Your super is likely to be one of the largest financial assets you'll ever own, and it could include an insurance benefit if you pass away. Under Australian law, your super does not automatically form part of your estate, so making a will isn't enough. That's why it's important to nominate beneficiaries— so you can help ensure your super ends up in the right hands.

Why should I nominate a beneficiary?

Nominating beneficiaries is the only way to have your say on who you'd like your super funds to go to — your will does not cover super under Australian law. Without a nominated beneficiary, we'll follow the standard legal procedures to select a beneficiary for you (either one of your dependants or your legal personal representative).

Making a super beneficiary nomination provides clarity and prevents confusion or hassle for your loved ones in the event of your death. By providing this formal written direction and ensuring it’s always up to date, you can get your super account balance paid to your chosen beneficiary.

Who can I nominate?

While you can generally nominate one or more people, there are some rules around who can be your superannuation beneficiary. Eligible beneficiaries include:

  • your legal or de facto spouse
  • your children (including step, adopted or ex-nuptial children)
  • your estate, to be distributed per your will
  • a person who is financially dependent on you at the date of your death
  • a person with whom you have an interdependency relationship.

An interdependent relationship is a close personal relationship between two people who live together, where one provides the other with financial support and one or each provides the other with domestic support and personal care.

For full details and definitions, read our Nominate your beneficiaries fact sheet.

Download fact sheet

How do I nominate my beneficiaries?

First you'll need to decide what type of nomination you're going to make. There are four options:

Option 1 - Binding lapsing

Option 2 - Binding non-lapsing

Option 3 - Non-binding

Option 4 - Reversionary

Keep your nomination up to date

Life is always changing — it's important to make sure your super beneficiary nomination is up to date with your circumstances, so your superannuation benefits the right people. Many life events may prompt you to update your nomination. These include:

  • marriage or moving in with a partner
  • the birth or adoption of a child
  • becoming a step-parent
  • divorce or separation
  • the death of a dependant.

You can change or update your superannuation beneficiary nomination at any time by completing a Death benefit nomination form.

Download form

Tax on death benefit payments

Tax may be payable by beneficiaries on some death benefit payments. Usually, there is a tax free component if your beneficiary falls under the definition of ‘dependant' for tax purposes. Dependants for tax purposes include your:

  • spouse or de facto
  • former spouse
  • children under age 18 (not adult children)
  • a person who is partially or wholly financially dependent on you at the date of your death.

For more details on tax on death benefits, please read the relevant section in our Death benefit nomination form.

Download form

How do I make a death benefit claim?

Losing a loved one is always difficult. The last thing you need is additional stress, which is why we're here to help you work through a superannuation benefit claim from start to finish. If you have received a death benefit nomination from a deceased person who has an NGS super fund or you are their legal personal representative, the first step is to call us on 1300 133 177. We'll provide everything you need for the handling of the claim including information on their online account.

Download information sheet

The value of advice

There are many reasons you might consider getting financial advice. But first, it’s helpful to know what you can expect if you decide to talk to a financial planner.

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