Superannuation is an important entitlement we earn over our working lives, and the benefits are not just for retirement.
Default insurance is a key feature of superannuation as it is often the only form of Life & Disability Insurance people have. It is usually provided automatically, which means almost all members of a Fund may be covered.
This form of insurance is particularly important for people diagnosed with a chronic or degenerative health condition like MND, as it is there to be claimed if you are unable to work.
Types of Disability Insurance
The common types of life and disability insurance offered through super are:
• Income Protection (IP);
• Total & Permanent Disability (TPD) benefits;
• Terminal Illness (TI) benefits; and
• Death Benefits.
Income Protection benefits are usually monthly payments that you can claim if you are unable to perform your job, or one or more of the important duties of your job, because of an injury or an illness.
Total & Permanent Disability insurance is usually a lump sum benefit you can claim if you are unlikely to return to work because of your MND symptoms or another health condition.
Terminal illness benefits allows you to access your super immediately and tax free. This includes the accumulated contributions and any terminal illness insurance benefits.
Life Insurance - Almost every worker will have automatic life insurance as a member of a super Fund. This is commonly referred to as a ‘Death benefit’, which your dependents can claim if you die while still a member of the Fund.
How to check your insurance through super
To find out what insurance you have in your super you can:
- call your super fund
- access your super account online
- check your super's annual statement and the product disclosure statement (PDS)
You'll be able to see:
- what type of insurance you have
- how much cover you have
- how much you're paying in premiums for the cover
Your super fund's website will have a PDS that explains who the insurer is, details of the cover available and conditions to make a claim.
How do I claim?
Disability Insurance - You can contact your superannuation Fund to find out if you are insured and to request claim forms. If you stopped work some time ago, it will be important to confirm what you were covered for when you stopped work, rather than what you are covered for now.
Early access to your superannuation
You can only have early access to your super in very limited circumstances.
- Access on compassionate grounds
- Access due to severe financial hardship
- Access due to a terminal medical condition
- Access due to permanent incapacity
Claims can be complex and often come at a time of great stress and anxiety, so you may wish to get help or advice from a professional before making any important financial decisions.
The Financial Information Service is a free service that can inform and educate you about financial matters.
Financial counsellors offer free, independent and confidential help to people with money problems.
Community legal centres and Legal Aid agencies in every state and territory offer free legal advice.
- Early access to your super | Australian Taxation Office (ato.gov.au)
- Insurance through super - Moneysmart.gov.au
- Making a life insurance claim - Moneysmart.gov.au
- Financial counselling - Moneysmart.gov.au
- Insurance Law Service
You can download a factsheet produced by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers on Superannuation & Insurance here:
(c) MND NSW 2020