While it may not be something you prefer to think about, you’ve worked hard for your super savings so it’s important to make sure it's distributed according to your wishes if something happens to you.

Nominating beneficiaries

In the event of your death, a death benefit is payable from your super. This may include your account balance, along with any additional benefit that may be payable if you have insurance cover.

It’s important to keep in mind that a death benefit does not automatically form part of your estate to be distributed under instructions in your Will, if you have one. So if you have specific wishes about who should be the beneficiary for your super, you should make a non-lapsing death benefit nomination. This is a legal instruction that directs us to pay a benefit according to your nomination.

When nominating one or more beneficiaries, keep in mind that under super laws, you can only nominate certain people. A beneficiary can be:

  • Your spouse – your legal or de facto spouse of the same or opposite sex
  • Your child – including your natural, adopted, step or ex-nuptial child, your spouse’s child, or a child born to you or your spouse through artificial conception or surrogacy
  • Someone with whom you have a interdependency relationship
  • Someone who is wholly or substantially financially dependent on you, or who has a legal right to look to you for financial support
  • Your legal personal representative, i.e. the executor or administrator of your estate, who then distributes the death benefit along with your estate.

Important note: You may want to seek professional financial advice before nominating a beneficiary as there may be significant tax and estate planning implications. 

If you don’t have a non-lapsing nomination or have an invalid beneficiary

If you die without a valid non-lapsing death benefit nomination, the trustee has discretion to pay a death benefit to any one or more of your dependants and/or legal personal representative. In these cases, payment of a death benefit can take longer, while the trustee determines who your dependants are and how to allocate the payment.

You may have nominated a preferred beneficiary or an expiring binding beneficiary for your account in the past. Refer to our Reference Guide: Death benefits for more information on the implications of these nominations.