Choose who gets your super if you pass away

One of the questions we’re often asked is, ‘What happens to my super if I pass away?’.

Unlike other assets such as your car or house, super doesn’t automatically form part of your estate. This means if you have dependents, you can make a beneficiary nomination to ensure your super is distributed according to your wishes.

If you don’t make a nomination, your super fund will need to make the decision for you according to the law. If you don’t have any dependents you can nominate your estate as your preferred beneficiary and leave instructions for the distribution of you super in your Will.

Let’s discuss nominating a beneficiary in more detail with our Financial Advice Manager, Dan Bridgland.

Who qualifies as a dependent?

Eligible dependents include:

  • Your spouse or a de facto relationship
  • A child of any age including adopted or stepchildren
  • A person that is financially dependent on you

An interdependency relationship that generally meets these four conditions also qualify.

  • You have a close personal relationship, and
  • You live together (there are exceptions to this rule), and
  • One or each of you provides the other with financial support, and
  • One or each of you provides the other with domestic support and personal care.

What is a beneficiary nomination?

A beneficiary nomination lets you have your say about who receives your super and any death insurance you may have if you pass away. You’ll need to decide which type is right for you.

  1. A non-binding nomination acts as a guide only, as we’re bound by superannuation and trust law when making a decision. A non-binding nomination doesn’t expire, so if you change your mind for any reason, you’ll need to change your nomination too.
  2. A binding nomination leaves no surprises. As long as it's valid at the time of your death, your super fund has to do exactly what it says. There are two types:
  • A lapsing binding nomination is only valid for 3 years
  • A non-lapsing binding nomination doesn’t expire unless you cancel or update your nomination. But there are circumstances where it could become invalid, e.g. if you get married.

How to nominate your beneficiaries

You can make a non-binding nomination quickly and easily through MemberOnline or by calling us on 1300 360 149.

To make a binding nomination, you’ll need to complete the Binding beneficiary nomination form and have it witnessed.

Discuss who you can nominate with an adviser

Need help with nominating a beneficiary? We can help you understand how it works and who you can nominate, so you can make the best choice for your circumstances. To speak to a financial adviser, call us on 1300 360 149. This sort of advice is covered by your membership and won’t cost any extra.*

We’ve covered off the basics here, but there’s more info on nominating your beneficiaries on our website.

Information correct as at 28 November 2023.

*Financial advice obtained over the phone, or through MemberOnline, is provided by Mercer Financial Advice (Australia) Pty Ltd (MFAAPL) ABN 76 153 168 293, Australian Financial Services Licence #411766.