who gets your super when you die


You can make sure your super goes to the people you choose. Find out why that might be important to you.


You might have heard about court cases where people have contested the listed beneficiary of a deceased person’s superannuation.

Often these disputes could have been avoided if the member had updated their choice of beneficiary to their super fund while they were alive. And that could have avoided a whole lot of heartache for those left behind.

Although it’s a grim topic, it’s one of the most important things you need to know about your super, and how to update it.


Safeguard your super for those you love


When you open a super account, you’re asked to nominate who will receive your money when you die. You have 3 choices:

1.    no listed beneficiary

2.    a preferred beneficiary

3.    or a binding beneficiary.


Each choice brings with it a different set of conditions. It’s a good idea to read How super works (pdf) so you can get up to speed on what they are.

If you are an Income Stream member, you can also opt to nominate a reversionary beneficiary. This means your income stream payments will automatically revert to the person you nominate on your death. Find out more in the Income Stream PDS (pdf).

In the meantime, here’s a snapshot of the differences between listing no, preferred and binding beneficiaries.




Meet Harry, Jane and Monica



Doesn’t have a beneficiary

This is where their super goes when they die:

With no beneficiary nominated, HESTA must identify who is eligible to receive a death benefit under super law. Any eligible dependant can lodge a claim and be considered for payment – and it may not be who Harry intended.



Lists her mother as her preferred beneficiary

This is where their super goes when they die:

HESTA will consider Jane’s nomination and whether her mother is eligible to be paid a death benefit. However, as her nomination is not binding, HESTA will also consider if any other people are eligible for payment, meaning Jane’s mother may not receive the full - or even any - of the benefit.

It’s important to understand who is eligible to receive a super death benefit. There are only limited circumstances where a benefit can be paid directly to a parent.



Lists her three young children as binding beneficiaries

This is where their super goes when they die:

HESTA is satisfied Monica’s binding nomination remained valid at the time of her passing and will pay the benefit as she had chosen. No other person can be considered for payment.










Time to update your beneficiary nomination?

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