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What is a Death Benefit Nomination?

Superannuation benefits are not distributed on your death through your Will automatically.  Your superannuation fund should allow you to make a Binding Death Benefit Nomination (BDBN).  If this binding death benefit nomination is valid, then the trustee of the fund is obliged to pay your superannuation benefits to those persons nominated in your BDBN. 

What if you don’t have a death benefit nomination? 

If you have not nominated a beneficiary, the trustee of your superannuation has the absolute discretion to distribute your superannuation benefits when you die. 

Binding or Non-Binding 

Some superannuation funds do not permit a Binding Death Benefit Nomination but allow a Non-Binding Death Benefit Nominations.  The Non-Binding Death Benefit Nomination allows you to nominate your beneficiaries however the trustee of your fund is not bound to follow those wishes (and therefore may exercise their discretion as to who receives your superannuation benefits). 


You can only nominate people considered as “dependants” and these include spouse, children, persons who have an interdependent relationship (financial or physical) or your Legal Personal Representative (executor). 

Time Period 

The Binding Death Benefit Nomination can be made indefinitely (non-lapsing) or the superannuation fund may require a 3 yearly update.  We strongly suggest that you review your death benefit nomination on an annual basis.  Reference must be made to the superannuation fund’s trust deed to ensure the death benefit nomination is valid. 

Contact us on  1300 127 284, should you require more information on Death Benefit Nominations 

Factual Advice Warning: Any information provided in this website is purely factual in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, situation or needs. The information is objectively ascertainable and is not intended to imply any recommendation or opinion. This does not constitute financial product advice under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).