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The benefits of super splitting

Older Couple

Some superannuation funds allow you to split employer or tax deductible contributions with your spouse. Why would you do it? These four case studies show possible benefits.

Case 1

Dave and Beth are 52 and want to retire when they are 56 in order to access their superannuation. Dave has $400,000 in super and when he retires will be able to withdraw $205,000 tax free. Beth has $100,000 in super and will be able to withdraw it all tax free when she retires.

Dave can split his superannuation contributions with Beth in the next few years so she has an extra $105,000 she can access tax-free on retirement.

Case 2

Bruce is 48 and has $400,000 in super. His wife Lucy is 52 and has $40,000 in super. She wants to retire when she gets to 56 and she will be able to access all her super tax-free because tax is only payable on superannuation over $205,000. Bruce can split his superannuation contributions with Lucy in the next few years so she has a higher amount she can access tax-free on retirement.

Case 3

Phil is 63 and has $200,000 in super. He plans to retire when he gets to 65 and claim the age pension. His wife Sue is 56.

Under the social security rules, Sue’s super won’t count towards the assets test until she gets to her age pension age of 65. If Phil splits his superannuation contributions with her, he may qualify for a higher age pension.

Case 4

Sheryl has been a stay at home Mum. As well as raising three children she has supported husband Gary in his high level executive job. Sheryl has no super but feels she deserves some. Gary agrees to split his superannuation contributions with her.

The rules of contribution splitting

The splitting rules can be quite complicated. It is allowed...

  • After the end of the financial year in which the contributions were made and only in that financial year;

  • Between married or de facto couples;

  • Between couples in a relationship registered under state or territory laws;

  • Where the receiving spouse is under the relevant preservation age, or under age 65 and not retired.

Only employer contributions or contributions where a tax deduction has been claimed can be split. Many people will increase their salary sacrifice contributions to increase the amount that can be split.

Unfortunately not all funds allow contribution splitting so talk to your financial adviser to find out if you can take advantage of this opportunity.


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