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Nominate your beneficiaries

You’ve spent years building your retirement savings and planning how you will invest and spend that money in retirement. However, what happens to your superannuation or retirement savings if you’re no longer around.

Planning ahead

It’s a topic nobody wants to think about, but it’s really important to consider what happens to your super or retirement savings if you pass away. Nominating a beneficiary, or recipient, for your super ensures that your money is distributed the way you want it to be.

Your beneficiary information should be set up when your First Super account is set up, and reviewed every few years to make sure it’s still relevant.

Why do I need a beneficiary?

A beneficiary simply ensures that your money goes to the correct recipient or recipients, should you pass away. When this happens, your remaining super and/or retirement balance, as well as any life insurance would be payable to your nominated beneficiaries.

If you haven’t nominated any beneficiaries, First Super must research who could receive your remaining balance, and decide who it should go to. This is usually your dependants or legal personal representative. However, without a beneficiary nomination you risk the money going to someone against your wishes.

Why having a will is not enough

Do you have a will?

Having a legal will in place outlines how you would like your estate to be distributed when you pass away.

However, your superannuation is not automatically included in your will, which is why it’s so important to tell your super fund who your nominated beneficiaries are.

Binding nominations video

To help explain the difference between a binding and non-binding nomination, we’ve prepared a 5-minute video.


Who can you nominate as a beneficiary?

There are rules about who can be a beneficiary. Sadly, your beloved pets cannot be nominated as beneficiaries of your super. You can elect one or multiple beneficiaries, however they must be:

  • A spouse
  • Children (under 18 or under 25 and financially dependent on you)
  • Person(s) financially dependent on you
  • Legal personal representative – a person legally authorised to represent you when you pass away, e.g. the executor of your will. If you nominate your super to go to your legal personal representative, they must distribute that money as specified in your will, so it’s still possible for your beloved pet to receive your entire super inheritance, providing you have a valid, up-to-date will in place!

Do beneficiaries incur tax?

An inheritance from your account is tax free for the following beneficiaries:

  • Your spouse
  • Children under 18
  • Any person(s) financially dependent on you (including children under age 25).

Super or retirement balances left to older children over 18 or a legal personal representative , may incur tax on the proportion of the funds they receive.

Types of beneficiary nominations

There are different types of beneficiary nominations you can make when you set up your First Super account. Working out what’s right for you and your loved ones is important.

Non-binding nomination

Binding nomination

Reversionary nomination

(TTR and Retirement Income accounts only)

A preferred recipient for your super or retirement income account, and any life insurance payable, when you pass away The person/s who must receive any remaining super or retirement income account, and any life insurance payable, when you pass away The nominated person will receive your ongoing retirement income payments
Who can you nominate?
Partner, dependants (children of any age or someone financially dependent on you) or your legal personal representative (executor of your estate) Partner, dependants (children or someone financially dependent on you) or your legal personal representative (executor of your estate) A spouse or de facto

A child who is:
– under 18, or
– an ‘adult child’ who is disabled or financially dependent under the age of 25.

Therefore, a child aged 18+ cannot be nominated as a reversionary beneficiary unless they fulfil the ‘adult child’ condition.

Is it contestable?
Yes, family may be able to contest this nomination Your binding nomination is locked in, providing it remains valid at your time of death. If a binding nomination expires without being renewed it becomes a non-binding (preferred) beneficiary nomination No, it is not contestable. First Super is obliged to carry out your reversionary nomination. The beneficiary gains control of your retirement income and can update payments amounts, investment choice or withdraw lump sums
How long is it valid?
Ongoing, however you should review this every few years to ensure your nomination is still relevant Must be renewed every three years Valid ongoing and can be updated in writing at any time.
How do I make a nomination?

Update nominations online


Nomination of beneficiary form

Nomination of beneficiary form

TTR and Retirement Income account Nomination of beneficiary form

Planning for a flexible future

As you journey through life to retirement, your circumstances may change. It’s important to revisit your beneficiary nomination every few years. Remember you can update your beneficiaries at any time, just get in touch.

Special rules for Binding Nominations

  • A Binding Nomination must be signed by two witnesses who are at least 18 years old and are not named as beneficiaries.
  • The form is invalid if not received by the Trustee before your death.
  • Only your dependants or legal personal representative can be nominated to receive a share of a Death benefit. Whether or not a person is eligible to receive part of your Death benefit is determined at the date of your death.
  • Your Binding Nomination will cease to have effect if you subsequently marry, remarry or divorce. You can amend or revoke a Binding Nomination at any time by sending a new nomination form.
  • If a person you have nominated dies before you or is not eligible to receive a share of your Death benefit, that person’s part will be distributed equally among the surviving nominated dependants and/or legal personal representative.
  • If you do not provide all details requested in this form or if it is not properly witnessed, then First Super considers it a Non-Binding Nomination.
  • If you fail to properly and clearly specify the percentage (%) of your benefit payable to each person, it will be distributed equally among those persons nominated who are eligible to receive a benefit, providing the Nomination Form was otherwise valid.

Seek financial advice

As part of your membership, if you’d like to speak with someone nominating beneficiaries, our financial planning team can step you through your options at no additional cost. Request an appointment online or call 1300 360 988 to arrange a consultation today.