Superannuation is one of the major assets that many people have and so it is important to have accurate figures for your superannuation if you are working on a property settlement.
If you are both able to communicate reasonably and trust the information that you each supply it is usually simply a matter of you each providing a recent statement.
But what if your former spouse is refusing to disclose or doesn’t have access to the paperwork?
Request the information from their Superfund
Under family law information can be provided to a spouse seeking the information for the purposes of a settlement.
In all states, your superannuation amount goes on the balance sheet and is a factor in property settlements whether you were legally married or in a de facto relationship.
In all states, except for Western Australia, a process to transfer superannuation is available between spouses. In W.A super equalization is only available if you were married.
It is common, but not mandatory, to equalize superannuation between spouses in long-term marriages but only the superannuation differences during the relationship might be adjusted in short relationships or no adjustment at all may be required if the super is “traded off” against other assets.
You must use the right paperwork when you make a request upon a super fund for information about your spouse’s account.
Superannuation Information Kit
The Family Court of Australia has a Superannuation Information Kit available to use to make the request.
Who can use this form:
- the member of the superannuation plan;
- the spouse of the member;
- a person who intends to enter into a superannuation agreement with the member.
These persons are known as the eligible persons.
You can download the kit from the Family Court of Australia Website – http://www.familycourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/fcoaweb/forms-and-fees/court-forms/diy-kits/kit-diy-superannuation-info
The kit is 22 pages and can be a bit confusing so read on.
Pages One to Three
Page one explains what is in the kit:
- Form 6 Declaration – this must be used along with the Superannuation Information Request Form to prove that you are an eligible person.
- Superannuation Information Request Form – this is the form that you must use to make the request for information about your super or your spouse’s super.
- Superannuation Information Form – this may be used by the trustee of the superannuation fund to provide the information requested but they don’t have to use the form.
Page two gives you (the eligible person) instructions about how to request information about super.
- you need to fill out the Form 6 Declaration for each super fund but not for each super plan with the same fund
- you need to fill out the Superannuation Information Request Form for each superannuation interest so if your spouse has two or more different superannuation policies (different policy numbers will give that away)
- you may be charged a fee by the trustee for them to process the information request. You should call up the super fund and ask them if they charge a fee and how to pay it.
- you have to put on the form the date you want the superannuation trustee to calculate the super at.
- you must send the trustee the Form 6 Declaration form, the Superannuation Information Request Form with the appropriate Superannuation Information Form and the requisite fee.
Page three is information for the superannuation trustee.
- they are prohibited from providing the address of their member
- they are prohibited from informing the member that the request has been made
- the form can be used for most forms of superannuation including self-managed superannuation funds
Form 6 is a one-page form which you need to use to declare that you have an interest in the superannuation and a right to get the information.
Your postal address information is required but it will not be provided to the owner of the superannuation. If you are worried about your address becoming known use a postal address to prevent any risk of accidental disclosure of your home address.
You will need the following information if you are requesting this information about your spouse’s superannuation interest:
- The name of their superannuation fund (this will be on their super statements)
- their name
- their date of birth
You need to tell them why you need the information in point two:
- Keep point (a) if you need the information in order to negotiate a property settlement
- Keep point (b) if you need the information for a superannuation split (see part VIIIB of the Family Law Act 1975 for more information)
Put a line through point b if you are still working out the asset pool in preparation for negotiating a settlement and cross out point a if you have negotiated a settlement and want the information in preparation for applying for a super split.
Super Splitting Laws
Superannuation Information Request Form
Page 5 is the Superannuation Information Request Form is required in addition to Form 6 for each fund that you or your spouse have with the Super Fund.
The information you need:
- Name of the eligible superannuation plan
- Address for the plan
- Name of the Member
- Date of birth of the Member
- Account numbers (if known)
- Member numbers (if known)
The information you request:
- option one is for funds that are not a percentage-only interest or a self-managed super fund and includes the valuation
- option two is for a percentage-only interest or self-managed funds where the fund manager may not be able to provide the valuation easily.
Super Splitting Laws - Basic Terms
Superannuation Information Form
Pages 6 to 22 are the documents that the superannuation fund would provide back (or equivalent) you should include these pages in your request left blank for the fund to use if they want to.
Some funds will return their own form.
The information is full of jargon and technical terms so if you find it hard to understand show it to your lawyer or financial advisor and ask them to explain it to you.
Do you need more information or help?
Use the form to the right to get in touch and let us know how we can help. Some of our services include:
- Interact Consultations to help you to work out your family law goals and understand the family law system
- Referral to a Family Lawyer to help you to understand your legal rights and obligations and develop a proposal or strategy for your family law agreements
- Family Dispute Resolution to help you and your former partner to negotiate your property settlement using video mediation
- High Conflict Family Dispute Resolution to help you and your former partner to negotiate your property settlement by video shuttle mediation if talking directly is not appropriate due to a history of family violence.
- Mediator Facilitated Negotiation to help you to make a proposal for a property settlement to your former partner when participating in live family dispute resolution sessions is not appropriate or efficient
- Consent Order Application Assistance to help you to apply for property consent orders
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