Beneficiaries of your superannuation

In the event of your passing, the payment of your superannuation and insurance benefit will be determined by your fund, taking into consider any directions that you may have made through a death benefit nomination. By keeping your nomination(s) up-to-date you can make sure that the right people receive your benefit. If you don’t, your death benefit might not go to the people you want it to.

Nominating a beneficiary

A nomination of a death benefit can only be made to dependents or a legal representative such as your Estate under superannuation law. For example if a person ceases to be your spouse than the nomination also ceases. So an ex-husband or an ex-wife generally cannot be a beneficiary under a bridging nomination. If your superannuation fund allows it, you may be able to nominate more than one beneficiary.

A number of nomination options are also available via your super fund. The right one for you will depend on the type of account you have, and what your personal circumstances are.

If you have more than one account, like a super account and an insurance account, a separate nomination is required for each of these accounts.

Binding nominations

You will need to complete a form confirming the name of your beneficiaries and the percentage of your benefit to be paid to each person. For a nomination to be binding it must be:

  • In writing
  • Sign and dated by the fund member
  • Signed by the member in the presence of 2 witnesses each whom have turned 18 and are not mentioned in the notice
  • Contain a declaration signed and dated by the witnesses stating that the notice was signed by the member in their presence.

The absence of any if these requirements can make the notice invalid. Binding nominations can be revoked by the member at any time. Binding nominations also lapse after 3 years from the signed date, however some super funds have even shorter time periods.

How much is paid?

The death benefit is paid from the super plan and is generally the amount of your super plus any death cover benefit held by the plan.

You should keep your beneficiaries up to date and in line with your personal circumstances. The annual statement you receive from your super fund will show who you’ve nominated.

Where there’s a Will

To ensure your benefit goes to the people you want it to go to. You should also ensure you have a legally valid Will.

This also means considering all your assets and thinking about the best way to manage them. This process is called Estate Planning. Talk to a us about how we can help you ensure your assets go to your nominated persons.

 How can we help you?

If you have any questions about death benefits or if your claim has been rejected, give Adam Tayler, our Superannuation expert lawyer a call on 1800 683 928. We can also help you with all your Estate Planning needs such as preparing a legal Will, Powers of Attorney and Advance Health Directives.