Did you know that a trustee in bankruptcy cannot make a claim against your superannuation, your creditors have no legal avenue to force you to use your superannuation to pay them. Additionally, payments from superannuation to the bankrupt after the date of bankruptcy, for instance because the person is retired, are also not available to the trustee.
Recently a trustee petitioned the Court to access superannuation not of the bankrupt, but superannuation which the bankrupt had received from their spouse. Their spouse had died and so the superannuation was paid to the bankrupt as cash. The Court held that this payment was also protected by the rule that superannuation is non-divisible (that is not available to the trustee on behalf of creditors).
Superannuation is a safe and sometimes powerful investment. The government protects it from outside claims and makes certain tax exemptions to encourage people to invest in it. If you haven’t reviewed your superannuation recently you should, as a result of the deregulation of superannuation you have greater flexibility in relation to your investment both in terms of the return rate you want (whether you want to be aggressive or conservative) and what the superannuation is invested in (there are many ‘ethical’ or other specific funds now). If you don’t have a financial planner, or are thinking of changing, talk to us and we can help you find a suitable planner.
If you have superannuation you should make sure that you have signed a binding death benefit nomination stating who your superannuation will go to on your death. If it is more than three years old it may not be binding on the trustee.