It’s never been more important to get on top of your super. If you didn’t already know, most super funds provide members with insurance coverage for total and permanent disability (TPD), as well as income protection insurance for temporary disability. Insurance is an important way of ensuring your financial wellbeing if you are no longer able to work because of illness or injury. However, every super fund is different, as is the insurance coverage they obtain on your behalf. That’s why it’s worth understanding what your super insurance entitles you to. At Littles, we’re doing the hard work for you! We’ve prepared a guide to AustralianSuper’s TPD and income protection insurance benefits. Why? AustralianSuper is Australia’s largest superannuation fund by both membership numbers and assets under investment. Let us take you through

  • total and permanent disability (TPD) benefits
  • waiting periods
  • specific definitions, and
  • the way payments are calculated.


Not an AustralianSuper member? Read more here: 

Calling all tradies and construction workers! Do you have TPD insurance with CBUS – Littles

Do you have insurance with REST? – Littles

What insurance benefits does AustralianSuper offer?

AustralianSuper offers default disability insurance entitlements to its members for both TPD insurance and income protection insurance. This means that as long as you’re an AustralianSuper member, you don’t need to make an application to get coverage – you just need to satisfy the relevant legislative requirements to get default cover. These require that you: 

  • are 25 years of age or older, and
  • have more than $6,000 in their superannuation account, and
  • have a super account is not “inactive” (this means that you have made a super contribution in the last 16 months), or
  • have opted to have insurance cover anyway, despite not meeting the above criteria. 


In addition to these legislative requirements, AustralianSuper also requires that you must be capable of working a minimum number of hours in your usual job without restriction when you join.

Can I change my default cover?

As an AustralianSuper member, you can apply to increase or change your insurance cover to suit your specific circumstances. 

It’s important to be aware of a couple of things in this respect: 

  • members entitled to default coverage usually have “aged based” insurance cover. This means that the amount of cover you have will usually go down as you get older – unless you apply to AustralianSuper to fix the cover at a specified amount (and that application is approved), and
  • when changing the amount of cover you have, you can generally not change key definitions in your insurance policy.

TPD claims with AustralianSuper

Like most super TPD insurance, AustralianSuper uses a number of different definitions of ‘TPD’. To receive a TPD benefit, you must: 

  • be totally unable to perform all income producing duties of your usual occupation
  • be under the regular care of, and following the advice and treatment of, a medical practitioner, and
  • not be working in any occupation (paid or unpaid)


AustralianSuper will also consider things such as: 

  • what re-skilling, retraining or voluntary work you’ve done already
  • any retraining or re-skilling you reasonably could be expected to do, and
  • any rehabilitation you’ve done already or any rehabilitation you reasonably could be expected to do.

If you satisfy the above requirements and criteria, you’ll be eligible to your TPD cover, as well as the early release of your super account balance.  

Income protection claims with AustralianSuper

AustralianSuper income protection payments are payable for two years if you are unable to work due to their illness. These payments are subject to waiting periods of up to 90 days. Benefits are usually payable from the time that you are first certified as unfit to work by a doctor after the expiry of the waiting period. You will generally need to continue to be treated by your doctor to have continued eligibility for income protection benefits.

If you are eligible for income protection benefits, you’ll be paid at 75 per cent of your pre-disability income (capped at a specified amount  set out on your super statement). On top of this, a further ten percent of your pre-disability income will be paid into your superannuation account. 

You should note that AutralianSuper may ask you to take part in the Insurer’s rehabilitation service if you become disabled. This may include training, retraining or re-skilling to help you return to work. AustralianSuper will pay the cost of this service direct to the service provider. However, if you refuse to take part in the rehabilitation service or delay your participation in it your payments may be reduced.

Don’t delay – seek advice now

Do you have an injury or illness that prevents you from working, or just want to know more about what insurance you have under your super?  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.

Please note that this information is intended to provide general guidance only. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of such information. Appropriate professional advice should be sought based upon your individual circumstances. For further information, please contact Littles. 

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