1. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Soon de facto couples, like married couples will be able to split their superannuation after separation.
2. DOES THIS MEAN DE FACTO COUPLES MUST SPLIT THEIR SUPER 50/50?
No. it simply means that if one party may use part or all of their super to pay the other party out as part of a financial settlement. If there are other assets like a house or cash, a super split may not be necessary. The new legislation simply allows parties more flexibility in structuring a settlement.
3. DOES THE NEW LAW APPLY TO EXISTING SETTLEMENTS?
The Commonwealth Attorney- General’s media release of 24 October 2018 states that the legislation will be introduced in 2019 and super splitting to occur in 2020. Whilst we cannot rule out super-splitting occurring on existing cases, based on previous legislative changes we doubt existing cases would be included in the new regime.
4. DOES THIS MEAN I CAN GET ACCESS TO SUPER NOW AS PART OF MY SETTLEMENT?
Not unless you are already eligible. All this means is that a portion of one person’s super is transferred to the other person. The same rules re age apply.
5. IS THE NEW LEGISLATION A BIG DEAL?
For some people yes. Where the only major asset was super then undoubtedly some de facto partners suffered. However, in deciding whether settlements are “just and equitable” the Family court of WA always considers the percentage split including super. However, moving forward de facto couples will have the same flexibility that married couples have and that’s a good thing.