Superannuation Death Benefits – Part 1, Directing Payment of Death Benefits Superannuation death benefits are payments made from a member’s account to another person on the death of the member. The lump sum is not treated as income of the recipient and the estate/ trustees cannot reclaim any of the SLSDB charge. It is important to check whether pension scheme rules allow the board of trustees to delegate decisions in this way. The trustee may also decide to pay your death benefit directly to your legal personal representative (the executor of your estate). Trustee boards should think carefully before they delegate death benefit decisions to individuals or small groups within the trustee structure. In this first part of a two part series, the strict rules which govern how and to whom the payment of death benefits can be made will be discussed. Trustee discretion under attack? When superannuation death benefits are paid to the legal personal representative (that is, the executor or administrator of the estate), the trustee of the fund does not deduct any tax but provides the legal personal representative with a statement setting out the taxable components of the payment. The manner in which they exercise it will sometimes cause disappointment. If you don’t have a valid will, your super death benefit and the rest of your estate will then be distributed as required under the intestacy laws applying in your state.
Posted 26.02.2019 It is a long accepted principle of law that the trustee of a discretionary trust has a wide discretion to determine when and how to make distributions of income or capital to the beneficiaries of the trust. It is taxed in the same way it would have been taxed if the payment was made directly to a dependant or non-dependant, except that the Medicare levy (2% for 2018-19) does not apply. This presentation is going to focus on trustee discretion as it relates to making discretionary income and/or principal distributions from trusts once they have become irrevocable. Trustee services • 020 3327 5370 • firstname.lastname@example.org Trustee discretions – payment of death benefits Find out more If you have any questions about the practical implications of the Mrs S Earle v Michelin Pension case, or would like an independent review of your scheme’s trustee discretion process, please contact Mark Homer or Clare Owen. If the payment is made to the trustee of a deceased estate, the trustee pays tax on the death benefit ETP. Others grant the Trustee wide discretion to allocate the death benefit between an LPR and any of the dependants of the deceased. Where the lump sum death benefit is paid to a non-individual (eg a trustee, except a bare trustee, or a personal representative) the SLSDB tax charge of 45% still applies. Payment to the trustee of a deceased estate. “The Concept of Trustee Discretion” by Francis Burton Doyle, Esq., WealthPLAN A key element of any trust is trustee discretion. Whilst a valid and current nomination will generally have first priority, trustees will in some trust deeds have a discretion.
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