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Don’t lose sight of super in divorce

The superannuation gap between men and women in Australia is troubling, especially when women’s longer life expectancy is taken into account. The super gap is slowly closing amongst younger generations. However, the superannuation account balances of women over 55 continues to lag behind their male counterparts.

When going through a divorce, superannuation is treated as property. It may be divided up by a court order or negotiated throughout a settlement process. Research indicates that women are far more likely to prefer retaining the family home than to pursue superannuation.

For many women, it may be hard to rebuild super following divorce. This is especially true if they are caring for dependent children.

Women should always carefully consider the long-term consequences of their choices in divorce settlements, and make a reasonable assessment of their ability to increase their superannuation.

At every stage of life, women should consider making additional superannuation contributions whenever possible. Even small sacrifices early on in your career can make a huge difference to the nest egg that you have when you retire.

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News

SMSFs: beware of illegal early super release

July 13, 2018

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is reminding self-managed super fund (SMSF) trustees to beware of allowing members to access their super early.

A self-managed super fund (SMSF) trustee must meet a condition of release before any funds can legally be released.

The ATO can issue severe penalties if you or a SMSF member access your super before you are legally entitled to do so.

Some consequences of getting caught up in an illegal super scheme include the disqualification of trustees, imposition of administrative penalties, the fund being made non-complying and prosecution.

The Tax Office encourages those members who have been involved in an illegal super scheme to contact them immediately. The ATO will review your voluntary disclosure and take your circumstances into account when determining any penalties.