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Estate planning and your superannuation

It’s not a topic anyone likes to think about, but deciding what will happen to your assets after your death is something we all need to do. It’s especially important if you have a complicated family situation, as it will give you peace of mind that the right people receive what you would like them to have.

However even if your situation is pretty straightforward, having everything clearly documented and up-to-date beneficiary nominations means there’s one less thing for your loved ones to worry about at what will undoubtedly be a very difficult time for them.

Superannuation and your will

Your superannuation balance, including any insurance proceeds for which you may be eligible does not normally form part of your estate. This is because your super is held for you in a trust by the Trustee of your super fund and is governed by superannuation law. This is why it’s important to keep Club Super up-to-date with your wishes.

You can nominate a dependant (spouse, children, people financially dependent on you or people whom you have an interdependency relationship with) or your estate/legal personal representative. You may then specify in your will how and to whom you wish to distribute your super money, which can include eligible beneficiaries, as well as other people in your life.

Fortunately Club Super offers you four different options when it comes to specifying who your super will go to.

  • Preferred beneficiary nomination – A preferred beneficiary nomination is not binding on the Fund Trustees, however they will refer to it when deciding who to pay your benefits to. Having this type of nomination on your account will mean the trustees must complete a sometimes lengthy claim staking process before any benefit can be paid from the fund.
  • Binding nomination – With a binding nomination you can choose one or more dependents to receive your super and any valid insurance component as a lump sum from your Income Stream account and/or your Club Super account. You also have the option to nominate a personal legal representative. You need to update your nomination every three years, but remember that once you have signed a binding nomination the Fund Trustee must pay out your benefit to your named beneficiaries (providing your nomination is valid at the time of your death), so remember to update it if your circumstances change. If one or more of your nominated beneficiaries cease to be a dependent under superannuation law during the three years for example, on the divorce of your spouse, your whole nomination becomes invalid.
  • Non-lapsing binding nomination – This is a binding nomination that does not need to be updated every three years as it does not lapse. Similar to a binding nomination, you should ensure that you update your nomination if your circumstances change, as the Fund Trustee must pay out your benefit to your named beneficiaries (providing your nomination is valid at the time of your death).
  • Reversionary beneficiary (Income Stream account only) - A reversionary beneficiary is a dependant who continues to receive your Income Stream account payments after your death (although they can alter the frequency and amount of the payments). They also have the option to convert the account to a lump sum payment.

Find out more

You’ll find detailed information about your options and how to make a nomination in Additional Information – Nominating a beneficiary (which also contains definitions of a dependent). If you want advice about your estate planning options you can talk to Club Super Financial Planning – simply call 1300 369 330 to make an appointment.*


* Fees may be charged for the provision of personal advice, but where the advice relates to your superannuation, these costs may be deducted from your superannuation account. All fees will be explained to you in detail prior to any advice being given and there are no ongoing commissions as our planners work on a fee-for-service basis.