Regulation, Superannuation

Super details open for separated couples

superannuation separated couples

Information about superannuation assets held by a former partner will now be more accessible during family law proceedings following a law change taking effect from 1 April.

Separated couples can more easily access their former partner’s superannuation asset information during family law proceedings after an amendment bill passed by parliament came into effect from 1 April.

The amendment to the Taxation Administration Act 1953 and Family Law Act 1975 has been implemented to make it more difficult for parties to hide or under-disclose superannuation assets during legal proceedings.

Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy Minister Jane Hume said in order to access super information, separated couples can apply to family law court registries to request information regarding their former partner’s data held by the ATO.

“The ATO has been working closely with the courts to ensure the appropriate integrity measures are in place for the information to be disclosed securely. This will enable parties to use this information to seek up-to-date superannuation information from their former partner’s superannuation fund,” Hume said.

She noted the reform has been designed to alleviate financial hardship resulting from the disproportionate division of property and improve retirement outcomes for women following separation.

The amendment will reduce the time, cost and complexity for separated couples seeking information about the superannuation fund of their former partner, she added.

“Superannuation is an increasingly significant asset in a separated couple’s asset pool and improving accessibility to superannuation information will better support separated couples to divide their property on a just and equitable basis,” she said.

Information made accessible under the bill, which is part of the Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No 6) Bill, includes the fund name, the fund contact details, the value of each superannuation interest, unclaimed superannuation amounts, co-contributions payable and shortfall amounts of the individual who is the subject of inquiry.

Separated couples can find information regarding how to make an application on the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia website, the Family Court of Western Australia website and the ATO website.

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