Want to nominate or change your beneficiary?
CSCri members can nominate a reversionary, binding or non-binding beneficiary at any time. Your nominated beneficiary is the person you want to receive your remaining account balance in the event of your death.
Nominating a beneficiary is not mandatory. But it can help to provide peace of mind.
Reversionary, binding or non-binding beneficiary
You can make one of three types of beneficiary nominations: reversionary, binding or non-binding. These are explained as follows.
Where you nominate for your income stream to continue to be paid to a dependant such as your spouse upon your death until your balance is nil. You can only nominate one person as your reversionary beneficiary.
Where your nomination generally binds the trustee to pay your remaining CSCri balance to your chosen eligible beneficiary or beneficiaries. The people you nominate must be your dependants and/or your legal personal representative. To be valid, your nomination must be to a dependant under superannuation law, signed and witnessed in a certain way and renewed every three years, unless you choose to reconfirm, change or revoke your nomination before the period ends.
Where your nomination provides a guide only (ie it is not binding) to the trustee, Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC), in determining who is to receive your remaining balance in accordance with superannuation law. The people you nominate must be your dependants and/or your legal personal representative.
A death benefit comprises a member's account balance at the time of their death.
Personal financial advice
Nominating your beneficiary is an important decision only you can make. A licensed professional can provide personal advice on matters such as the potential tax implications of choosing different beneficiaries. For example, there may be different tax implications on the distribution of your benefit if you nominate your legal personal representative as your beneficiary.
See financial planning to learn about the personal financial advice service offered to CSCri members by Industry Fund Services.
Nominate, change or revoke
Complete the Nominate your beneficiaries [PDF 987 KB] form.
The form is a legal instrument. For your nomination to be valid, the form must be signed and witnessed in a particular way as explained in the form.
If you elect a binding nomination, your nomination must be renewed every three years to remain valid. We'll aim to contact you before your three year period ends. But you should keep your own records.
Must I nominate a beneficiary for my CSCri account?
No, you do not need to nominate a beneficiary. However, it can help to provide peace of mind if you have a valid binding nomination in place. Otherwise, the trustee, Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, is required to decide, in accordance with the law, who receives your death benefit.
What if I don’t nominate a beneficiary or have a valid nomination in place?
If you do not make a binding nomination, or your nomination is not valid, the trustee, Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC), will determine who is entitled to your death benefit and how to divide the benefit if it is to be paid to more than one person.
At CSC's discretion, your death benefit may be paid to:
- one or more dependants; and/or
- your legal personal representative; or
- any individual CSC decides if it cannot find a dependant or your legal personal representative.
In exercising its discretion, CSC usually considers any application made by your spouse, your child or a person in an interdependency relationship with you, or any other person who considers they have a claim. CSC may also (but is not obligated to) take account of any beneficiaries nominated in an expired or invalid binding nomination or your will.
CSC may also use other avenues to identify potential recipients. For instance, CSC may:
- ask your former employer for help in identifying family members
- contact your family and/or your solicitor to identify possible beneficiaries
- advertise in newspapers for potential claimants where it cannot identify family members.
What is a reversionary death benefit nomination?
A reversionary death benefit nomination is used to nominate and pay your dependant an income stream until the account balance is nil or they fully withdraw the income stream. Your beneficiary will receive regular income payments instead of a lump sum death benefit.
In the event of your death, your current income stream reverts to your nominated beneficiary and that person has authority to manage the account (meaning they can switch investment options, change the annual payment amount, make withdrawals, etc) in the same way you can as the original member. You can only nominate one person as your reversionary beneficiary.
A reversionary nomination also overrules any previous nomination you made.
If you make a reversionary nomination, you cannot make a non-binding or binding death benefit nomination. There may also be taxation implications, which could affect your decision to make a binding and not a reversionary nomination.
Read the CSCri Product Disclosure Statement for more on a reversionary nomination.
Who can I nominate as my reversionary beneficiary?
The person you elect as a reversionary beneficiary in the event of your death can be any one of the following:
- your spouse
- your child under 18
- a financial dependant (at the time of your death), or
- an interdependent (both at the time of nomination and at the time of your death).
You cannot nominate a child age 18 or over unless:
- they are between age 18 and 25 and financially dependent on you immediately before your death, or
- they are disabled within the meaning of the Disability Services Act 1986 (Cth).
If the income stream is payable to a child between age 18 and 25, the child will receive the income stream until they reach 25 unless the account balance is reduced to nil earlier. Once the child turns 25, the remaining account balance will be paid to them as a lump sum amount, unless the child is disabled, in which case the income stream can continue to be paid to the disabled child until the balance is nil.
Your nominated reversionary beneficiary must be an eligible dependant at the date of your death. If this is not the case, the trustee, Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, will then use its discretion as to who will receive your death benefit.
What is a binding death benefit nomination?
A binding death benefit nomination is used to nominate your preferred beneficiaries, binding the trustee, Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, to pay your death benefit to specified persons provided correct procedures have been followed to ensure your nomination is valid.
It overrules any previous non-binding or binding nominations, but not a reversionary nomination. Valid binding nominations continue for a period of three years from the date they are signed.
What is a non-binding death benefit nomination?
A non-binding death benefit nomination is used to nominate your preferred beneficiaries. Your nominations will not bind the trustee, Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, in its determination but will guide the final decision as to whom your benefit is paid.
Who can I nominate as a binding or non-binding beneficiary?
The person or persons you elect to receive your remaining CSCri account balance in the event of your death must be a dependant under superannuation law, meaning they can be any one (or more) of the following:
- your current spouse (including a de facto)
- your children of any age (including adult, step, adopted or ex-nuptial children)
- your legal personal representative in their capacity as the executor or administrator of your estate
- any person or persons you have an interdependency relationship with.
An 'interdependency relationship' is where two people (whether or not related by family):
- have a close personal relationship, and
- live together, and
- one of them provides the other with financial support, and
- one of them provides the other with domestic support and personal care.
If two people (whether or not related by family) have a close relationship, but do not satisfy the other requirements outlined above because one or both of them suffer from a physical, intellectual or psychiatric disability, they are considered to have an interdependency relationship.
Your nominated binding or non-binding beneficiary must be an eligible dependant at the date of your death. If this is not the case, the trustee, Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, will use its discretion, in accordance with superannuation law, as to who will get your death benefit.
Who is a child by law?
The meaning of 'child' is established in the Family Law Act 1975. It states a child can be a biological, adopted or step child, as well as a child:
A child by law is someone who is:
- born to a woman as the result of an artificial conception procedure while that woman was married to, or was a de factor partner of, another person (whether of the same or opposite sex)
- of a person because of an order of a state or territory court made under a state or territory law prescribed for the purposes of section 60HB of the Family Law Act 1975, giving effect to a surrogacy agreement.
How do I ensure my nomination is valid?
You must strictly meet those conditions prescribed under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act) and the Regulations made under the SIS Act, which are:
- the people you nominate to receive the benefit must be either your dependants (as defined above) or, for non-binding and binding nominations only, your legal personal representative
- the proportion of the benefits payable to each person you nominate must be clear or easily ascertained from the nomination form (relevant to non-binding and binding nominations only not to a reversionary beneficiary because you can nominate one person only)
- your nomination must be in writing
- your nomination must not have been revoked
- you must give us your nomination (it cannot be provided after your death by someone else).
Other conditions for binding nominations are:
- you must sign and date your nomination in the presence of two witnesses, both of whom must be over the age of 18 and not listed as beneficiaries in your nomination
- your nomination must contain declarations from each of the two witnesses confirming that you signed and dated your nomination before them
- your nomination must have been made, confirmed or amended within three years of your death (that is, you must keep the nomination up to date and review it every three years).
How do I know if my nomination is accepted?
We will confirm in writing that your nomination has been accepted. You can also view your nomination in CSCri Member Online and on your Member Statement. If you made a binding nomination, we will write to you before it expires to seek your instructions.
Login to CSCri Member Online to view your beneficiary nomination.
When will my nomination expire?
If you have a valid binding nomination in place, it will expire three years from when you made, confirmed or amended your nomination.
If you wish for your nomination to remain effective, you must renew it in writing before it expires. That is, you must renew it within three years of the date you originally signed it or within three years of the date it was last confirmed. If you have a non-binding or reversionary nomination in place, it will not expire.
Renew your nomination using the Nominate your beneficiaries [PDF 987 KB] form.
What if my nominated beneficiary is no longer a dependant when I die?
In this case, your binding or reversionary death benefit nomination will no longer be valid. If your circumstances do change, such as through marriage or divorce, it is important that you update your current reversionary, binding or non-binding nomination so it remains valid.
How do I change or revoke my current nomination?
Change or revoke your nomination using the Nominate your beneficiaries [PDF 987 KB] form.
Remember, it is best to change your nomination if your circumstances change. Examples can include marriage, divorce, registration of a new relationship, a change in an interdependency relationship (or the start of a new one), and the death of a nominated beneficiary.
If you have a non-binding nomination in place, you can use the above form to nominate a valid binding or reversionary beneficiary to replace your current nomination. And if you have a binding nomination in place but wish to instead nominate a reversionary beneficiary, use the form to replace your current nomination with a reversionary nomination (note, to change your current reversionary beneficiary you must first revoke it using the form, before making a new election).
Are there any fees to pay?
No, there are no fees or charges to make, change or revoke a beneficiary nomination.
Should I still have a will?
It is important to stress that your nomination does not replace a will. Your nomination will have no bearing on how your assets outside superannuation such as property, shares and cash will be dealt with in the event of your death. You must not view a nomination for your super as a substitute for having a legally enforceable will in place.