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Superannuation Death Benefits

 

The management of a Self Managed Super Fund is not simply a case of making contributions and investment decision and hoping everything else will be fine.



 


 


The superannuation system is dependent upon a series of rules.  The first set of rules is contained in the document establishing the fund; the second set of rules is contained in superannuation legislation; the third set of rules is contained in taxation legislation and Commissioner of Taxation rulings and interpretations.


When it comes to dealing with the death of a member, the trustees need to satisfy all of those requirements.


It is important to keep the documentation (i.e. the rules of the fund) in tune with the regulatory environment and to review the rules from time to time.  If there is an inconsistency or a contradiction between the two rules, the desired outcome might not be achieved.  Without wishing to alarm readers, they may be surprised to hear that a death benefit nomination is NOT binding on the trustee to the extent that it nominates a person who cannot receive a benefit in accordance with the operating standards.  


A simple example may be a binding nomination made in favour of the spouse made prior to divorce.  The member then marries and dies, assuming that their current spouse would receive the benefit.  The trustee of the superannuation fund will have difficulty, because the previous spouse is no longer eligible and the current spouse has not been nominated.


Not only do therefore deeds need to be reviewed on a regular basis, but estate planning arrangements should be reviewed with your advisers.


 




10th-May-2014