Super splitting is a sensible, simple and strategic way of dividing contributions, managing the transition into retirement and maximising income. It involves transferring concessional or tax deductible contributions from the account of a fund member to their partner.
It is particularly beneficial where there is a reasonable age gap of around five years or more, or where there is a difference in incomes between the partners. It is also a great way of building up the super balance of a partner on a lower income, such as a spouse who is out of the workforce for several years raising children.
Splitting can also be used to obtain early access to the super of the partner who reaches pension age first. This can help preserve accumulated funds as the working partner continues to contribute.
Splitting contributions to a younger spouse also improves your Centrelink position. Although it is not an instant fix, it can be valuable if used as part of a long-term strategic plan for retirement.
Super splitting is done by completing a short form that is supplied by the pension provider, or through a certified financial adviser. Couples should be aware of amounts that cannot be split, including benefits rolled over from another fund and lump sums paid from a foreign superannuation fund.