Nominating a beneficiary

Leave your super in the right hands.

Deciding who your super goes to if you die, is an important decision.

By nominating a person (or people) to be your beneficiary, you’re letting your super fund know who you’d like to get your super.

There are a few things you should consider when nominating a beneficiary:

Making a binding nomination

Who can you nominate?

This will depend on the type of beneficiary nomination you have, but generally* eligible beneficiaries can include:

Dependant icon

Your dependant/s

• your spouse (including de-facto or same sex spouse)
• a child (including adopted, step or ex-nuptial child)
• a person with whom you have an interdependency relationship
• a person who was financially dependent on you at the time of your passing.
Legal icon

Your legal personal representative

Someone legally recognised by you to manage your affairs, usually the legal executor or administrator of your estate.

Cross icon   You can’t nominate pets or organisations as beneficiaries.
*For reversionary beneficiary nominations, you cannot nominate your legal personal representative, and special conditions apply to nominating children.

Make the right choice

The definition of a dependant under super rules may be different to the definition used in other circumstances (i.e tax rules), so you may want to consider getting professional advice from a lawyer or licensed financial adviser about your nomination.

They can help you understand who a dependant is under different circumstances, as well as how the benefit paid to your nominated beneficiary is treated for tax purposes.

Types of beneficiary nominations

Binding beneficiary nomination


As its name implies, a valid ‘binding’ beneficiary nomination is legally binding, so it means you have the final say on who receives your super. You can nominate a binding beneficiary by completing the Rest – nomination of beneficiary form and returning it to us.

To ensure beneficiary nominations are up to date, binding nominations automatically lapse every three years. A valid binding nomination must be updated within the three years to remain binding, otherwise it will be treated as a non-binding nomination. The person/s nominated must be a dependant or your legal personal representative of your estate. You can only make or change a binding nomination by completing the nomination form and sending it to us.

Not available to Rest Pension members.

Non-binding beneficiary nomination


A non-binding beneficiary nomination acts as a guide for us in deciding who should receive your super. Rest will consider your nomination but ultimately use our discretion in deciding who should receive your super, considering your relationships at the time of your death.

You can make, change, or remove your non-binding beneficiary nomination at any time in the Rest App, or online in MemberAccess.  

If you already have a different kind of nomination in place (for example, a non-lapsing or binding nomination) and would like to change it to a non-binding nomination, you won’t be able to do this in MemberAccess - you’ll need to complete a nomination form and send it to us.

Non-lapsing beneficiary nomination


A valid non-lapsing beneficiary nomination (previously known as a non-lapsing binding nomination) is a nomination that Rest must follow (subject to Rest accepting the nomination).  This type of nomination does not lapse after any period. If you make this type of nomination, it’s important to keep it up to date, so that your super ends up with the person you wish it to.

Rest will still have discretion over your death payment if your non-lapsing nomination is invalid or if a beneficiary you’ve nominated was not a dependant at the time of your death.

You can only make, change, or remove your non-lapsing beneficiary nomination by completing a nomination form and sending it to us. 

Available to Rest Pensions members only.

Reversionary beneficiary nomination


A reversionary beneficiary can choose to receive ongoing Rest Pension Payments or a lump sum payment. 

A reversionary beneficiary must be an eligible dependant, which is different to the dependants you can nominate on other types of nominations as there are special conditions regarding nominating a child.  You can learn more about these conditions here.

You can select only one reversionary beneficiary, and this can only be made when you are starting your Rest Pension. You will need to cancel your existing pension and commence a new pension if you want to change your reversionary beneficiary.

It’s important to understand, that depending on when your pension commenced, this may affect how your pension is treated under the deeming rules.

Available to Rest Pension members only.

Compare beneficiary options

  Binding and Non-lapsing beneficiary nomination Non-binding beneficiary nomination Reversionary beneficiary nomination
Is the nomination binding on Rest? Yes No. However, it will act as a guide and is important in helping us determine who should receive your money. Yes
When can a nomination be made? Any time Any time Only at the opening of your Rest Pension account.
Can the nomination be changed or updated? Yes Yes No
Will the nomination lapse after any period of time? Binding nomination - 3 years; Non-lapsing nomination - No No No
Who can be nominated? A dependant or your estate A dependant or your estate A dependant (certain restrictions regarding nominating children apply)
  Is the nomination binding on Rest?
Binding and Non-lapsing beneficiary nomination Yes
Non-binding beneficiary nomination No. However, it will act as a guide and is important in helping us determine who should receive your money.
Reversionary beneficiary nomination Yes
  When can a nomination be made?
Binding and Non-lapsing beneficiary nomination Any time
Non-binding beneficiary nomination Any time
Reversionary beneficiary nomination Only at the opening of your Rest Pension account.
  Can the nomination be changed or updated?
Binding and Non-lapsing beneficiary nomination Yes
Non-binding beneficiary nomination Yes
Reversionary beneficiary nomination No
  Will the nomination lapse after any period of time?
Binding and Non-lapsing beneficiary nomination Binding nomination - 3 years; Non-lapsing nomination - No
Non-binding beneficiary nomination No
Reversionary beneficiary nomination No
  Who can be nominated?
Binding and Non-lapsing beneficiary nomination A dependant or your estate
Non-binding beneficiary nomination A dependant or your estate
Reversionary beneficiary nomination A dependant (certain restrictions regarding nominating children apply)

How to nominate and review your beneficiaries

Questions and answers

What happens if my nomination is invalid, or I don’t make a nomination?


If your nomination is invalid or you don’t have a nomination, Rest will follow relevant laws to decide who receives your balance. This could be either one or more of your dependants, or your legal personal representative (your estate).

How will my beneficiaries be paid?


Your nominated beneficiaries will receive their benefit as a lump sum unless they are eligible for a pension.  Rest will advise them of their options at the time of payment.

How will my beneficiaries be taxed? 


A Death benefit will be taxed differently depending on whether it’s paid to a dependant, non-dependant or to the deceased estate.  For tax purposes, the definition of dependant is generally the same as the definition used for people you can nominate as a beneficiary under super rules.  It’s also important to know that a child aged 18 or over is only considered dependent if they are financially dependent on you or there is an interdependency relationship.

Taxation issues are complex. You may want to seek professional advice or discuss this matter with your financial adviser, who can guide you based on your circumstances.

What happens if I nominate my legal personal representative?


If Rest decides to pay your money to your legal personal representative, it will be paid as a lump sum to your estate. It will then be distributed according to the terms of your Will or the relevant intestacy legislation that applies to where you lived. 

What happens to my nomination if I close my account?


If you choose to close or rollover your account, the nomination on the original account will be cancelled unless we advise you otherwise.  This includes any nomination you have on previous super accounts if you open a Rest Pension account and roll the full balance of your super account in.

What does ‘financially dependent’ mean?


This means that the person was wholly or partially dependent on you for necessary financial support such as through regular continuous financial contributions from you.  That is, you provided ongoing support as money, or other support such as food, clothing, transport, education, or accommodation costs.   It doesn’t include loans or one-off gifts from you.

What is an interdependency relationship?


Generally, two people have an interdependency relationship if: 

  • they have a close personal relationship, and

  • they live together, and

  • one or each of them provides the other with financial support, and

  • one or each of them provides the other with domestic support and personal care or care of a type and quality normally provided in a close personal relationship, rather than by a friend or flatmate

  • if the two people have a close personal relationship but do not meet the other criteria listed above because either or both suffer from a physical, intellectual, or psychiatric disability, or were temporarily living apart.

What are the special conditions for nominating a child as a reversionary beneficiary?


  • If you choose to nominate your child as a reversionary beneficiary, there are restrictions on when and how they receive payments. To be eligible to receive your pension, your child must be under age 18 at the date of your death, or between 18 and 25 and financially dependent on you.

  • Pension payments will be paid up to age 25. After this, the balance will be paid as a lump sum. If the child is disabled however, (as described in the Disability Services Act 1986) they can continue to receive pension payments regardless of age.

  • It’s important to be aware that there may be social security implications if you nominate your child. You should always obtain independent professional advice before making decisions.

How can deeming rules affect my nomination?


How you are impacted by deeming rules will depend on when your pension commenced. If your pension started prior to 1 January 2015 and you were exempt from the deeming rules, your new pension if commenced from 1 January 2015 or after will not be exempt from the deeming rules.

You might like to have a chat with a financial adviser if you are considering opening a new Rest Pension account to change your reversionary beneficiary.