Superannuation Death Benefit Claims

A death benefit is a lump sum benefit payable from a superannuation fund after a member is deceased. The lump sum can comprise of two components:

  1. the balance of the deceased’s superannuation account; and

  2. any benefits (including death insurance cover) from any insurance policies the deceased had active at the time of death.

Determining if death insurance cover was active at the time of death?

To determine if the deceased had death insurance cover (often called life insurance), you can contact the deceased’s superannuation provider or if you have access to annual superannuation statements, this information is also generally available on this document.

Who is entitled to receive a superannuation death benefit?

If the deceased member had a valid Binding Death Benefit Nomination ("BDBN") then the superannuation provider is bound to pay the death benefit in accordance with the BDBN.

If the deceased member did not have a BDBN or the deceased member had an invalid BDBN, then the superannuation provider can use their discretion to decide who receives the death benefit. Generally, most superannuation providers will decide to prioritise payments to a spouse (including a de-facto spouse) and minor children over other claimants who were not financially dependent on the deceased (eg adult children).

What does the claims process involve?

The first step in the process of claiming superannuation death benefits is to contact the deceased’s superannuation provider.

Whilst each superannuation provider has different procedures as to how to make a death benefit claim, the provider will likely require you to complete an eligibility check and prepare claim forms. The preparation of these claim forms and understanding the provider’s policies can be a difficult and complex process that may require legal advice.

Once claim forms are completed and returned to the provider, the claim will be assessed and a decision on the distribution of the death benefit will be made. The superannuation provider will advise you of the outcome of the claim. 

How can IM Lawyers help?

At IM Lawyers, we have the expertise to guide you through what can be a complex claim process during this extremely difficult time in your life.

Call now to arrange an initial free consultation

1800 001 339

It costs you nothing to find out where you stand.

Generally, we are able act on a no win, no fee basis for TPD, income protection insurance claims and death benefit claims, which means:

  • We will not charge you upfront fees;
  • If you lose your case, you will not pay our fees;
  • If you win your case, you will be required to pay our fees which will, ordinarily, be taken out of any compensation benefits you receive.