Superannuation Death Benefit Nominations
Did you know that on your death, your superannuation balance will not necessarily be dealt with in accordance with your wishes unless you have a valid beneficiary death benefit nomination in place. That’s right, your Will probably doesn’t have any effect as regards your super.
Imagine what happens if you are separated (but not divorced) and you are living with another person (as a de facto) – a dispute could easily arise. What if you have children? What would/should the split be?
If you have no dependants, the trustee will likely pay it to your estate, but why take the risk? and does your Will adequately deal with that asset?
To minimise disputes and avoid applications to the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal or the Supreme Court of NSW, make a nomination. There are generally 2 types: Non-binding and Binding
A non-binding nomination is an indication to your trustee of your preferences but it is, as it states – non-binding so the trustee can ignore it. This can be a good idea if there are significant changes in circumstances before your death where you haven’t got around to updating your nomination. The trustee’s discretion could prevent it going to your ex or avoid the situation of you accidentally omitting one of your kids from a benefit.
A binding nomination is exactly that – binding (provided that it is valid as at the date of death). There are 2 sub-categories of binding nomination: lapsing and non-lapsing.
- LAPSING – Most funds provide for the lapsing type – these need to be renewed every 3 years or the nominations lapse.
- NON-LAPSING – Some Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) and some retails funds allow in their deeds for nominations that never lapse (unless you update it). Older SMSF Deeds and their Rules do not allow for the non-lapsing type and may need to be updated.
There are requirements for making any nomination legally valid, witnesses etc.
Speak to us about your estate planning and ensure your wishes are properly documented.