The recent Federal Court decision of Ievers v Superannuation Complaints Tribunal considered the question of whether a de facto relationship had ended for the purpose of determining who should receive a super death benefit. The case was set in the background of tragic circumstances and competing arguments between a deceased member’s partner and mother as to whether the relationship had ended before the member’s death. Ultimately, the Court upheld the Superannuation Complaint Tribunal’s finding that the relationship had not broken down before the member’s death and that it was appropriate to pay 100% of the death benefits to the partner.
This case is an important reminder of the potential complex nature of determining who can receive death benefits from a super fund. This is particularly so when it comes to determining who is de facto, a dependent or an interdependent. It is also reinforces the importance of considering binding death benefit nominations.
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