Binding Nominations and Will

My Superannuation fund only gives me a Binding Nomination. I have a Will that says all of my super. will be distrubuted to a charity. If I do not fill out a BN form every three years, can my Will supersede the funds requirements?

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Welcome to the community @Wendy31
It’s not possible to offer legal advice on this forum.

The best advice may come from the solicitor who prepared your will. It’s likely they will respond to your enquiry without a fee, if a simple phone enquiry re the situation with your will. Your super fund will also provide advice on what it requires.

The following is repeated by numerous online legal firms. It may assist to clarify the situation.

It’s similar to our personal experiences. The Binding Nomination requirements differ between Super Funds. Some may limit to whom any nomination can be made and how often renewal is required.

My fund has a requirement to renew every 3 years. If it lapsed, and could not be renewed say due to incapacity it reverts to the fund to decide.

The following from the ATO web resources re leaving super to a charity suggests it is essential to have the discussion with both your chosen law firm re your will and your Super Fund.


Thank you, Mark-m. The link directed me to Andreyev Lawyers that has answered my concern. My Will has no legal standing on Binding Nominations. I do have to fill out a BN every three years!


You may find your answer here.

I personally nominate “my estate” in my Super funds. Which should be a firm guide for the fund trustee to follow.


The link provided only responded to whether a will and Binding Nomination to your Super Fund were independent.

I also indicated one should discuss with the Super Fund. It may not be as simple as filling out a BN. Apologies I shortly after in editing added a further link.

The following may also be of interest.

@Gregr link to a Choice resource may assist with further understanding of how Super Funds handle BN’s. Note that a Charity is not one of those expected to be nominated.


A “binding death benefit nomination” has a MAJOR limitation.

I’ve approached my Super Fund. And they refuse to consider any change.

The problem is that there is a 3 year limitation - and it must be extended - or it dies.

In a family where Dementia has been an issue - both Dad and Mum were able to make any legal documents for about 6 years prior to death - meaning that, should the same happen to me - or anyone for that matter - the “binding death benefit nomination” would be invalid.

The Super Fund says VERBALLY - refused to put it in writing - that they would “LIKELY” do the same thing as the expired “binding death benefit nomination” once I died if my circumstance was the same.



This may be specific to your super fund. My super fund used to have the same tedious “renew every 3 years” system but now they allow it to be non-lapsing. Problem solved.


It would be solved if @AlanAU moved his super to a fund as accommodating as yours (and mine). Quite a few funds now honour non-lapsing binding nominations.

The rub to move funds is that there is a cost, minimally in the difference between the exit (leaving) and buy (entering) prices of investments for account based super, and various hurdles for older and defined benefit funds where a beneficiary is applicable.

It would usually be a few percent and if it bought peace of mind may be considered value for cost for someone worried about future mental incapacitation.

I’ll second that. Funds not honouring perpetual binding nominations are living and operating in a paternal era where customers were managed, not served. My understanding it was thought to protect people getting divorced and so on, who lost the plot managing/updating their accounts, and thus provided some protection for the new partner etc. Yet that should be personal responsibility and the fund holder should be able to do as they wish, and if they do not ‘pay attention’ it is on them to the detriment of their intended but unregistered beneficiary. Incapacitation? A wrinkle not well addressed in the non-binding era.


Hopefully that changes with mine - I even threatened to change funds. I’m with QSUPER (which has now joined with some other mob, but the policy hasn’t changed).

I have had extensive conversations with them - and a string of paperwork - but to no avail.

What fund are you with?

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Or even that there is a reversionary benefit to the existing spouse (no divorces in sight) but the will sends the assets of the estate (including the super) to something other than that. More generally, if there are financial dependents then the super fund manager may do something different from what the will says (although in fact a court might eventually override the will anyway - but not necessarily in the same proportions).


The lawyers are the only ‘combatants’ that always win.


I have a Perpetual Wholesale Super Fund whereby I define the funds and their ratio comprising it. It has a binding non-lapsing nomination. I have had good results despite any ‘high fees’ discussion. What matters is account growth, not fees per se.