For many people, super is something that we put at the back of our minds while we get on with our busy lives. However, it’s those every day decisions that impact not only what our super balance is when we reach retirement age – they also determine the extent to which your super can assist you if you are unable to work because of illness or injury during your working life. You may have caught this recent ABC article:

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times – super is your hard-earned money, and you should make sure that it’s working for you (and your family!). If you are thinking about having kids, this provides an ideal opportunity for you and your partner to talk about where your super is ‘at’, and what might need to change to support your growing family.

Conversation starters

Not sure how to kick things off when talking with your significant other about super? Here are a few conversation starters!

  • did you know that you don’t get any superannuation while on parental leave?
  • do you know where all your super is held?
  • do you know what insurance you have through your super that you can use if you are unable to work because of illness or injury?
  • how much are you paying in fees?

So now you’ve talked, what’s next? You may wish to undertake a ‘super health check’. This means, among other things:

  • rolling your super into one account to avoid paying too much in fees 
  • checking the returns of your fund compared to the fees you pay (the ATO’s YourSuper tool can help you assess your options)
  • checking your insurance is at the right level for your current circumstances
  • if one of you will be stopping work, considering whether the person who continues to work can:
  1. split their super contribution, so a portion of what they usually receive goes directly to your account, or 
  2. make separate after-tax contributions (which has the added benefit of a tax offset too).

What about insurance?

If you are unable to work because of injury or illness – be it on a temporary or permanent basis – you can get total and permanent disability insurance – TPD insurance – or salary continuance or income protection payments. In addition to using comparison tools like YourSuper, it’s also worth checking in with your existing fund about the options they can offer. For example, some funds will waive fees for insurance premiums while you’re on parental leave.

But money is tight…

Our first instinct when we are thinking about having kids can be to tighten our belts. It’s important to be strategic about where to make money changes. Every dollar you put toward your super goes a long way. Conversely, multiple years of lost or reduced superannuation really add up. Industry analysts have estimated that taking five years off work from the age of 29–34, for instance, can take about $100,000 off your retirement savings. Keeping active policies going for both parents will likely leave the both of you better off.

What is the process for making a super insurance claim?

Check out our 5 step guide to making a successful TPD claim here! Many of us already have a lot of different kinds of insurance – be it health insurance, home and contents insurance, income protection insurance – and we’re comfortable making insurance claims without any assistance, dealing directly with the insurer. However, TPD claims are more complex. As a consequence, we’ve seen TPD claims rejected by insurers, even where it is an eligible claim that should have been approved. Given the high stakes that are often involved, including the future financial wellbeing of your family, people often decide to enlist the help of expert TPD lawyers to manage their claim.

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.

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