Who gets my super when I’m gone? 20



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You may think that your last will and testament is the only document you need to ensure your affairs are managed correctly when you shuffle off this mortal coil, but that’s not the case when it comes to your super.

Should you pass away with money still in your fund, it’s not your will that determines where the money goes, but a document called a Binding Death Benefit Nomination, which means your super fund is required to pay the people you have nominated.

The reason for this is that a superannuation fund is a specific type of trust, which has certain laws and regulations that allow it to have concessional taxation treatment, explains Professional Planner.

In many cases, your superannuation instructions will override your will, so it’s essential to have your benefit nomination up to date. According to this fact sheet by Australian Super, you will need to update this every three years, or whenever your circumstances change (divorce, remarrying and so on).

You can nominate any one or more of the following beneficiaries: your spouse or partner, your children, any person financially dependent on you, your legal representative or the executor of your estate.

If the binding nomination runs out, it becomes non-binding and is used by your super fund as a guide rather than as instruction.

To check or update this important estate management tool, log in to your super fund’s online services and look for “update beneficiaries” or phone for help.

Note that the nomination must be “binding” if your wishes are to be granted exactly as you have stated them.

Professional Planner says, “The Binding Death Benefit Nomination is the most important estate planning tool dealing with the payment of your interest in a superannuation fund.”

Did you know about this extra estate planning tool? Is yours up to date? 


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  1. Yes I have had a binding nomination with my Super fund for years, they send notification when it needs to be renewed.

  2. My daughter gets mine x

    4 REPLY
    • Yes her name is permanently on every statement. I’m with Hostplus. It will only change if I change it

    • Sheree Piesse
      The legislation over rules what you have on it. You are required to update it every three years. It is not automatic that your daughters will remain as beneficiary. If something happens to you and you have not regularly updated it, then anyone can make a claim on it.
      I have seen it happen in a lot of cases and the original named beneficiary quite often loses.

  3. Read the fine print on your super, it will tell you its at the super discretion where your money goes.That exactly what happened when a family member died, leaving his money to his 2 children .However his girlfriend of 18mth contested it, super awarded HER, 60 %.we had to fight to get his children a fair share of their Dads money.So beware, not always as you think

    1 REPLY
    • Check with your Solicitor, binding nomination is the only way it has to be paid to the nominated people of your choice, that is also why you pay an ongoing fee for it.

  4. I tell people about this all the time but they never listen. They think that once they put a name on it that is it.
    It’s the same with a Will. Just because you leave things to people doesn’t mean that is where it will go. Anyone can contest your will regardless of your wushes and a judge will decide where things go.

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