What happens to your super when you die?

It’s a topic that many of us don’t like to think about - let alone make provisions for – but it’s important to think about what happens to your super, and who gets it if you were no longer around.

Did you know that between 30% - 40% of super members don’t have a death benefit nomination in place?

Unlike your other assets, super doesn’t automatically form part of your estate. Just as you nominate beneficiaries in your will, you need to do the same for your super. 

So what happens to your super when you die?

When you die, your ‘death benefit’ will be paid to your dependants or your personal legal representative (which will go into your estate). 

Your death benefit is made up of your super plus any life insurance cover you have.

Who can receive your super?

Your dependants

There’s often confusion about what a ‘dependant’ is - under super law, a dependant is:

  • your spouse or partner (which includes de facto or same-sex partners)
  • your children
  • anyone who is financially dependent on you at the time of your death; and 
  • anyone who has an interdependency relationship with you at the time of your death. 

Your legal personal representative

The only other person who can receive your super is the legal personal representative for your estate. They are usually the Executor of your will or, if you haven’t made a will, the Administrator of your estate.

It’s important to tell us how you want super to be distributed 

If you don’t provide your super fund with instructions, it’s left up to the trustee to decide who will receive your death benefit. This means that there’s a chance your money may not be passed on to those who you had intended. 

We’ve created a short video which tells you all about death benefit nominations – watch it here

How to nominate beneficiaries

If you’re worried about how what will happen to your super when you die, making a binding beneficiary nomination can give you peace of mind. Simply complete the form, have your signature witnessed by 2 people and send it back to us.

Alternatively, you can make a non-binding beneficiary nomination, which identifies your preferred beneficiaries, but it’s not binding and will be used as a guide only when distributing your death benefit.

If you’re unsure, give Member Services a call on 1800 757 607 and they’ll help you get started.


The information on this page has been issued by Maritime Financial Services Pty Limited (MFS). It contains general information that doesn’t take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. It’s important to consider how appropriate this general information is in relation to your situation before making an investment decision. We recommend that you seek financial advice before making any decisions regarding your super or investments. The information on this page is current at the time of publishing.