Are you aware of any insurance policies on your superannuation fund?
Many providers include insurance cover as a default.
The new Treasury Laws Amendment (Protecting Your Superannuation Package) Act 2019 has introduced a number of reforms to protect individual’s super savings from undue erosion by fees and potentially unnecessary insurance premiums within superannuation funds.
Some major changes that superannuation providers (excluding SMSFs and small APRA funds) are required to put into effect on 1 July 2019 are:
- A ban on exit fees for superannuation accounts of any size.
- A 3% cap on administration and investment fees for accounts with a balance below $6,000.
- Removing insurance cover on accounts which have been inactive for 16 months or more, regardless of the balance of the account, unless the member “opts-in” by instructing their super fund to keep their insurance cover. Accounts which have been inactive for 16 months with a balance of less than $6,000, with no insurance cover, will be paid to the ATO as unclaimed super money (USM) by October 2019.
- If the ATO holds an individual’s USM and they identify that the individual has an active super account held elsewhere, then the ATO is required to consolidate these amounts with the active account within 28 days if the consolidated balance will exceed $6,000.
While SMSFs won’t be required to report and pay inactive low-balance accounts to the ATO, they are able to receive a rollover of consolidated USM for their members.
Super funds are required to contact members with super accounts that have been inactive for a period of 6 months prior to 1 April 2019. Members will be informed that from 1 July 2019 their insurance cover will be cancelled if their account maintains inactivity for a period of 16 months and they have not elected to keep their insurance. This means that members with accounts that have been inactive for the 16 month period prior to 1 July 2019 will have their insurance cover cancelled, unless the member contacts the fund to arrange retention of the cover.
The ATO will start proactive consolidation from 1 November 2019 and notify individuals when they’ve consolidated their USM into an active super account.
What could this mean to you?
As many individuals’ only access to insurance cover is through their super, you may lose insurance cover that comes as default with your superannuation fund.
This may be actioned if your account(s) has been inactive for 16 months or more. An account is considered inactive when it is not receiving member contributions or being rolled over within this period.
It would be wise to check on your superannuation fund in anticipation of these changes and consider (excluding SMSFs & Small APRA Funds);
- Have I contributed to or rolled over my super account(s) in the last 16 months, and do I have insurance cover on my account?
Yes If you have contributed to your super account(s) then you don’t need to do anything.
No If not then your insurance cover may be cancelled, and if your account is low-balance, you may have the account balance consolidated to an active account.
- Do I need or want to retain my insurance cover?
Yes You will have to contact your fund and “opt-in” to insurance cover on the account if you wish to maintain it on the account.
No If you do not wish to maintain insurance cover on your inactive account you don’t need to do anything.
Note: As you get older, death and total & permanent disability cover can become more expensive and more difficult to obtain. Therefore, we do recommend that you review your insurance covers as a whole before making this decision
We recommend that you are proactive before the end of the financial year. Try to locate any potential “lost super” you may have and rollover the balance into your active and current super account to avoid any delays.Lost superannuation can be found by following these steps;
- Create or access your MyGov account at my.gov.au then link or access the ATO on your account.
- Go to the “Super” tab, in this section you can: see details of all your super accounts, including any you may have lost or forgotten about.
Alternately you may complete a “Searching for lost super (NAT 2476) Form” and return it to the ATO. You can find this form here. Searching for lost super (NAT 2476) Form
Please be careful to use these methods as there are many unscrupulous ‘find my super’ sites that should not be used.
If you require any assistance or advice in relation to your super or insurance, please contact our office on 08 8523 0133 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org .