It’s a good idea to nominate who you want your Super to go to in the event of your passing, as your superannuation is not automatically distributed as part of your will.

Types of nominations available

The type of nomination you choose will depend on who you would like to receive your benefits, and how certain you want to be that they’ll receive it.

You can choose from:

  • a binding nomination – this is when you ‘bind’ the Trustee to distribute your benefits as you request (we explain what a valid request is below)
  • a preferred (non-binding) nomination – this nomination provides an indication of your request but it’s not ‘binding’ on us to carry this out
  • a reversionary nomination – a ‘binding’ nomination for pension accounts.

Binding nominations

A valid binding nomination gives you more control as the Trustee will pay your benefit to the beneficiaries you’ve nominated. You’ll need to complete a new Binding Nomination Form every three years as it expires.

Because this type of nomination is binding, if your circumstances change (eg, you get married; have children or get divorced) you’ll need to update or cancel your binding nomination to make sure your Super is paid as you’ve instructed.

A binding nomination will only be valid if it hasn’t expired and if the person nominated is a dependant (explained below) or Legal Personal Representative (LPR) at the time of your passing. It’ll be treated as a non-preferred (non-binding) nomination if your binding nomination has expired.

To make a binding nomination you’ll need to complete the Binding death benefit nomination form found on our website under the Forms sections then post it to the address details at the bottom of page four of the form.

There are certain conditions that will need to be met for your binding death benefit nomination to be valid, so please read the information on the front page before filling in the form and be sure to follow the instructions on signing and witnessing – otherwise your application will be invalid.

To change or cancel your binding nomination, simply complete a new form which will automatically override your current binding nomination.

Preferred nominations

A preferred (non-binding) nomination provides your preference to the Trustee for how you’d like your Super to be paid.

The Trustee will take your request into account, but unlike a valid binding nomination, the Trustee is not obligated to follow it.

A preferred (non-binding) nomination doesn’t expire like a binding nomination, and it doesn’t need to be updated unless your circumstances or preferences change.

To make a preferred nomination, log into your Super and Pensions account and update the Beneficiaries tab.

Reversionary nominations

You can nominate a reversionary beneficiary if you have an Australian Ethical pension account.

This type of nomination means your pension will continue to be paid to your beneficiary when you pass away.

Only your eligible dependants can be nominated as reversionary beneficiaries (not your LPR), and special conditions apply to nominating children.

If your spouse receives your pension, it’ll count towards your spouse’s transfer balance cap and may also have social security implications. It’s worthwhile getting advice from a licensed financial adviser if you’re considering this type of nomination.

You can nominate a reversionary beneficiary as part of your application when you start your Australian Ethical pension or any time there after by contacting us.

Who can I nominate for my Binding nomination or my Non-Binding nomination?

Under superannuation law you can only nominate one or more of your dependants or your LPR (legal term for the executor or administrator of your estate).

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).

The most appropriate beneficiaries to nominate will depend on your personal circumstances.

As there may be tax implications of your decision, it’s recommended you speak to a professional before making a nomination.

If you don’t have any dependants, or want to leave your Super to someone else, such as your parents or your niece or nephew, you can make a nomination in favour of your LPR.

Your Super would then be included as an asset of your estate and distributed by the instructions according to your will.

If you don’t nominate anyone or you don’t have a will, the Trustee will have the discretion to decide what proportion of your Super will be paid, and to which dependant or other individual, within the rules of superannuation law.

To find out more

For more information about nominating a beneficiary, give us a call on 1300 134 337 from 8am to 8pm (AEST) Monday to Friday.