Where does my superannuation go after I pass?

Binding Death Benefit Nomination (BDBN) or a Non-Binding Death Benefit Nomination (Non-BDBN) – that is the question!

When you pass away, a vast majority of your assets are distributed via your Will. Your superannuation is not one such asset. Upon your passing, the Trustee of your superannuation fund will distribute your superannuation monies in accordance with the superfund’s Trust Deed.

You usually have the option of informing the Trustee of your preferences in relation to the distribution of your funds by completing a valid Binding Death Benefit Nomination (BDBN) or a Non-Binding Death Benefit Nomination (Non-BDBN).

How are BDBNs & Non-BDBNs different?

A valid BDBN compels the Trustee of the superfund to distribute your superannuation death benefits in line with your wishes. A valid Non-BDBN on the other hand, provides the trustees with a ‘wish list’ on how your superannuation death benefits are distributed. The ultimate decision on how the funds are distributed are left with the Trustee.

Who should I give my superannuation to?

There can be tax implications to beneficiaries when they receive your superannuation benefits. Superannuation death benefits will be taxed depending on whether the recipient is a ‘dependant’ for tax law purposes.

Your tax dependants include:

  • current & former spouses or defactos
  • children under the age of 18
  • other financial dependants

Paying superannuation death benefits to non-dependents will have the following tax implications:

  • the taxable component of the benefit payment is taxed at 15% (plus 2% Medicare levy)
  • insurance payout from superannuation can be taxed at 30% (plus 2% Medicare levy)
  • the tax-free benefit component will not attract tax

You can choose specific beneficiaries in your BDBN and Non-BDBN. Alternatively, you could have your benefits paid to your estate. If you do this, the proceeds from your superannuation account will be paid out to your beneficiaries in accordance with your Will.

Other points to consider for your superannuation after passing

On your BDBN and Non-BDBN, you can choose to give your beneficiaries specific dollar amounts or a percentage of your superannuation death benefit.

Once your BDBNs/Non-BDBNs are in place, we recommend that you review them every three years to ensure that they remain in line with your current circumstances and testamentary wishes.

If you are unsure about who to nominate as a beneficiary or what the tax implications of nominating them are, we can assist you in choosing the best strategy to achieve your financial goals. Please contact one of our Super Specialists, complete your details below and we’ll be in touch or give us a call on 03 9835 8200.

About the Author
Accru Melbourne , Melbourne
Accru Melbourne delivers positive financial solutions through exceptional client leadership. We’ve managed clients’ financial needs for more than 150 years and have a team of nearly 100 professionals delivering responsive, personalised and proactive financial solutions for both individuals and businesses across business advisory, audit and wealth management services.
Want to join the team?