Rest has adopted a streamlined process that will make the distribution of superannuation assets simpler for members following a divorce.
Rest’s Super Split initiative included a plain-English form and a streamlined process that has removed the requirement for certified court orders.
Rest chief executive, Vicki Doyle, said splitting superannuation during a divorce was often a complex and time-consuming process.
“The previous requirements, commonly used across the super industry, meant that members had to follow several complex steps to complete a super split request via their fund”, said Doyle.
“Often the process could take months. It was important to make this process more efficient and easier to understand for members, at what is typically a difficult and stressful time.”
Doyle said the new process was expected to bring a significant reduction in processing time and an improved experience for members.
“We’re always looking for ways to make superannuation simpler for our members. These changes will complement the new divorce transparency laws that came into effect this month, which are designed to help people split their assets much more fairly.”
Rest said it aimed to speed up the processing times by accepting uncertified court orders via email. Previously, the process involved members having to lodge their certified orders by post.
The Super Split initiative was developed and launched in March ahead of the universal divorce transparency laws included in the Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No. 6) Act 2021, which came into effect on 1 April 2022.
“Superannuation is often one of the largest assets that someone holds in their lifetime. Previously, getting accurate information on an ex-spouse’s super balance was complicated. This meant people would often overlook this asset in the divorce process,” said Doyle.
“This was contributing to inequitable retirement outcomes, particularly for women, who are more likely than their male counterparts to take time away from work to care for their children and face a range of barriers to participating in the workforce, typically leading to them earning less super than their partner in the long run.
“A divorce could strip away their financial security. For this reason, it was critical to remove the obstacles getting in the way of fairer and more equitable split of superannuation assets.”