What happens if I don't nominate a beneficiary for super?


Nominating a beneficiary allows the trustee of your superannuation fund to know where to pay your super death benefit when you die.

Ideally you would make a nomination to guide the trustee. However, in the event that no beneficiary is nominated or if your nominations are non-binding, the trustee can choose to pay your death benefit to any of the eligible persons, including: your spouse (including a de facto); your child or children; your estate; and a person with whom you are in a relationship of interdependency or who is financially dependent on you.

If you make no nomination, the trustee will typically write to your executor and your spouse and children, asking if they wish to make a claim for the death benefit, and asking who else might be eligible to receive it.

Each super fund has its own rules and processes to determine the most appropriate beneficiary. Where there is a surviving spouse or young children, the death benefit is often paid to them in priority over adult non-dependent children. If you have no spouse, children or dependants, it will be paid to your estate.


Cameron Cowley, senior associate, Paxton-Hall Lawyers


Cameron Cowley is a senior associate with Paxton-Hall Lawyers. He is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and is an accredited specialist in business law.
June 8, 2016 10.11am

What about if a person is the beneficiary of a will & part of that benefit is superannuation money of the deceased, but the beneficiary themselves hasn't reached preservation age (so not entitled to access their own superannuation - they are still working) does the fact they have received a superannuation payout alter how they receive their own superannuation down the track when they have reached preservation age, or are there any implications of the above?
Many thanks for a reply,

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