Superannuation usually doesn’t form part of your estate by default, meaning that you need to actively take the steps to nominate a beneficiary for your super, otherwise the trustee of your super fund may be able to decide who receives the payment upon your death.
Nominating a beneficiary to receive your super benefits when you die can give you peace of mind knowing that your super is more likely to be paid to someone you chose.
When choosing a beneficiary, you need to make sure they qualify as a ‘superannuation dependant’. To qualify as a superannuation dependant, they would have to be:
- Your spouse
- Your children
- A person who is financially dependant on you when you pass away, or
- A person who you are in an interdependency relationship with when you pass away.
Nominating a beneficiary can be done in a number of ways. There are two main options you can take:
Binding death nominations
This is a written notice that clearly nominates a beneficiary for your super that is provided to the trustee of your super fund. While this is a good option for ensuring that your super goes to who you intend, you should be aware that not all super funds offer this option.
A non-binding nomination allows you to indicate to your super fund who you nominate to receive your super, but no action is officially taken to solidify your choice. It is seen as more of a guideline that your fund can take into consideration, but they are not obligated to meet your request.