Family Law and Super
February 23 2017
Looking for assistance?
Contact us to speak with one of our Family Law Administrators.
Relationship breakdowns are often emotionally draining, and the logistics of separation can be difficult to understand and even harder to undertake. We are here to help make the process easier for you.
What happens to my super when my spouse and I separate?
Superannuation is treated like any asset under the law (Family Law Act 1975). This means that when married or defacto couples (including same-sex defactos) separate, their super can be split, just like your home or other assets can.
The law also states that as a party in the relationship breakdown, you have access to information about the other person's superannuation entitlements.
Lastly, until a decision has been made about the division of assets, the law states that the super interests of the other party can be 'flagged' to prevent their benefit being paid to them.
We have dedicated, trained, and experienced staff to help you through the process of superannuation splitting.
Do I have to split my super?
No. It isn't mandatory. You should seek advice from a legal professional regarding property settlement issues prior to making any decisions.
What do I need to do?
To access information about an ESSSuper account, you must complete a Form 6 (Declaration to accompany application to trustee for information about a superannuation interest and Application for Information). Fees may apply and supporting documentation may be required as specified in the form.
Access Form 6 here
Form 6 (Declaration) and Application for Information (PDF 192KB)
Next, both parties must come to an agreement regarding the splitting of the super. This can take the form of a Superannuation Splitting Agreement (Agreement) or a Court Splitting Order (Order). Find out more in our Family Law Information Sheets.
When we receive the final Splitting Agreement or Court Splitting Order, we will issue a payment split notice to both parties.
If you would like to wait before seeking a Splitting Agreement or Splitting Order, you can apply for a Flagging Order or Flagging Agreement. This will need to be made through your own legal representatives, and will prevent any benefit being paid out until a Flag Lifting Order or Agreement is served on ESSSuper.
In the case of a relationship breakdown, you may want to review your beneficiaries. You can find out more about beneficiaries and how to change them here.
I'd like to speak with someone about Family Law and my super
We have a number of options to help you. You can contact us and:
- ask to speak with one of our Family Law Administrators,
- make an appointment with a Member Education Consultant, or
- seek advice in an appointment with an ESSSuper Financial Planner*.
Need more information?
Family Law guides & forms
Emergency Services members
State super members
Not sure what scheme you are in? Check out the Our Funds section, or Contact us to make sure you complete the correct documentation.