Protecting your super

The Federal Government's protecting your super package came into effect on 1 July 2019. The legislation includes changes to fees, the transfer of inactive low-balance accounts to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and stopping insurance for inactive members.

Read the Protecting your super fact sheet here

Insurance and inactive accounts

This legislation means that superannuation funds are no longer able to provide insurance for a member whose account has been ‘inactive’ for more than 16 consecutive months. This includes any insurance for death, total & permanent disablement (TPD) and income protection.

An account is considered inactive where:

  • We have not received an amount paid into the account within the last 16 months; and
  • The member hasn’t communicated to us that they wish to continue to receive insurance benefits, despite otherwise holding an inactive account.

If you have an inactive account and would like to keep your cover, then you can do so in one of two ways:

  • You can activate your account simply by contributing to your super. 
  • You can do this as a contribution or rollover, and it doesn’t matter how much the amount is, or who pays it. Learn more about contributing to your super >
  • Alternatively, you can provide us with an election in writing to keep your cover.

If your account switches from active to inactive we will notify you at 9, 12 and 15 months of inactivity to provide you with the opportunity to elect to maintain your insurance cover.

Find out more about consolidating super accounts

ATO transfers of inactive super funds

To allow for the consolidation of multiple super accounts that a member may hold across several super funds, superannuation funds are required to transfer ‘inactive low balance accounts’ to the ATO as at 31 October 2019 (or half yearly after that). If you have an inactive super account that has been transferred to the ATO, they will try and reunite that account with an active super account that you hold somewhere else (if the active account has a balance over $6,000). They’ll do this within 28 days of matching you with the inactive account. These are the circumstances in which we may transfer your super account to the ATO:

  • Your account is less than $6,000.
  • We haven’t received an amount (such as a rollover from another fund or a contribution) to your account within the last 16 months.
  • We are not owed an amount in respect of your account.
  • You have no insurance cover.
  • You have not changed your investment options in the last 16 months.
  • You have not made or amended a binding death benefit nomination in the last 16 months.

If your super account is transferred, the ATO will keep your money safe and you’ll pay $0 in fees while your money is with them. However, you will not benefit from receiving any investment returns from your super fund. When you claim your super fund or it is matched with another account, any interest due will be paid to you. Interest is based on the consumer price index (CPI).

Stay with Vision Super

If you do not want your account to be transferred to the ATO, there’s some things you can do to stop it: 

  • Combine your super accounts so that you have one fund with a balance of $6,000 or more. 
  • If appropriate for your personal situation, elect to keep your insurance cover.
  • Choose who you want your super to go to and make a binding death benefit nomination.
  • Contribute to your super.
  • Review your investment options, and if applicable and appropriate for your personal situation, make a change to the investment options you are currently in. You can do this online >
  • Combine your super accounts so that you have one fund with a balance of $6,000 or more.
  • If appropriate for your personal situation, elect to keep your insurance cover.

Review your investment options

Fees

There is a cap on administration fees and certain costs that members will be charged if their account balance is less than $6,000. This cap is equal to 3% of the member’s account balance. The cap aims to slow the rate of super being eaten away in fees on low balances.

In addition, regardless of account balance, exit fees on all super accounts will be prohibited. Exit fees have been a reason why members haven’t wanted to consolidate various super accounts. Since consolidating your accounts saves on multiple fees for each account, this prohibition of exit fees means that there’s no downside to doing so.

What does this all mean for you?

It’s important for Vision Super members to be aware of these changes if you have a low balance or inactive super account. If you’re not sure if your accounts are affected, call us on 1300 300 820 and we’ll confirm whether you’re at risk of your insurance cover being turned off, or your super account being transferred to the ATO.

In each of these instances, we will also be communicating with you directly.

You can also find more information on the Money Smart website.

Frequently asked questions

If you change your employer in most instances you can request, they pay your super into your Vision Super account. Simply fill in the Choice of Fund form and hand it in to your payroll officer.

If you have to go with your employers default super fund you may be able to keep your insurance benefits with us because your insurance cover with Vision Super doesn’t necessarily cease when you change employers (provided that you satisfy the terms and conditions contained within the relevant insurance policy).

We’d encourage you to talk to us before you engage a lawyer. Vision Super pays more than 85% of insurance claims, so the likelihood is your claim will be paid if you work with us directly, and you’ll end up with more of your money. Many lawyers advertise that they’ll work for you on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, but if your claim is approved, they may take a large chunk of your payout – it can be around 30% of an entitlement. Our insurance team is here to help you through every step of the claims process, including all the paperwork, without having to get a lawyer involved and potentially losing money you need to pay for medical treatment or maintain your lifestyle.

Call us on 1300 300 820, and we will send you the required information. Your employer or legal representative may also call us to enquire on your behalf.

Yes, you can cancel your cover at any time. Any cancellation or reduction of cover will take effect from the date we receive your request or the date you specified in your request (as long as it’s after the date we receive it). If you are replacing your existing cover with an alternative cover, before cancelling we recommend that you have your replacement cover in place first. To talk to us about cancelling a policy, please call us on 1300 300 820.

If you are thinking about changing your insurance please consider seeking financial advice before making any changes to make sure it is right for you and your needs and circumstances.

 

You may be able to get cover if you have a pre-existing medical condition. You will just need to apply to remove the pre-existing condition exclusion when you join by filling in a Personal Statement. Our Insurer will review your application taking into consideration any pre-existing conditions and general health and advise if your request has been accepted.

If your application is unsuccessful,  there will be a two-year Pre-Existing Condition (PEC) exclusion on Death and TPD cover and Income Protection cover. This means that no benefit will be paid if you are totally and permanently disabled, terminally ill or die as a direct or indirect result of a pre-existing medical condition in the first two years of your insurance cover.

You can have multiple income protection policies, and there are legitimate reasons why people choose more than one product.

However, some income protection policies prevent claimants from receiving more than a certain percentage of their gross salary while off work. What that means is you could have three income protection policies that all offer payments equalling 75 per cent of your gross salary, but you wouldn’t be able to claim the full amount from all three. You would typically be limited to a combined maximum of 75 per cent across the policies.

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