When you take out a superannuation fund in NSW, you will automatically have death benefit payments. This is in addition to any other insurance benefits that will come with your policy. Superannuation funds are not regulated by state or federal governments, so each individual death benefit policy will be designed and regulated by the provider. This page is all about death benefit claims in NSW, and what you need to do to make your claim.

What are death benefit claims in NSW?

All superannuation funds have death benefit payments in NSW. These payments are normally made up of the deceased’s superannuation balance plus any insurance benefits that are attached to the policy.

In the event of a loved one’s death, all superannuation funds in NSW do offer benefits. If you were financially dependent on someone who has passed away, or you are a spouse, child or nominated beneficiary, you may be entitled to their super contributions.

This will potentially be a difficult and stressful time for you, especially if you are grieving. What’s My Claim Worth wants to ensure you have all the necessary information made available to you so that if you want to make a death benefit claim, you can do so with one of our partnered law firms.

Why isn’t superannuation included within your will?

Unlike some other assets, such as your savings, investments and house, superannuation is held within a trust. As a result, a superannuation balance and any relevant death benefits are not distributed to beneficiaries in the same way as other assets. They are managed by the trustee of the super fund who is governed by the laws that help to regulate the superannuation system.

How do you know if you have a death benefit claim?

You are likely able to make a death benefit claim in NSW if you:

  • Were in a close personal relationship with the person, such as a partner or spouse
  • Were financially dependent on them
  • Were nominated as the beneficiary in a superannuation or insurance fund
  • What are the different types of beneficiary nominations?

    Some superannuation funds allow account holders to nominate a beneficiary. A binding nomination allows the account holder to nominate one or more dependents who will receive the death benefit, while a non-binding nomination allows the trustee of the fund to either distribute the death benefit at their discretion or transfer the benefit to the deceased’s estate where it will be distributed in accordance with their will. If the account holder does not nominate a beneficiary, the benefit will either be transferred to the deceased’s estate or distributed by the trustee at their discretion.

    Can binding nominations be disputed?

    In some circumstances, binding nominations may be disputed. If a person who was once a dependent no longer is, such as an ex-spouse, they might not meet the super fund’s definition of a dependent.

    Are there time restrictions to a death benefit claim in NSW?

    Yes, there are time restrictions to making a death benefit claim. This is because if another person who is entitled to a claim makes it, then the superannuation fund will provide the death benefits to that person instead.

    If you want to dispute a death benefits claim, then there are time limits for that, too. These time limits are strict, so if you do wish to dispute an existing claim, it’s best you do this as soon as possible.

    Certain scenarios can be disputed in NSW especially since the definition of ‘dependant’ can change from fund to fund. For example, someone who wasn’t blood-related but was financially dependent at the time of the nomination might not be financially dependent at the time of death. This would mean that their death benefits claim could be disputed.

    How are death benefit claims paid?

    Death benefit claims are typically paid in one of two ways: as a lump sum or as a pension. When several beneficiaries are named, death benefits are typically distributed as lump sums (one-time payments). These can be distributed to a number of people, including:

    • A spouse
    • A child of any age
    • Anyone who is financially dependent on the deceased at the time of their death
    • A legal representative or the deceased’s estate, allowing the death benefit to be distributed following further instructions outlined within a will

    A death benefit pension, also known as a reversionary pension or an income stream, could be an option in some circumstances, with one person receiving the benefit through regular payments. A death benefit pension may be paid to dependents including:

    • A spouse
    • A child under 18 years of age
    • A child aged 18 to 25 who is financially dependent
    • A child of any age with a disability

    In some circumstances, it may be possible for a death benefit to be distributed to a beneficiary via a lump sum and small income stream.

    How can What’s My Claim Worth help?

    What’s My Claim Worth legal partners in NSW work on a No Win, No Fee basis meaning that you only pay legal fees if your case is successful and you receive your claim. What’s My Claim Worth can get you the legal representation you need to make your death benefit claim. Superannuation funds and insurers are notoriously difficult for self-represented claimants to navigate, which is why we have partnered with the best lawyers in NSW to get you the result you deserve.

    If you do win, there are, of course, costs involved. What those will be, does depend on the costs of the claim lawyer you work with and their solicitor’s fees and disbursements. This is an important conversation to have when you begin discussing your case.

    Why choose What’s My Claim Worth?

    What’s My Claim Worth works to connect you with our network of specialist lawyers who can work with you to get you the best outcome — No Win, No Fee (excluding defendant costs if the claim is litigated). Contact us to discuss your options.

    Frequently asked questions

    How are death claims calculated?
    Death claims are typically comprised of the deceased’s superannuation balance plus any relevant insurance benefits. The size of a death benefit is determined by adding both the account balance and any additional benefits together. The total value of a death benefit will vary depending on the balance of the deceased’s superannuation account and the types of additional policies that they hold.

    Who is eligible for a lump sum death benefit?
    Lump sum payments are the most common way that death benefits are distributed. Many different people may be eligible to receive a lump sum death benefit, including spouses, the children of the deceased and anyone who may be dependent on the deceased at the time of their death. Lump sums may also be paid to a legal representative or the deceased’s estate, allowing for distribution to further beneficiaries as outlined within a will.