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  • Death benefits

    If the rules of your super fund allow it, you can nominate the beneficiary for your super with your fund. This nomination may be non-binding or binding.

    If a binding death benefit nomination is allowed, you can nominate one or more dependants and/or your legal personal representative to receive your super.

    If a deceased person did not make a nomination (or it is a non-binding nomination), the trustee of the fund may:

    • use their discretion to decide which dependant or dependants the death benefit is paid to
    • make a payment to the deceased's legal personal representative (executor of the deceased estate) for distribution according to the instructions in the deceased's will.

    If a non-binding nomination was made by the deceased, the trustee of the fund may:

    • use their discretion to pay in accordance with the non-binding nomination
    • make a payment to the deceased's legal personal representative (executor of the deceased estate) for distribution according to the instructions in the deceased's will.

    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.

    Contact your super fund to find out more on death benefit nominations.

    Dependants of the deceased

    Different rules exist for who is a dependant when making a super death benefit payment (superannuation law) and the resulting tax treatment (taxation law).

    Super law sets out who a death benefit is payable to and taxation law sets out how the benefits will be taxed.

    See also:

    How to apply

    If you believe that you are the beneficiary of a deceased person's super or are the legal representative 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.

    If the deceased had a credit balance of ATO-held super, refer to more information on withdrawing your ATO-held super.

    See also:

    Last modified: 21 May 2018QC 44997