What’s the deal with Super Death Nominations?


Have you ever noticed on your superannuation statement that there’s a section about a “Death Nomination”?

It’s really important to know that super doesn’t form part of your will by default.

In fact, it is up to the trustee of your super fund to distribute your superannuation money. Now that’s okay if you’re in a self managed super and your trustee knows what you had planned to have happen to your super if something happened to you, but if you’re in a platform super or an industry super the trustee doesn’t know you, and they have no idea of what you would want to have happen to your super if you pass away.

That’s where a super fund death nomination comes in. It’s basically an instruction to the trustee telling them where you want your super to go to if something happens to you.

Types of Death Nominations

Type One – Lapsing Death Nomination

A lapsing nomination has to be done every three years to stay valid. This is usually the default type of binding nomination unless you make a choice to have a non-lapsing nomination.

Just be aware that if you don’t put a new one in place when it lapses then the trustees doesn’t have instructions any longer. The trustee can then pay your super to anyone who is a dependent or to your estate. It’s important then to know that a dependent is :

  • any spouse,
  • child (or your spouses child) of any age,
  • any person who was in an interdependency relationship with you (which means someone who you have a close personal relationship with, who you live with and one of you supports the other wither financially, or with domestic support or personal care), or
  • any other person who the Trustee thinks are or were in any way financially dependent on you at the date of your death.

Type Two – Non Lapsing Death Nomination

The non-lapsing, is , well just that – it stays in place unless you amend or cancel it. This is definately our preferred type of death nomination. You can always amend your death nomination by cancelling the current nomination and putting a new one in place if your wishes change, but at least this way your super is going to end up going where you planned.


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Felicity Cooper

Owner and Financial Planner

As the owner of Hive Wealth, I focus on leading a team that helps you save money, spot opportunities, invest well and lower financial risk.

Your best choice of financial planners who grow your wealth and life by saving money, finding financial opportunities, investing smarter and lowering financial risk. We increase your wealth, and know your life is more than money. Based on the Gold Coast in Queensland Australia an increasingly serving clients nationally.

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