Loss of a loved one


Losing a loved one is one of the most challenging life events you'll face. As you deal with the emotional upheaval of your grief, the possible impact on your finances is probably the last thing on your mind.

When you feel ready, we encourage you to consider some of the issues that may affect your financial situation.

Death benefits

If your loved one was a UniSuper member and you're a beneficiary, you may be able to claim a death benefit. It’s also a good idea to check whether your loved one had an insurance policy outside of UniSuper.

Depending on your loved one’s UniSuper membership category, the benefit may also include insurance proceeds or a reversionary pension.

If you receive a reversionary pension from a UniSuper Flexi Pension, you may not need to draw as much from your own Flexi Pension (if you have one).

With a Flexi Pension, you can change your pension payment amount at any time (as long as you meet the withdrawal limits set by superannuation law). Simply log in to your account or complete a Change of details form – pension members and return it to us.

To find out about the next steps, please contact us.

Revisit your estate planning

When a loved one passes away, you should review any provisions you’ve made for the final stages of your life. These include:

  • who you’ve nominated as the executor of your estate in your Will as well as the distribution of your assets
  • beneficiaries you’ve chosen to receive your account-based pension after you die
  • beneficiaries you’ve listed on any insurance policies
  • Powers of Attorney (POA) and/or guardians you’ve appointed to make important decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to.

This will help avoid possible legal complications in the future. For example, if your loved one was your POA and you don’t make alternative arrangements, the government may have to appoint an adult guardian to act on your behalf if and when the need arises.

Investing any inheritance

If you're named in your loved one’s Will, or are a beneficiary for their super, pension or insurance cover, you may receive a bequest or lump-sum death benefit (one-off cash payment).

What you do with these funds can have implications on your financial situation in a range of ways—tax payable, Centrelink entitlements, and your UniSuper pension investments to name a few.

Getting financial advice can help you make the right choice by assessing how different investments may affect you.

Also, if your loved one’s estate was divided in unexpected ways, you may find that you now have less than you originally thought. A financial adviser with UniSuper Advice can help you reassess your net worth and create strategies to assist you in achieving your goals.