• Death benefits

    In most cases, when a person dies their super fund will pay their remaining super to the person they have chosen as their nominated beneficiary. Super paid after a person's death is called a 'death benefit'.

    You nominate your beneficiary with your super fund. If a deceased person has not nominated a beneficiary, their estate can access their super and distribute it accordingly.

    If you are a dependant of the deceased, the death benefit can be paid as either a lump sum or income stream. If you are not a dependant of the deceased, the death benefit must be paid as a lump sum.

    Dependants of the deceased

    You are a dependant of the deceased if at the time of their death you were:

    • their spouse or de facto spouse, including different or same sex
    • a former spouse or de facto spouse, including different or same sex
    • a child of the deceased under 18 years old
    • in an interdependency relationship with the deceased
    • any other person dependant on the deceased.

    An 'interdependency relationship' exists if two people satisfy all of the following:

    • have a close personal relationship
    • live together
    • provide each other with financial support or domestic support and personal care.

    How to apply

    If you believe that you are the beneficiary of a deceased person's super or are the trustee of a person's estate, you should contact their super fund to let them know that the person has died and ask them to release the person's super.

    See also:

    Last modified: 08 May 2015QC 44997