Death Benefit or Disability claims and complaints
The majority of workers are members of public superannuation funds that offer death benefit or disability payments. In the event of a member’s death, a death benefit payment that may include life insurance will be paid by the superannuation fund to a beneficiary pursuant to any Binding Death Beneficiary Nomination (BDBN).
However, if there is no valid BDBN in place, the fund’s Trustee will determine who the benefit is to be paid to and it is up to a person to make a claim for the death benefit payment to show that they were dependent on the deceased member. For example, this could include a surviving spouse, de facto partner or a child of the deceased or someone who was financially dependent on the deceased.
- Generally, once the fund trustee makes a decision as to who should receive the death benefit payment, there is a period of time when the decision can be objected.
- If there is an objection, there will then be an internal review of the trustee’s decision.
- If a person is unhappy with the trustee’s decision on review, the person can make an appeal to the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT) who will make a decision as to who should receive the death benefit payment. The parties will have an opportunity to have a telephone settlement conference to attempt to come to an agreement before the SCT makes a decision.
- If a person wishes to challenge the decision by the SCT, they will need to appeal to the Supreme Court of Victoria.
Armstrong Lawyers are able to prepare the initial claim to the Superannuation fund and provide practical advice and assistance for Superannuation Death Benefit or Disability complaints in:
- the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT); and
- the Supreme Court of Victoria.