Coronavirus, your super and you
At Statewide Super, our members have always been our number one priority.
To ensure we continue to look after your best interests during the Coronavirus pandemic, we've introduced a number of measures to help protect you, your super and our team. Below you'll find the answers to a number of frequently asked questions in relation to the Coronavirus, along with the new measures in place to protect you and our team.
Reviewing your super
If you’re concerned about your personal situation and wish to review your investment options and strategy, our Financial Planning and Member Services Team are here to help.
Call us on 1300 65 18 65 within Australia, 08 7915 4800 in the Northern Territory or +61 8 8217 8570 from overseas from Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5:00pm for assistance.
Coronavirus Support for Retirees
Updated 23 March 2020
To manage the impact of volatility in financial markets on Retirees savings, The Government is temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions and similar products by 50 per cent for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 income years.
This measure will benefit retirees with account-based pensions or similar products and whose superannuation product balance may have already been impacted by downward market movement, by reducing the need to fund the usual minimum drawdown requirements.
The reduction applies for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 income years.
Please view the ‘Providing support for retirees’ factsheet for more details.
Default minimum drawdown rates (%)
Reduced rates by 50 percent for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 income years (%)
95 or more
Changes to Social Security Deeming rates
The Government is also reducing both the upper and lower social security deeming rates by a further 0.25 percentage points in addition to the 0.5 percentage point reduction to both rates announced on 12 March 2020.
As of 1 May 2020, the upper deeming rate will be 2.25 per cent and the lower deeming rate will be 0.25 per cent. The reductions reflect the low interest rate environment and its impact on the income from savings.
Please view the ‘Providing support for retirees’ factsheet for more details.
COVID-19 and your insurance cover
We recognise the uncertainty a pandemic can bring to everyday life, whether it relates to your health, finances, family or employment.
We’ve therefore summarised key information relating to insurance you may have with your Statewide Super account to keep you informed and so you understand where and how further help may be available.
From 1 April 2020, super funds are no longer able to provide automatic default insurance cover to new members who have balances less than $6,000 and/or under the age of 25, unless they opt-in (in writing) to receive insurance cover. For further information, please refer to our Insurance in your Super booklet.
If you’re self-employed, joined the fund as a personal member, or you want additional insurance, simply apply online by logging in to your account and use the insurance review facility.*
If you are unable to work due to injury and/or illness and are considering making a claim or call us on 1300 65 18 65 for more information.
To help you get the answers you are looking for, we’ve outlined responses to frequently asked questions below.
Will a COVID-19 diagnosis affect my ability to claim on my policy?
The insurance cover provided to our members by our insurer doesn’t have any exclusions for health concerns related to COVID-19; however you would still need to meet eligibility requirements, including relevant waiting periods. Please refer to the Insurance in your Super booklet for more information. Statewide Super insurance is provided by MetLife Insurance Limited, ABN 75 004 274 882 AFSL 238096 (the insurer) and is subject to the full terms and conditions contained in the ‘Insurance policy documents’ between Statewide Super and the insurer (a copy of which can be provided to you upon request).
Does a loss of employment or reduced work hours change my insurance cover?
A benefit of holding insurance cover in your super is that your cover will continue provided insurance premiums can continue to be deducted from your super balance.
Your insurance cover will continue until:
you reach the cover expiry age;
you cancel your insurance cover;
there are insufficient funds in your account to continue to pay the premiums;
your insurance is cancelled under the Protecting Your Super measures (which may apply if you do not receive a contribution or rollover for a continuous period of 16 months); or
you are no longer a Statewide Super member.
Your Death cover will not change as a result of unemployment or reduced work hours.
Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD)
In general, temporary or shorter periods of unemployment will not have an impact on your TPD Insurance. If you have been employed at any time in the 12 months prior to your date of disablement the insurer will assess your claim and consider whether you are able to work in any occupation for which you may become reasonably suited by education, training or experience up until the date the insurer makes an assessment. However if at your date of disablement, you have been unemployed for more than 12 months, the definition of TPD which applies to the assessment of your claim is different. In this case, you must be permanently unable to perform tasks of daily living.
Details regarding TPD insurance cover and the TPD definitions that apply can be found in our Insurance in your Super booklet.
The ability to claim on Income Protection cover may be impacted by periods of unemployment. Ceasing work with your employer or a change to your working hours may change your benefit amounts for Income Protection insurance, particularly if you have been unemployed for over 12 months. This is because the level of benefits payable in respect of an approved claim (after the applicable waiting period) are generally dependent on a benefit calculation based on your pre-disability income over the previous 12 month period.
Further detail can be found in our Insurance in your Super booklet.
Will my claim be assessed differently if I have lost my job or reduced work hours specifically due to COVID-19?
If you have lost your job or have reduced hours specifically due to COVID-19, your claim will be assessed based on your working arrangements as at 11 March 2020. Other criteria you will need to meet for your claim to be assessed based on your work arrangements effective 11 March 2020 include that:
- you were working in your normal capacity on 11 March 2020;
- you have had reduced working hours or lost your job due to COVID-19 since 11 March 2020;
- you become disabled as a result of an illness or injury between 11 March 2020 and 1 January 2021 inclusive;
- you have TPD cover on your date of disablement (that is, the time you become totally and permanently disabled); and
- you lodge your completed claim form on or before 31 March 2021.
- you were working in your normal capacity on 11 March 2020;
I’ve been stood down from my job due to COVID-19
I’ve been stood down from my job due to COVID-19 and have read that I might not be able to claim on my Income Protection policy – is that right?
As long as you meet the usual claim requirements and have an inability to work due to illness or injury, any member stood down under the Fair Work Act will be considered by our insurer to be on leave without pay. Generally, for members on leave without pay, any benefits would commence at the end of that leave without pay period. Our insurer will disregard this standard condition and will commence benefits at the end of the relevant waiting period. Any benefits payable will be based on average pre-disability income over the 12 month period prior to the date of disablement.
When does my insurance cease?
Your cover will continue and insurance premiums will then be deducted from your account on a monthly basis and will continue to be deducted from your Statewide Super account until:
- you reach the cover expiry age;
- you cancel your insurance cover;
- there are insufficient funds in your account to continue to pay the premiums;
- your insurance is cancelled under the Protecting Your Super measures (which may apply if you do not receive a contribution or rollover for a continuous period of 16 months); or
- you are no longer a Statewide Super member.
Cover for Income Protection is generally provided to age 67 and cover for Death and TDP is provided to age 70.
Refer to page 17 in the Insurance in your Super Booklet for further detail on additional requirements.
- you reach the cover expiry age;
I no longer have insurance cover in my Statewide account, how can I have this reinstated?
There are some circumstances in which insurance that has been cancelled can be reinstated. If your insurance is cancelled because:
- Your account was inactive and you did not elect to maintain your insurance (inactive member rule), or
- There is not enough money in your account to cover the next premium payment (nil balance rule),
your cover can be reinstated if an on-time employer contribution is received from your employer within 6 months of the date of cancellation.
Reinstated cover will commence on the date the contribution is received. Therefore you will have a gap in cover. This means you will be uninsured for that period and unable to claim for any events that occur.
If you are self-employed or on parental leave, you can apply to have your insurance reinstated. The application must be accompanied by a ‘Declaration of Good Health’ and a valid election to hold insurance. Your reinstated cover will commence once a satisfactorily completed ‘Declaration of Good Health’ and valid election is received by us within 6 months of the cover ending. Please call us on 1300 65 18 65 for further information.
It is important to consider your personal needs and circumstances when deciding whether to reinstate your insurance cover, including checking if you have insurance associated with another superannuation account and have paid multiple insurance premiums. A simple way to check if you have multiple superannuation accounts is to visit the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website and use the “Searching for lost super” tool available. Always seek professional advice if you are unsure.
You might choose to reinstate your insurance if you:
- don’t have insurance through another super fund or insurer,
- have a particular need for it, for example, you have children or dependants, or work in a high-risk job.
What happens if I don’t reinstate my cover?
If you miss the 6 month reinstatement period and you would like to have insurance, you can apply for tailored cover. Please be aware that any such application will be subject to the terms and conditions of the insurance policy in force at the time of your application, and any application for insurance cover would only be accepted and insurance commence upon approval by Statewide Super’s insurer.
If you don’t apply for tailored cover, a default level of cover may automatically recommence in your account at a future time:
- if you meet the eligibility criteria under the terms of the ‘Insurance policy documents’ between Statewide Super and the insurer; and
- your employer pays your super to Statewide Super.
Insurance through super can be complex. If you need help you can contact our Member Services on 1300 65 18 65 or seek professional financial advice.
I’m receiving JobKeeper payments, but am no longer able to work. Will these payments affect a claim?
At this stage our Insurer will exclude JobKeeper from any benefit offsets that usually would apply for new and existing claims in progress. Our insurer will monitor this regularly and may choose to alter its position as the situation unfolds.
To keep up to date with information regarding the impacts of COVID-19 on insurance inside your superannuation, you can visit Metlife's website.
How do I make a claim?
In the event of making a claim, we will provide a dedicated Claims Officer who will work with you and our insurer to assess claims as quickly as possible. Making a claim under insurance can be stressful. We take this seriously and aim to support you through the process. Further detail on our Claims Process can be found here.
- Will a COVID-19 diagnosis affect my ability to claim on my policy?
Coronavirus JobKeeper Payment
Updated 7 August 2020
As part of the Government’s continuing economic response to COVID-19, on 21 July 2020, it announced an extension to the JobKeeper Payment (with some changes to the eligibility criteria and payments) for eligible businesses, by a further 6 months, until 28 March 2021. The changes do not impact JobKeeper Payments until 28 September 2020.
From 28 September 2020, businesses and not-for-profits will need to:
- demonstrate that they have suffered the relevant percentage decline in turnover in the September quarter using actual GST turnover (rather than projected GST turnover)
to be eligible for the JobKeeper payment from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021.
From 4 January 2021, businesses and not-for-profits will need to:
- demonstrate that they have suffered the relevant percentage decline in turnover in the December quarter using actual GST turnover (rather than projected GST turnover)
to be eligible for the JobKeeper payment from 3 January 2021 to 28 March 2021.
In addition, from 3 August 2020, the relevant date of employment of an employee when applying for the eligibility criteria will change from 1 March 2020 to 1 July 2020, increasing employee eligibility for the existing scheme.
Information regarding the additional eligibility requirements is available here.
Along with the additional eligibility requirements, the previous JobKeeper Payment rate of $1,500 per fortnight for eligible employees and businesses will be reduced during the extension periods as follows:
From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021 the rate of payment eligible employees and business participants will decrease to $1,200 per fortnight.
A lower payment amount of $750 will apply for the employees and business participants who worked less than 20 hours per week in the four weeks prior to either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020.
From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021 the rate of payment for eligible employees and business participants will decrease to $1,000 per fortnight.
A lower payment amount of $650 will apply for the employees and business participants who worked less than 20 hours per week in the four weeks prior to either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020.
The JobKeeper Payment will continue to remain open to new recipients, provided they meet the existing eligibility requirements and the additional turnover tests during the extension period.
Further information for employers can be viewed at: www.ato.gov.au/General/JobKeeper-Payment/Employers/.
Eligibility has been extended to employees who met the employment conditions at either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020.
The full eligibility conditions, including details of the relevant employment conditions, can be viewed at: www.ato.gov.au/General/JobKeeper-Payment/Employees/.
Please note: we will keep attempt to keep this page up to date should the Government announce any further updates to payments and/or eligibility requirements, however, for more information, we encourage you to visit: https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/jobkeeper.
Super obligations on JobKeeper Payments
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is creating much uncertainty amongst many industries with employers speculating about what the future holds for their businesses and employees.
At Statewide Super we will continue to keep our employers informed about how this pandemic may affect their businesses with support offered through information that we believe is relevant to employers and their staff.
The introduction (and recently announced extension) of the Australian Government's JobKeeper Payment, has brought about much needed relief for Australian businesses, yet there is much confusion amongst employers as to how this may impact the Super Guarantee contributions they pay for their employees.
Should you or your business be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment for your eligible employees, you should confirm the super contributions you will be required to pay, to your employees’ super accounts throughout this time. Up to date information on this can be found via the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website, within their Superannuation Guarantee section for JobKeeper.
For further information on your super obligations under the JobKeeper Payment, please refer to the following Fact Sheet:
Please note: we will attempt to keep this page up to date should the Government announce any further updates to payments and/or eligibility requirements.
The information provided contains general advice which does not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation or needs. Before investing, you should consider the appropriateness of this general advice with regard to your personal circumstances. You may also wish to obtain independent financial advice. This information is not intended to be, and should not be construed in any way as, investment, legal, or personal advice.
Investment returns can go up and down and are not guaranteed. All investments have risk, and past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. For more information on risks associated with investing, consider the Risks of Super and How we invest your money booklets.
Statewide Super holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) that allows it to provide general and personal financial advice. Statewide Super Financial Planners are employees and Authorised Representatives of Statewide Super, who is responsible for any advice given to you by them.
Statewide Super also has an associated network of financial advisers (“Associated Advisers”) based locally and regionally. Advice provided to you by these Associated Advisers will be provided under the AFSL held by a third party. That third party is responsible for the financial advice given to you by an Associated Adviser.
For further information and a copy of the applicable Statewide Super Financial Services Guide (FSG), visit statewide.com.au or call 1300 65 18 65. A copy of the relevant FSG for an Associated Adviser can be obtained by contacting the Associated Adviser directly.
In deciding whether to acquire, or continue to hold, a Statewide Super product, please consider the applicable Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Target Market Determination (TMD).
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