Important changes affecting Insurance

What are these changes?

There has been an increased focus on insurance through super over the last 12 months due to superannuation law changes made by the Federal Government. These changes are important as they have been put in place to prevent the erosion of super account balances of members who are paying insurance premiums for cover, they don’t need or want.

The changes mainly relate to members who have Basic insurance cover. The three key changes are:

1. Inactive member accounts with insurance

If you have insurance, but you haven’t added money to your super account for 16 consecutive months (in other words you are an inactive member) you could lose your insurance cover from 1 July 2019, unless you elect to opt-in.

There are three simple options to retain your insurance if you ever become Inactive:

  1. opt-in to your insurance cover by completing an online insurance confirmation form,
  2. if you have already been notified by us via letter or email, you can return the form that was sent to you; or
  3. reactivate your account by:
    1. making a personal contribution to your account via BPAY®;
    2. asking your employer to make your SG contributions to your account; or
    3. roll money from other super accounts into WA Super using our Find and Combine service.

If you ever become impacted by these changes, we will write to you to outline your options and provide you the date when your insurance will be cancelled if you choose to do nothing.

2. Low balance accounts with Basic Insurance cover

Basic insurance cover was automatically cancelled on 1 April 2020 for any super account which had a balance of less than $6,000, unless the member has requested to keep it.

3. New members joining from 1 April 2020

New members joining from 1 April 2020 will no longer automatically receive Basic insurance cover when their WA Super account is opened. Instead, Basic Insurance cover will only be provided if the member:

  • opts into Basic insurance cover; or
  • is 25 years (or older) and their account balance is $6,000 (or greater).

 

Case Study

Let’s look at how this will work and how members are impacted from 1 April 2020:

Kate joined her new employer on 1 April 2020. Kate decided to open an account with WA Super, her employer’s default super fund, as she had heard good reports on the fund’s fees, performance and service. Kate is 26 years old.

Kate’s account is established without Death, TPD or Income Protection insurance as her account balance is below $6,000 and she has not opted in to have Basic cover. Over the next two years her account balance gradually increases and reaches $6,000. As Kate has not previously held insurance cover with WA Super, is over 25 years of age and her account balance is now over $6,000, she will be able to have Basic insurance cover setup on her account.

WA Super automatically applies Basic insurance, called Basic Cover, and writes to Kate to inform her of the new insurance cover and premiums. As Kate is receiving employer contributions into her account, limited cover conditions* only apply to her insurance cover for the first 120 days (commencing when her insurance was applied). If Kate was not receiving these contributions, limited cover conditions* would apply for 12 months.

After receiving this notification, Kate can choose to cancel or reduce her Basic insurance cover or apply for additional cover under WA Super’s automatic acceptance limits.

* Limited Cover Conditions means for claims arising from an illness or injury that first became apparent prior to your cover commencing, you will not be covered for the Limited cover period.

 

Insurance in Superannuation Voluntary Code of Practice

WA Super have started to implement the Insurance in Superannuation Voluntary Code of Practice following its commencement on 1 July 2018. The overarching objective of the Code is to improve the insurance in superannuation offered to you, and the processes by which we provide insurance benefits to you.

The Insurance in Superannuation Voluntary Code of Practice (the Code) is currently being reviewed to align it with recent changes in legislation. Therefore, WA Super has put on hold any further changes relating to the Code pending the outcome of the review. We will republish an updated transition plan once the review has been completed.

Stage

Code standards

When

1

Enquiry on existing insurance cover (Sections 13.1 to 13.2F)

Currently Comply 

2

Premium adjustments and promoting our insurance cover (Sections 8.1 to 9.1H)

  • We will update our processes to ensure we comply with how we promote our insurance cover and disclose any premium adjustment payments or not

30 Sept 2019 

3

Cancelling and reducing insurance cover, reinstatement of cover and duplicate insurance cover (Sections 4.18 to 4.22)

  • We will review update our procedures to align with the requirements of these sections

Insurance premium refunds (Section 11)

  • Our premium refund procedures will be fully compliant with the Code requirements

Member communications (Sections 5, 6, 8, 9,10, 13 and 14.1)

  • We will make available our Insurance Key Facts Sheet on our website
  • We’ll provide relevant and easy-to-understand information when we promote our insurance cover or provide you with insurance cover. This will be on an ongoing basis when changes are made to your cover, or when requested by you.
  • We will provide you with any additional insurance details and options about your insurance cover in an annual statement

Handling claims (Section 7)

  • We will review our existing claim management processes and how we communicate to members making a claim to ensure compliance with the code

Staff and service providers (Section 12)

  • We will review our Outsourcing Policy to ensure it complies with the Code
  • We will review and/or develop new training/employee induction/new staff requirements to ensure staff are aware and comply with the standards

31 Dec 2019

4

Appropriate benefit design and affordable cover (Sections 4.3 to 4.17)

  • We will review our insurance design and our automatic cover to ensure that it is affordable and appropriate for our membership base.  This includes considering our member segments, such as younger members and members nearing retirement
  • We’ll explain the approach for our benefit design in our Insurance Strategy document, available on website

Cancellation of insurance cover (Sections 4.24 to 4.30)

  • We review our current automatic cancellation process and respective member communications to ensure we comply with the Code

30 June 2020

5

Code compliance (Section 14.2 to 14.4)

  • We will publish on our website an annual statement that covers our compliance with the Code.

30 June 2021

Return to top