Death Claims - BUSSQ

Death Claims

At BUSSQ we understand that coping with the loss of a loved one is a difficult time. We are here to help you through the process of claiming benefits.

The process can appear overwhelming especially if you are unsure about how superannuation works. 
Our Insurance staff are available to guide you through the process. They will look after your claim from start to finish.

Who is entitled to claim death benefits?

BUSSQ has strict guidelines and legislation that must be complied with when paying out a super account following the death of a member.

In the case of a non-binding beneficiary, the BUSSQ Trustee has the discretion to distribute benefits to one or more of the following persons to the exclusion of the other or others, and in such manner and proportion as the Trustee determines, namely:

(a) Member's dependents; or
(b) Legal Personal Representative; or in the absence of (a) and (b) then,
(c) any other person as permitted by the Fund Trust Deed.

The Trustee will also take into consideration any preferred non-binding beneficiary nominated by the deceased but will not necessarily be bound by that nomination.

As well as the needs of any surviving spouse, the Trustee is required to consider the financial needs of any minor children, children undertaking tertiary education, children requiring medical/respite care due to illness or disability or to whom the member owed a legal or moral duty of support at his/her date of death. The financial needs of such children are distinguished from the needs of financially independent adult children.

A binding nomination instructs the Trustee to be bound by the nomination(s).

What does the death benefit consist of?

The amount payable consists of the account balance of the deceased which includes contributions made by the employer or member, any amounts rolled over from other funds and any insurance amount which may be payable. The insurance amount depends on the level of insurance cover in effect at the time of death.

Who are the dependents?

The Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (the SIS Act) defines a dependent as: 

“dependent" - in relation to a person, includes the spouse of the person, any child of the person and any person with whom the person has an inter-dependency relationship.

Spouse

(a) another person (whether of the same sex or a different sex) with whom the person is in a relationship that is registered under a law of a State or Territory prescribed for the purposes of section 2E of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 as a kind of relationship prescribed for the purposes of that section; and
(b) another person who, although not legally married to the person, lives with the person on a genuine domestic basis in a relationship as a couple.

Child –includes an adopted child, a stepchild or an ex-nuptial child of the person; a child of the person's spouse; certain children born as a result of artificial conception procedures or through a surrogacy arrangement.

Inter dependency relationship – defined as:

  • A close personal relationship between two people who live together. 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
  • A close personal relationship that does not satisfy the above criteria of an interdependent relationship because either or both of them suffer from a physical, intellectual or psychiatric disability.

What information is required to lodge a claim?

The documents required to prepare the claim for the Trustee decision is as follows:

  • A completed Application for Payment of a Death Benefit form
  • A certified copy of the full Death Certificate.
  • A certified copy of the deceased's Birth Certificate.
  • A certified copy of the deceased’s Marriage Certificate if applicable or Divorce Certificate if applicable
  • A certified copy of the deceased’s Last Will and Testament, if any.
  • Grant of Probate of Letters of Administration if the Estate has been or will be Probated. This will apply if a Supreme Court has appointed an administrator to the deceased’s estate.
  • A certified copy of proof of identity, such as Driver’s License or Passport for each claimant
  • A copy of the top portion of the bank statement showing the branch (BSB), account name and account number for each claimant.
  • Certified copies of the birth certificates for any minor children of the deceased.
  • If you are claiming financial dependency as an interdependent partner we may require evidence of financial dependence including statements from bank accounts/loans. 
  • A completed Tax File Number form for a non-financial dependent claimant.

Who is a legal personal representative of the Estate?

The legal personal representative of the estate is usually the person who is named as the Executor of the Will, or if the deceased did not have a Will, the administration of his/her estate. The administrator of the estate will be a person who has been granted Letters of Administration from the Supreme Court.

Note: Superannuation does not automatically form part of the deceased estate and not necessarily paid as part of the Will.

Who decides payment of the claim?

Once all the information has been gathered from potential beneficiaries, the claim is submitted to the Trustee of the Fund to determine where the benefit will be paid.

How can I obtain a copy of the BUSSQ Trust Deed?

View the BUSSQ Trust Deed (PDF 1.9MB).

Release of Death Claim Documents or Information

During the progress of a claim BUSSQ may receive personal information from a claimant, a number of claimants or from someone lodging an objection. 

BUSSQ may disclose the personal information of an Interested Person to BUSSQ’s insurer and service providers in order to finalise the claim.  

However we will not disclose your personal information to other Interested Persons or their representatives without your consent, except when BUSSQ is required by law to notify or explain decisions in relation to benefit payments.  

If you give us personal information about another Interested Person, we may disclose that information to that other Interested Person and we may be required to tell them that you gave us the information.

An Interested Person is a person who may be eligible for or interested in the member’s death benefit, and includes any person who has made a claim or lodged an objection to a decision in relation to a death benefit or on whose behalf a claim has been made or objection lodged.  

BUSSQ does not provide:

  • internal notes, 
  • records of communications with claimants or another Interested parties, or
  • copies of claim committee minutes.

BUSSQ Privacy Policy may be found on our website.

Objections regarding claim benefits
Where BUSSQ has been asked for a copy of an objection to a claim decision, we will only disclose the information in the objection that is about the person who has asked for the copy of the objection. 
BUSSQ will not disclose personal information about any claimant (including their contact details) or a copy of the objection regarding claim benefits to any other claimant without express consent.  
However, personal information that BUSSQ has been given about a claimant by someone else may be disclosed to the claimant and generally they may be told who gave us the information.

Third Party Requests
Any BUSSQ member wishing to give a third party the right to access personal information about their superannuation will need to complete an Authority to Release Information which can be found on our website.