A fair percentage of Australian’s will travel and work overseas at some stage of their life. As a result many Australian’s will have an overseas superannuation or pension entitlement. Australian’s who have migrated from overseas may also have an overseas superannuation or pension entailment.
Since 2002 Australian “superannuation interests” are treated as property and can be divided on the breakdown of a marriage or de facto relationship. To be considered a superannuation interest the superannuation plan in question must be an eligible superannuation plan.
Overseas pensions and superannuation entitlements are not considered to be eligible superannuation plans by the Courts. What this means is they are likely to be considered a financial resource and not property. Financial resources are not included in the parties’ pool of assets that are available for division between them.
The Court will consider each overseas pension or superannuation entitlements on the individual facts of each case.
The Courts have found that the following overseas pensions or superannuation entitlements are a financial resource:
- US Navy pension;
- US aged pension also known as social security;
- British Airways Pension; and
- French superannuation funds that could not be split.
It is important to note that if an overseas pension or superannuation fund is found to be a financial resource although not included in the asset pool of the relationship it will still be considered by the Court in the property settlement.
For more information on overseas superannuation and pension entitlements and the impact they will have on your individual case contact Armstrong Legal.