Make sure you decide who will be benefiting from your super if you’re not

It’s easy to assume that how your super is treated when you die is automatically determined by your will. This is not always the case. It may be in your interests to make a specific decision about who receives your super.

If you don’t nominate any beneficiaries for your super, the Trustee will decide who will receive your super. They could choose your dependents or even a legal representative particularly if your estate is in dispute.

Usually, the people who will receive the proceeds from your super fund are your dependents such as your partner, spouse or your children. If you choose to leave your super to someone not financially dependent on you there could be tax implications so make sure you seek advice.

There are a number of different approaches you can take when deciding who receives your super account balance:

  • Make a non-binding nomination

You can tell your super fund your preferred beneficiaries this is known as a non-binding nomination. Despite your nomination, the Trustee can use its discretion to determine the ultimate home for the money and assets in the fund.

In general, the trustee will consider your request, but also take into account the financial situation of the beneficiaries when determining how to treat your super after your death. But the Trustee is not required to follow your instructions.

  • Make a binding nomination

This is where you give the Trustee of your super fund specific directions about who should receive your super when you die and as long as the nomination is valid, the Trustee must follow your wishes.

Making a binding nomination is as simple as filling out a form, and having it witnessed by two people (other than your nominated beneficiaries) that indicates to whom you wish your super to go to. These nominations generally expire every three years.

  • Make a non-lapsing nomination

If you don’t want the hassle of reviewing your binding-nomination every 3 years, you can make a non-lapsing nomination. Of course you can always change your beneficiaries should you need to at any time.

You can make a non-lapsing nomination at the same time you request a binding nomination using this form for Everyday Super and this form for WealthSmart.

If you are unsure about the nominations you have made for your super fund, it’s worth contacting our dedicated Customer Service team on 1800 191 517 between 8am and 6pm Eastern Standard Time Monday to Friday.

Tags: Super