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Important change to insurance within super
As part of last year’s Federal Budget, the Government proposed a number of reforms designed to protect your superannuation savings. One of the key changes focuses on insurance held within super. This regulation was formally passed through Parliament earlier this year, and will impact some members with insurance cover.
What is the change?
Starting from 1 July 2019, if you haven't made a contribution or rolled over funds in the last 16 months, we can't continue to provide you with insurance cover within your existing Asgard superannuation account, unless you take action and tell us you want to keep your cover by 'opting-in'.
How can I keep my insurance cover?
If you are impacted by this change, we will have contacted you to let you know the types and amounts of insurance cover that you have through your super account with us and the date that your cover will end. This communication also included the action you need to take if you want to keep that insurance cover.
What insurance do I currently have?
You can review the insurance cover you have within your Asgard superannuation account by logging into your online account, or you can call us on 1800 998 185, Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 7.00pm (Sydney time).
We're here to help
If you have any questions about this change please call our team of super specialists on 1800 998 185, Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 7.00pm (Sydney time), contact us anytime via our online contact form at https://secure.bt.com.au/contact-us/contact-asgard.asp or speak to your financial adviser if you have one.Things to know
BT Funds Management is the trustee of Asgard Independence Plan Division Two ABN 90 194 410 365 (the Fund) and the issuer of interests in the Asgard Employee Super Account (AESA). Asgard is the custodian and administrator of Asgard Employee Super. BTFM is a member of BT – a Division of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714 (Westpac). A Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for AESA can be obtained by calling 1800 998 185 or visiting asgard.com.au. You should obtain and consider the PDS before deciding to acquire, continue to hold or dispose of interests in AESA.
The Administrator (Asgard) is a member of the Westpac Banking Corporation group (Westpac Group) which includes entities that provide various financial, funds management, insurance, superannuation, investment and administrative services from time to time.
Unless otherwise disclosed in the offer document for the relevant financial product, a financial product or service issued or offered by Asgard is not a deposit with, investment in or other liability of Westpac, nor any other company within the Westpac Group. They are subject to investment risk, including possible delays in repayment and loss of income and principal invested. Neither Westpac nor any other company within the Westpac Group stands behind or otherwise guarantees the capital value or investment performance of any financial product or service issued or offered by Asgard.
This information does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to your personal objectives, financial situation and needs having regard to these factors before acting on it.
The information is current as at 10 May 2019.
Accessing your superannuation
- Accessing your super: serious illness or injury
Being diagnosed with a serious illness, injury or experiencing severe financial hardship, may enable you to access your super before you retire.
- Accessing your super due to having a terminal medical condition
There are strict requirements that you must meet however to qualify for under these conditions.
We take a look at them in more detail, including what you need to provide to show you’re eligible.
If you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness or injury which results in a life expectancy of no more than two years, you may be eligible to access your super early in the form of a lump sum, tax free.
There are specific requirements you’ll have to meet though, including providing the required documentation from at least two registered medical practitioners.
- Accessing your super due to a temporary or permanent incapacity
If you suffer from a medical condition or injury which prevents you from working for a period of time or permanently, you may be able to access your super under either the temporary or permanent incapacity conditions of release.
- Temporary incapacity
- If you’re temporarily unable to work due to sickness or injury, you may be able to access your super as a regular income stream. Usually this will be funded by specific insurance (such as income protection insurance) held within your super account. This means you’ll be able to supplement or replace your salary while you’re not working.
- Permanent incapacity
- If you’re diagnosed with a condition that makes it unlikely you’ll be able to return to work in a job that you’re qualified to do, you may be able to access your super under permanent incapacity condition of release.
Under this condition of release, there is the option to access your super as either a lump sum or a regular income stream but you will be required to provide relevant medical documentation to prove you’re eligible.
- Accessing your super under compassionate grounds
- Medical/disability needs
- If you or a dependant have a serious illness or are severely disabled, you may be able to access your super early under compassionate grounds to cover things such as medical treatment or to modify your home or vehicle to accommodate the disability.
- The compassionate grounds condition of release also allows you to access your super to pay for certain expenses if you do not have the financial capacity to do so. For example, you may be able to access your super to make a loan repayment to prevent foreclosure of a mortgage.
- How much can you access?
- This really depends on your situation but it’s important to be aware that you may be taxed on the sum of money you receive from your super. This is generally between 17-22 per cent1 if you’re under the age of 60. However, if you are over 60 years old you won’t have to pay tax on the amount withdrawn.
- Access your super under severe financial hardship
If you are still unable to cover your immediate living expenses despite having received government income support continuously for at least 26 weeks, you may be able to access your super early under severe financial hardship condition of release.
- How much can you access?
- The maximum you can access under this condition of release is $10,0001 before-tax in any 12 month period. You may also need to pay tax on the sum of money you receive from your super.
- Speak to a financial expert and your super fund
If you are considering accessing your super early, you may want to speak to your super fund as they may have specific rules which prohibit you from accessing some of these conditions.
You may also want to consider seeking financial advice to understand how this may impact your financial situation over the long-term and in retirement.
This article was prepared by BT, a part of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 233714. This information is current as at 1 October 2020.
1. This article provides an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such. It does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to these factors before acting on it. This information may contain material provided by third parties derived from sources believed to be accurate at its issue date. While such material is published with necessary permission, no company in the Westpac Group accepts any responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of, or endorses any such material. Except where contrary to law, we intend by this notice to exclude liability for this material. BT cannot give tax advice. Any tax considerations outlined in this article are general statements, based on an interpretation of the current tax law, and do not constitute tax advice. As such, you should not place reliance on any such taxation considerations as a basis for making your decision with respect to the product.
Superannuation is a means of saving for retirement, which is, in part, compulsory. The government has placed restrictions on when you can access your investment held in superannuation. There will be tax consequences if you breach these caps. For more detail, speak with a financial adviser or visit the ATO website.
Superannuation and thresholds fact sheet
Our Superannuation and thresholds fact sheet contains information relating to your superannuation and provides you with the current contribution tax rates.
For details of any further developments regarding these changes, please speak to your financial adviser or contact us. Additionally you may refer to www.ato.gov.au.
More details on the fees you pay
If you've received ongoing financial planning advice from your adviser from any time after 1 July 2012, then it is likely that you are already receiving statements and information from your adviser on the fees you pay.
If you continue receiving ongoing financial advice and paying ongoing adviser fees, then from 1 July 2013 you'll receive more information on the fees you pay on a fee disclosure statement.
A fee disclosure statement must be issued by your adviser at least once annually and will provide you with:
- Clarity on fees which you have paid to your adviser
- The services you were entitled to receive and the actual services you received from your adviser
Fee disclosure statements are produced and issued by your adviser. If you have any questions about your fee disclosure statement or the fees you are being charged, please speak with your adviser.
At Asgard, we believe that the best way to achieve your financial dreams is to seek financial advice.
We also know that asking a financial adviser for help might be a bit of a scary concept - you may not have everything quite as well organised as you'd like - but don't worry, your financial adviser has seen it all before!
Even if you are nowhere near retiring, your financial adviser can still do plenty to help you with your investment strategy and achieve your financial dreams.
In fact, given recent global market activity, there's never been a better time to get good advice. These difficult times underline the real benefit that a good financial plan and adviser can provide.
So what are you waiting for? Find a financial adviser in your area and get started today.
If you'd like to invest in shares, property, bonds and cash but don't have unlimited time or money, managed investments may be the solution for you. Managed investments pool the money of many individual investors, and then invest that money on behalf of those individuals.
Managed investments guide
Understanding investment risk is the key to developing a successful investment plan. There are three main types of investment risk:
- Permanent loss of capital
- Fluctuating returns
- Not achieving your goals
While all investments potentially have these risks, all three can be managed and minimised.
Superannuation - do you have enough?
Superannuation is one of the most tax-effective ways of saving for retirement. By saving a portion of your income today, you can ensure that you will have enough money to live comfortably by retirement. The question is, how will you make sure you have enough?
So, you've finally made it to retirement. You've accumulated a healthy balance in your superannuation account and are now looking forward to those retirement years you've been dreaming about. But what happens now? How do you ensure you are going to get the most out of your superannuation? One option is to purchase an allocated pension with your super, to provide you with a regular and tax-effective income stream during your retirement years.
Allocated pensions guide
Like an investment supermarket, a platform, such as a master fund or wrap, gives you access to an extensive list of investment products offered through many different retail fund managers at wholesale prices. Many investors choose to invest through a platform to gain efficient access to a range of managed investments. Platforms are administration facilities for investment and superannuation money. They simplify the investment process because they consolidate all the investment reporting and administration for you, and send you regular portfolio valuations and tax statements. Importantly, the better platforms give you access to world-class investment managers at wholesale fee rates.
Investment platforms guide
Self Managed Super
Do-it-yourself (DIY) super via a self managed super fund (SMSF) is becoming an increasingly popular choice for investors who want to have control of how their superannuation monies are invested. However, if you are thinking of leaving you public offer fund to get better returns or other benefits from your own DIY fund, you'll want to discuss you options in detail with your financial adviser.
Your guide to self managed super
Margin lending (or gearing) is another term for borrowing to invest and it can be an excellent strategy to enhance your investment performance. People gear investments so that they have more money working for them, in order to create wealth more quickly.
If you'd like further information, or personal advice on any of these topics, speak to your financial adviser. Click here to find an adviser in your area.