Superannuation death benefits

Posted on February 9th, 2017

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If a member of a superannuation fund dies (the deceased) there are a number of elements that determine how their superannuation death benefit will be paid.  These include the terms of the fund’s trust deed, applicable trust laws, the Superannuation Industry Supervision Act 1993 and Regulations (SIS) and the Income Tax Assessment Act.

SIS Regulation 6.22 provides that the trustee can pay a death benefit to any dependent of the deceased or to their Legal Personal Representative (LPR).

The class of dependents includes:

  • the deceased’s spouse (including de facto spouse or same-sex spouse)
  • the deceased’s children (and children of the deceased’s spouse if their spouse is living at the deceased’s date  of death)
  • people who are actually financially dependent on the deceased and in an interdependency relationship with them at the deceased’s death.

If it is paid to the LPR it will form part of the deceased’s estate and be distributed in accordance with the deceased’s Will.

If you have a blended family or problematic relationship, there is good reason to consider if you need to make a valid Binding Death Benefit Nomination (BDBN) or provide information under the fund’s deed to the trustee to influence the trustee’s decision on how your death benefit will be distributed.   Our experienced Family Lawyers and Succession Lawyers can help you if this is an issue for you.

Mark Sullivan Senior Solicitor at Mullane & Lindsay Solicitors NewcastleMark Sullivan is a Director at Mullane & Lindsay, and practises extensively in Family, Relationship and Matrimonial Law. If you require any assistance in this area please contact Mark Sullivan to arrange a consultation or contact our Newcastle office.

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