Help! How do I protect my super if I’ve been made redundant

While many of us thought that we could leave COVID and lockdowns in 2020, the impacts of COVID-19 are still being felt throughout Australia, and throughout the economy. Few have been immune from the impacts, and sadly job losses and redundancies are not only still common, but look set to continue. You might remember that part of the government’s response was to adjust superannuation early access laws, allowing workers and sole traders impacted by COVID-19 to withdraw $10,000 from their super fund up until 31 December 2020. Many Australians hold insurance through their super funds, including for total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance. However, some funds require that you maintain a certain balance, or maintain contributions, in order to keep these insurance policies valid. This blog explores what you can do to stay protected if you lose your job or are unable to work.

Why does it matter if I withdrew money from my super fund?

Your superannuation is not just your retirement savings account. The insurance attached your superannuation, such as income protection or TPD cover, is a critical safety net if you become ill or injured and cannot work.
This means that:

  • if you withdraw all or the majority of money from your super account, there may be no funds available to pay insurance premiums and cover will cease, and
  • if you are facing longer term unemployment and no contributions are made to your super fund for 16 months, your insurance will be cancelled.

Insurance through super is often the only cover many workers have in the event that they are no longer able to work because of injury or illness. As it is provided to members automatically, many people don’t even realise that they have cover through the super fund. However, we have seen firsthand how important this insurance can be when people no longer have an income – by no fault of their own – but need to access crucial funds for rehabilitation, treatment or everyday living expenses like putting food on the table. If you lose automatic insurance that you already have, there is a risk you may not get it back, or if you do it might not be offered on the same terms. This means there could be more fine print, exclusions and maybe higher premiums.

What can I do?

If you have been made redundant and are worried that you won’t be able to make contributions as required, you can contact your super fund to talk about what options they provide for you to continue your insurance cover. It will be important to understand from your super fund how being out of work may affect any future claims that you make. If you withdrew money from your super during 2020, and now wish to make a TPD or income protection claim, get in touch with Littles for a FREE super claims check today.

Don’t delay – seek advice now

If you have an illness or injury that prevents you from working, you might be worrying about how you are going to pay your bills and put food on the table. You could be entitled to receive a TPD lump sum, as well as other insurance benefits. Get in touch with Littles for a free super claims check. We can help you understand what you’re entitled to. Know where you stand, and get peace of mind.

Free advice and no upfront fees

Not only do we offer a FREE claims check – we handle most insurance claims on a no win, no fee basis. Our Head of TPD and General Insurance, Rowan McDonald, is an insurance law expert. If you think you might have a claim, get in touch with Rowan and his team for high quality legal advice.

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