Can Superannuation Be Inherited in Australia?

Understanding Superannuation in Australia

Superannuation, or “super”, is a retirement savings system in Australia. It involves a portion of an employee’s earnings being placed into an investment fund, which becomes accessible upon retirement.

Can Superannuation Be Inherited?

Yes, superannuation can be inherited, but there are strict rules and conditions attached. When a person dies, their super fund pays their remaining super to their nominated beneficiary. This payment is called a ‘super death benefit’.

Nominating a Beneficiary

You can nominate a beneficiary for your super by making a non-binding or binding nomination, if the rules of your super fund allow it. If a deceased person did not make a nomination, or has made a non-binding nomination, the trustee of the fund may use their discretion to decide which dependant or dependants to pay the death benefit to.

Who Can Inherit Super?

Superannuation law sets out who a death benefit is payable to. You’re a dependant of the deceased if at the time of their death you were:

  • their spouse or de facto spouse
  • a child of the deceased (any age)
  • a person in an interdependency relationship with the deceased

In Summary

While it is possible for superannuation to be inherited under certain conditions, it’s important to remember that super is intended to provide income in retirement. Therefore, it’s generally best to preserve your super until you retire.

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Please note that this article is intended to provide general information only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should assess whether the information is appropriate for you and seek professional advice before making any investment decision.

This information is true and correct as of 29 June 2024, prior to making any changes we recommend you read the above Government resources and seek Financial Advice prior to making any changes.