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Nominating superannuation beneficiaries

To make sure your super fund knows what you’d like to happen to your super savings after you die, it is important to nominate a beneficiary.

A ‘beneficiary’ is a person you nominate to receive your super ‘death benefit’ if you die.  Generally, your beneficiary must be a ‘dependent’, which can be a bit technical to define, but generally means a spouse (including de facto), any child of yours, or any person who is financially dependent on you at the time of your death. It’s best to contact your super fund to get a clear definition of their beneficiary terms.  

Again, because of some of the technical rules around super, beneficiary nominations can either be binding or non-binding.

Non-binding nomination

A non-binding or preferred nomination will guide the trustee of your super fund as to your wishes. However, the trustee makes the final decision about who will receive the benefit, and they are guided by superannuation legislation. This means they must ensure the benefit is paid to your dependants – and in some cases, this may not be the person or people you nominated.

The trustee will take into consideration your circumstances and those of your potential beneficiaries at the time of your death.

Binding nomination

A binding nomination is legally binding on the trustee of your super fund. This means that on your death, your death benefit would be paid to the person/s you have nominated, as long as your nomination is valid at the time of your death.  Binding nominations generally only remain valid for three years.

It’s important to regularly review your binding nomination, as a valid nomination cannot be overridden by the trustee or your dependents.

As super death benefits don’t automatically form part of your Will, it’s important you nominate a beneficiary so your super fund knows who you want to get your super after you are gone.  You can nominate as many beneficiaries as you wish.

For more information about nominating beneficiaries and the nomination options offered by Nationwide Super, visit our website or call us on 1800 025 241.

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