By Tanya Morris

      Is superannuation property?

      Is super included?”, is a common question asked by clients who come to see us about property settlement with their former partner.

      The Family Law Act 1975 provides that superannuation is treated as “property” for the purpose of property settlement between separated couples, so the short answer is yes, superannuation is included in property settlement with your former partner.

      Splitting superannuation

      Can I give my super to my former partner?” or “Can I receive my former partner’s super?”, are also questions we are asked. Again the short answer is yes.

      The Family Law Act 1975 provides the Court with the ability to make Superannuation Splitting Orders as part of property settlement Orders. When superannuation splitting occurs, it does not convert superannuation into a cash asset or allow superannuation to be accessed. The superannuation split is still subject to superannuation laws.

      Superannuation values

      In Australia, there are different types of superannuation.

      The most common type of superannuation is “accumulation”. Accumulation interests are the simplest to value. The value of an accumulation interest is the account balance.

      The second most common superannuation is “defined benefit”. The most defined benefit interests are corporate or public sector funds. Working out the value of a defined benefit interest is more complex than working out the value of an accumulation interest, and often a Family Law Valuation is required.

      The third type of superannuation is “self-managed superfund (SMSF)”. Valuing a self-managed superfund will depend upon the assets and liabilities of the fund. A valuation may be required. If you are interested in setting up or finding our more about SMSF you can contact our Estate Planning Department. Visit our website to see what we can do for you

      Property settlement

      Each family law matter is unique, and just because a superannuation split can occur, that doesn’t mean there will always be a superannuation split as part of property settlement between separated partners.


      Our Family Law Department can provide you with comprehensive and specific advice about property settlement with your former partner.

      Contact our Family Law Department, if you would like to arrange an initial consultation.

      Make a Family Law Enquiry

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      QLD, 4810