292 Payneham Road, Payneham SA 5070

(08) 8362 0060

(08) 8362 0061

info@owlfinancial.com.au

How super is your life insurance?

How super is your life insurance?

For most people, life insurance provides a safety net against unexpected events. This is particularly the case if you have a mortgage, debts or family who are dependent on you earning an income.

In many cases, life insurance has been automatically offered through superannuation. Although 85 per cent of people hold life insurance this way, a recent survey found one third of them don’t even realise.i

Now some super members may have lost their insurance cover and may not be aware of it.

Millions could lose cover

Concern that super balances were being eroded through insurance premiums and fees has led the government to introduce Protecting your Superannuation legislation.

As a result, from July 1 this year your insurance cover is to be cancelled, if your fund has been inactive for more than 16 months.ii

Letters were sent towards the end of the financial year to those with inactive funds, advising you to contact your fund to make a contribution or risk losing your life cover.If you didn’t respond, your life insurance policy may have been cancelled.

It’s estimated that up to 3 million super members may have been affected.iii And while you can buy a new life insurance policy, you may not be able to reactivate your previous one unless your fund offered an extension of the deadline to reactivate cover. If not, you may have to face a medical examination and/or pay higher premiums in order to take out a new policy.

Younger members to opt-in

It is also proposed (although not yet legislated) that new superannuation fund members who are aged under 25 will no longer be given automatic life insurance cover as they have in the past. Instead, they would be given the opportunity to opt in to cover.

The argument in favour of this move is that young people with no responsibilities, have nothing to insure. But once you buy a home, get married or become a parent, the need for life insurance becomes paramount.

As you get older, once the family has flown the nest and you have paid off all your debts, the need for life insurance may reduce. However, with a blended family, a life insurance policy in super can prove a good financial strategy to ensure the right beneficiaries receive your money. That’s because superannuation ‘death benefits’ don’t form part of your Will but are paid out separately to your nominated beneficiaries.

SMSFs may also be caught out

Up until now, some self-managed super fund members have deliberately kept a public offer super fund active to take advantage of the cheaper insurance. But as stated above, if that public offer fund is inactive and an election to maintain cover has not been made, then cover may be lost.

The beauty of having life insurance in super is that the premiums are generally cheaper because you are charged at a group rate. In addition, it won’t affect your cashflow as premiums come out of your super. Of course, that is the point of this legislation. The monies available for investment to build your balance for retirement may be eroded through those very premiums.

Another precautionary note is that it may be harder to access a payout through super if you need to make a claim. If you haven’t correctly nominated a beneficiary in your super, then it is the trustees who decide who receives the payout. And because the insurer makes the payment via the fund, this can also take longer.iv

What happens next?

As part of the Protecting your Super changes, inactive funds with balances less than $6000 will see the monies transferred to the Australian Taxation Office. The ATO will then endeavour to amalgamate this money with an active superannuation fund of yours or hold the money for you until it is claimed.

If this happens, investment returns on the money held by the ATO may be significantly less than if you invested through your super.v

Don’t wait until you need to make a claim to discover you don’t have any insurance cover after all. If you have any questions about the changes or your insurance needs in general, give us a call.

https://www.superannuation.asn.au/media/media-releases/2019/joint-media-release-10-june-2019

ii https://firststatesuper.com.au/member/super/manage-super/protect-your-super

iii https://www.superannuation.asn.au/media/media-releases/2019/joint-media-release-10-june-2019

iv https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/superannuation-and-retirement/how-super-works/insurance-through-super

https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/Growing-your-super/Keeping-track-of-your-super/ATO-held-super/

 

Contact us on 0883620060 to discuss your existing financial plan

Owl Financial Management (OwlFM) is an Adelaide based Financial Adviser that has clients all over Australia.



Financial Advisor Adelaide

We are an award winning practice that has been providing financial advice to South Australians since 1969. We really enjoy getting to know our clients and building a relationship with them that lasts over many years. We have a diverse range of clients from mum and dad to AFL players to ASX CEOs. All of which have a diverse range of financial advice needs and very different relationships to maintain. Our clients describe a 'breath of fresh air', personable, expert and people with high integrity. Clients have also mentioned that they are not treated as a number and the advice is specific to them. Working with clients for clients.

Financial Planner Adelaide

The one most rewarding thing about being a financial planner in Adelaide is when you have been working collaboratively with a client in developing and building their goals and objectives and the come to fruition. This give both the clients and myself a real sense of achievement and to use the famous quote 'are we there yet?' and together we can say YES! There has never been a better time to look towards what you want to achieve and start a financial plan so you can get there too.

Financial Planning Adelaide

A person's financial story is like a jigsaw puzzle... "lots of pieces needing to be put into their correct places". A financial adviser can assist a client to put the pieces in the right places by having a series of simple conversations about where a they are currently situated, where they want to be and what strategies can assist them. Every client has a different financial story and goals. Each jigsaw puzzle will always be different. A good financial adviser is experienced at putting together a wide range of jigsaw puzzles. Helping a client put their own puzzle together and seeing their satisfaction is a wonderful feeling.


Barry Phillis, Chris Scriva and Owl Financial Management Pty Ltd are Authorised Representatives of GWM Adviser Services Limited Australian Financial Services Licensee Registered Office at 105-153 Miller Street North Sydney NSW 2060 and a member of the National Australia group of companies.

GENERAL ADVICE WARNING: The advice on this site may not be suitable to you because it contains general advice that has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Please seek personal financial advice prior to acting on this information.

Opinions constitute our judgment at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither, the Licensee or any of the National Australia group of companies, nor their employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy, nor accept any responsibility for errors or omissions in this document. View Terms & Conditions >