29 March 2019

Taking action on the Banking, Superannuation & Financial Services Royal Commission

Going further: Consultation on superannuation binding death benefit nominations & kinship structures

The Coalition Government has released a discussion paper focusing on the difficulties that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face when making superannuation binding death benefit nominations.

This is another example of the Government going further in response to the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

During the Royal Commission, evidence was heard about the Lockhart River community and the difficulties that some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people faced when accessing their superannuation entitlements due to complexities associated with Indigenous kinship structures.

In his Final Report, Commissioner Hayne noted, “…some Australians encounter difficulties gaining access to and making effective use of some aspects of the superannuation system.”

The Commissioner urged “consultation with relevant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about whether they, as the relevant users of the system, see difficulties about binding death benefit nominations that should be met”.

The discussion paper explores the law surrounding the distribution of superannuation death benefits, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ kinship structures and how these kinship structures are accommodated elsewhere in the law.

Through this consultation process, the Government will identify if any law changes are required to address how kinship structures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are treated by laws applying to superannuation death benefits.

The Government is focused on putting the interests of superannuation members – not superannuation funds – first.

Ensuring all superannuation members are able to make effective use of Australia’s superannuation system is part of the Coalition Government’s plan for a stronger economy.

The consultation paper is available on the Treasury website.