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Superannuation Split – COVID 19 & the Operative Time

Property settlements that included provision for a superannuation split may have been negotiated and filed for orders, pre COVID 19. Some parties to those settlements have been anxiously watching their super balances bounce around, wondering whether there will there be a positive or negative impact on them when the splitting orders are implemented in accordance with the legislation and SIS regulations.

Orders for superannuation splitting must nominate an operative time to take effect.  It is usually the beginning of the 4th business day after the orders have been served on the Fund’s trustee.  Those concerned therefore need to enquire when the Orders were served on the trustee.

COVID 19 restrictions have caused disruption to many- including Fund trustees, so there may be delays in receiving notice of processed splits.  If the entitlement to be split is in the growth phase, the trustee must adjust the base amount to be split from the operative time until it is paid, rolled over or a new interest is created.   Depending on the rate of interest that applied to the superannuation interest in the adjustment period, the base amount may be adjusted by a positive amount or a negative amount or, if the rate was nil, not adjusted at all.

If you are concerned about the implementation of superannuation splitting orders then you should complain directly to the trustee using their internal dispute resolution process.  If you are still dissatisfied (and it is not a SMSF) you may wish to complain to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).  In that event we can also help identify the issues you want to complain about and assist yo to collate the necessary documents.

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