Benefit entitlements when a pension member dies

An important first step

In the event of the death of a pension member, the pension member's spouse, de facto partner, or other relative or representative should contact the administrator, Mercer, on 1300 652 113.

Once Mercer is notified of the death, it will issue a letter to the spouse or representative outlining the documents required to assess a spouse or de facto partner's eligibility to receive a benefit.


State Super will request documentation to prove the relationship existed at the time the member retired and continued until the member's death.

In circumstances where the pension member was married at the time of the member's death, the essential documents required are a certified copy of the marriage certificate, and proof-of-identity documents for the spouse.

The de facto partner of a pension member who was not married at the time of death will generally be required to complete a statutory declaration and provide additional supporting documentation (such as statutory declarations from family members and non-family members) proving the relationship existed at the time the member retired, and continued until the member's death. Proof-of-identity documents for the de facto partner will also be required.

PSS pension member

On the death of a retired PSS member, a spouse pension is payable only to an eligible person (which includes a de facto partner and may include a same gender partner) and only where the scheme member elected to receive a pension.

The partial commutation of a member's pension reduces a spouse's pension entitlement on a proportional basis, e.g. if 50% of a pension member's pension is commuted, the spouse is entitled to 50% of the spouse pension. A spouse or de facto partner's pension is not payable where the member exchanged the whole of their pension entitlement for a lump sum.

Please refer to PSS Fact Sheet 6: Death benefits for more information.