AUSTRALIA - The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) has produced a best practice paper on death benefits to try and help trustees sort out members' superannuation death benefits.
In conjunction with the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal, ASFA outlined the changing nature of families, including complex family relationships, offspring with multiple partners, and growing numbers of 'adultescents', as the reason why sorting out members' superannuation death benefits has become increasingly onerous for super fund trustees.
The paper offers trustees a practical guide to this “sometimes vexed” area of super fund stewardship.
ASFA deputy CEO Dr Michaela Anderson also urged Australians to update their death benefit nomination with their super fund, when their family circumstances change.
She said: "The laws surrounding payment of superannuation death benefits are often quite different from inheritance law, trustees have to deal with a wide variety of claims from every permutation of relationship: adult children of a previous relationship against infant children of a current relationship; parents of a deceased adult child who was living with them; and even flatmates."
Changes to the death benefit regulations were introduced in 2004, to allow for claims by people in interdependency relationships. This means that individuals in same sex relationships could be eligible to receive their partner's superannuation benefits when they die.
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