What is a death benefit nomination?
A death benefit nomination is a notice you give to the trustee of your superannuation fund requesting the payment of your death benefits to either your estate or one of your specified dependants.
There are usually two types of nominations:
1) A binding nomination is binding on the trustee, that is, the trustee must comply with it.
2) A non-binding nomination, on the other hand, is merely an expression of your wishes. The trustee can exercise its discretion not to follow your nomination.
By making a binding nomination, can you be sure that your intentions for your superannuation will be carried out?
In the absence of a binding nomination, it is the trustee of your superannuation fund that decides how and to whom your
superannuation benefits will be paid upon your death.
What is required to make the nomination ‘binding’?
Generally, in a public offer superannuation fund, your death benefit nomination will be binding if all of the following conditions are met:
• The governing rules of the superannuation fund must permit binding death benefit nominations.
• Each death benefit nominee is either your dependant or legal personal representative (your estate).
• The allocation of your death benefit between the nominees is clear.
• The notice is in writing and is signed and dated by you in the presence of two witnesses aged over 18, neither of whom is a nominee.
• The notice contains a declaration, signed and dated by the witnesses, stating that it was signed by you in their presence.
• No more than three years must have passed since you first signed, last confirmed or amended the nomination. The nomination will, therefore, need to be renewed every three years to ensure it remains valid. (May not apply if you have a non-lapsing nomination in place).