Super importance in property settlements

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In a recent speech to the Women’s Super Summit, the ATO Assistant Commissioner, Megan Young spoke of the importance of Australian women thinking about and being interested in their superannuation.

The fact that women’s super account balances are, generally, significantly less than men’s has been talked about a lot in the press recently.  This is, most often, due to women being out of the workforce for considerable periods of time while their children are young.  However, the persistent gap between men and women’s earnings in Australia is also a contributing factor.

When structuring a family law property settlement, it is an important time for women to consider and be interested in superannuation.  It is often one of the most valuable “assets” to be divided between the parties when their relationship has failed.

For many women, however, their focus must be upon obtaining a settlement that allows them sufficient money and property to use now, especially to house a young family.  However, with the aid of appropriate financial advice, these needs must be balanced against the longer term goal of women accruing superannuation savings to boost their retirement income.

These two important goals often clash and in some cases, the “here and now” needs mean that superannuation and retirement income planning cannot be a major consideration.

Opportunities to grow even small amounts of superannuation over time in the concessionary taxed superannuation environment should never be overlooked.

As Ms Young said, “It surprises a lot of people that putting the equivalent cost of one cup of coffee a day into your super can add up to an extra $128,000 when you retire”.

Our lawyers are aware of the importance of superannuation and ensure it is given proper consideration when structuring property settlements.

Brendan Cockerill is a Business and Succession Lawyer at Dobinson Davey Clifford Simpson, 18 Kendall Lane, NewActon, Canberra ACT 2601 and can be contacted on (02) 6212 7600.

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