Superannuation and Self Managed Superannuation Funds

Superannuation does not automatically form part of an estate.

  • Binding Nominations – Most superfund rules allow for the completion of Binding Nominations, although some allow Non-Binding Nominations only. Completing a Binding Nomination can give you certainty as to the payment of any death benefits, although there are strict technical requirements that must be followed for the nomination to be valid and many expire automatically after a period of time.
  • Trustee Discretion – If there is no valid binding nomination, then the trustee of the superannuation fund will usually have the power to decide who the death benefit should be paid to, subject to the terms of the Superfund Trust Deed.
  • Superfund Trustee – For a retail superfund (eg/ Industry Super Funds), the Trustee will be an independent person or committee who are subject to the regulation of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993. For a SMSF, the Trustee will be the persons who are also the members of the fund, or a company controlled by them. It is important that control of the Trustee upon death of a member is considered, as they might be able to make important decisions regarding payment of death benefits.

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