Wills & Probate - Binding Superannuation Nomination

Superannuation Benefit Certainty

A binding superannuation nomination enables you to decide on how superannuation benefits will be distributed in the event of your death. When you have nominated a beneficiary and the nomination is valid, the Trustee of the superannuation fund will act in accordance with that nomination. 

A binding nomination gives you certainty, about who will receive your Superannuation benefit in the event of your death.

The most important factors to understand are firstly, whether your fund allows for a binding nomination or limits you to non-binding nominations and then you need to consider who will benefit as you can nominate multiple beneficiaries.

You may nominate your Executor or Legal personal representative, which means the funds will come into your Estate, and be controlled by the terms of your Will, as to where the proceeds to go.

As life circumstances change, you should review the binding nomination. We recommend that they be updated every 3 years. Keep the nomination fresh. 

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Binding Superannuation Nomination

When you have nominated a beneficiary and the nomination is valid under Superannuation law, the Trustee will act in accordance with that nomination. There is no choice.

The Government has imposed strict conditions on how a beneficiary must be nominated:

  • A beneficiary must be a spouse (including de facto spouse or a same sex partner),
  • a child (including an adopted child, step child, the child of the member’s spouse or an ex-nuptial child)
  • or any person who was wholly or partially financially dependent at the date of your death
  • or any person who is, or was at the relevant time, in the opinion of the Trustee in an interdependency relationship with the member (generally a close personal relationship between two people who live together, where one or both provided the other with financial support, domestic support and personal support)
  • or your Legal Personal Representative- being the Executor of your Will.
  • If any beneficiary nominated is not a dependent, in the opinion of the trustee and according to Superannuation law, at the date of your death, the notice will be invalid.
  • A binding nomination notice is valid for a maximum period of three years if no amendment or revocation is made to the notice.
  • It is your responsibility to update and review it every three years.
  • The Trustee of your Superannuation Fund will usually accept no liability for any failure on your part to do so.

You should update your nomination if there is a change to your personal circumstances.

If you nominate your legal personal representative/executor, please ensure you have a valid and up-to-date Will, otherwise there is no legal personal representative/executor.

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