After you retire, if you are receiving a Retirement Income Stream pension from ElectricSuper, you could make choices about who will receive your pension when you die.

A reversionary beneficiary

For Income Stream members

If you have a Retirement Income Stream, you are able to nominate one person as your reversionary beneficiary.

The person you nominate as your reversionary beneficiary will continue to receive your regular Income Stream payments after your death. It gives that person a regular, ongoing income at what could be a very stressful time for them.

They may then also choose to take some or all of the Income Stream balance as a lump sum, if they wish. However, in the first instance, they will be able to access the Income Stream in regular payments.

Reversionary beneficiary nominations and expiry

There are restrictions on who you can nominate as your reversionary beneficiary. You may nominate:

  • your spouse (legal or de facto)
  • your child (if under 18, or if aged between 18-25 if they are financially dependent on you, or if any age if they are disabled)
  • anyone who is financially dependent on you
  • anyone you are in an interdependency relationship with

Your reversionary beneficiary nomination doesn’t expire. It will remain in place until you change or cancel your nomination, so you need to ensure you update it if your situation changes.

Only Retirement Income Stream members can nominate a reversionary beneficiary.

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Learn more

Watch our quick video to learn more about reversionary beneficiaries

(2:00 minutes)

A binding death benefit nomination

A binding death benefit nomination is different to a reversionary beneficiary. Any beneficiary you nominate this way may instead receive your super (or a portion of it) in a lump sum if you die.

The option of making a binding death benefit nomination is open to:

  • members of the Retirement Income Stream who do not have a reversionary beneficiary in place, and
  • members of the Transition to Retirement Income Stream


  • members in Division 2, 3, 4 and 5 who are not yet in the retirement phase. See the article Estate planning: the details for more information about nominating beneficiaries if you are not yet retired. For members in Division 2 and 3, the Rules of your scheme determine which portions of your account you can nominate a beneficiary for.

Who can you nominate as your binding death beneficiary?

A binding death benefit nomination allows you to nominate one or more people to receive your super or pension as a lump sum in the proportions you choose. You can nominate any of the following people:

  • your spouse (married or de facto)
  • your children, of any age (including step children and adopted children)
  • anyone wholly or partly financially dependent on you
  • anyone you have an interdependency relationship with
  • your ‘Legal Personal Representative’. A Legal Personal Representative is the person who will administer your estate, such as your executor or administrator, and they will deal with your super or pension balance as part of administering the rest of your estate.

If you choose to split your pension benefit between multiple beneficiaries, you must make sure that your nominations add up to 100%.

You need to be aware that, while you are permitted to nominate anyone on this list to receive your super benefit, there may be tax implications for the beneficiaries if they are not classed as ‘dependants’ in tax law. For example, your spouse is a ‘dependant’ under tax law, so there will be no additional tax implications on them receiving your benefit, however your adult children are not considered ‘dependant’ under tax law so they are likely to have tax implications.

Binding death benefit nomination expiry

A binding death benefit nomination lasts for 3 years.

You will need to update your nomination with us every 3 years. You can also cancel or change your nomination at any time by completing and lodging a new binding death benefit nomination form.

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What if you don't nominate a beneficiary?

You don’t have to nominate a beneficiary if you don’t want to.

If you don’t nominate a beneficiary, the ElectricSuper Board will decide who should receive your benefit when you die, after they have assessed your situation. Your benefit is not always automatically paid out to your estate and, in fact, may be paid out to your spouse, children, or other dependants.

If any of your nominated beneficiaries are not eligible beneficiaries at the time you die, or if they have passed away, your nomination will be invalid and the ElectricSuper Board will decide who should receive your benefit.

Receiving a lifetime pension?

If you are receiving a Lifetime (defined benefit) Pension from ElectricSuper, the Rules of the scheme define who will receive your pension benefit when you die.

Your spouse

If you are receiving a lifetime pension when you die, a pension of 2/3rds of the pension you were receiving at the time you died is typically paid to your spouse. However, if you commuted part of your pension under the ‘30% Rule’, your spouse will receive 2/3rds of the pension you would have been receiving at the time of your death if you had not commuted any of your pension.

Your children

If you are receiving a lifetime pension, a child of yours who is under age 16, or is aged 16 to 25 and in full-time education, may be entitled to a child’s pension. If you have an eligible child or eligible children and a spouse at the time of your death, a pension is payable for the child(ren) which is a proportion of the pension payable to your spouse. If you have an eligible child or eligible children, but no spouse, at the time of your death, the child(ren) will be entitled to a pension which is a percentage of your pension. You can see the fractions or percentages that apply for child pensions in the Division 3 Member Booklet.

There are situations where a child’s pension may be reduced. You can read about these in the Member Booklet.

Your Estate

If you die while receiving a pension and have no spouse or eligible children at the time of your death, a lump sum may be paid to your Estate. This will only be paid if the pension you have received to the date of death has not exceeded the ‘Minimum Benefit’. The lump sum paid would be any amount of the Minimum Benefit above the total pension and other benefits already paid.

You can read how the Minimum Benefit is calculated on page 25 of the Member Booklet.

Open the Member Booklet

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