There are strict guidelines and laws that super funds have to follow when paying a death benefit. This means only the deceased member’s dependants or their Legal Personal Representative (LPR) can apply for a death benefit.
If the deceased member didn’t have a will (or there was no executor named), the administrator of the deceased estate can apply. Australian Ethical can only pay the death benefit to another person if there are no dependants or LPR.
A dependant includes:
- a spouse (de facto or same sex partner)
- a child (stepchild, your de-facto’s child or an adopted child)
- a financial dependant (someone who is wholly or partially financially dependent on the deceased)
- a person the deceased had an interdependent relationship with (where two people have a close personal relationship and live together, and one or both persons provide the other with financial, domestic or personal support. There are some exceptions to these requirements, including whether one or both of them suffer from a physical, intellectual or psychiatric disability or they are temporarily living apart.)
Where a valid binding beneficiary nomination has been made, Australian Ethical will pay the benefit to the nominated beneficiary. See our Binding Beneficiary Nominations Form on our website for more information.
There are certain conditions that will need to be met for the binding death benefit nomination to be valid, so please read the information on the front page of the form before filling it in and be sure to follow the instructions on signing and witnessing – otherwise the application will be invalid.
A binding nomination will only be valid if it hasn’t expired and if the person nominated is a dependant or Legal Personal Representative (LPR) at the time of the members passing. It’ll be treated as a non-preferred (non-binding) nomination if the binding nomination has expired.
You should know there are tax implications of receiving a death benefit so it’s worthwhile getting advice from a licenced financial adviser.