Here's what's changing

Super funds will cancel insurance on inactive accounts.

If you haven’t received a contribution or rollover to your super account for 16 continuous months or more, your insurance will be cancelled – unless you request to keep it. 

If you have not submitted an election to keep your insurance cover, we will write to you if you reach 9, 12 and 15 consecutive months of inactivity, to notify you of the options available to you.

How to keep your insurance cover with Essential Super

Inactive accounts with low balances will be transferred to the ATO.

If your account has been inactive for 16 months and has a balance of less than $6,000, it could be transferred to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Accounts will be transferred in April and October each year.

How to keep your existing Essential Super account

Fees on low balance accounts will be capped.

If your super account has a balance under $6,000, fees1 will be capped at 3% and exit fees2 have been banned altogether.

You’ll automatically receive a refund of any fees over the 3% fee cap. We’ll assess your Essential Super account at 30 June each year, or when you leave the fund.

Putting Members’ Interests First (PMIF)

Super funds will cancel insurance on low-balance accounts

If your account balance has remained below and never exceeded $6,000 between 1 November 2019 and 20 April 2020, your insurance will be cancelled unless you request to keep it. 

Insurance will be cancelled on 21 April 2020.

How to keep your insurance cover with Essential Super

No Insurance cover will be automatically provided to new members under age of 25 or under $6,000 account balance.

From 1 April 2020, super funds won’t automatically provide insurance to new members if they’re under age 25 or have an account balance under $6,000.

This will mean if you are either under 25 or have less than $6,000 and you want cover, you will need to opt-in to obtain insurance cover.

How to opt-in to get insurance cover

Find out more

To help you understand how these changes may affect you, read our Frequently Asked Questions.

You can also find out more about the Protecting Your Super changes here:

ASIC Moneysmart – Protecting your super changes

Frequently asked questions

How to opt-in to get insurance cover through Essential Super

From 1 April 2020, if you’re under age 25 or have a balance less than $6,000 you will not receive insurance cover automatically. You can choose to opt-in for insurance cover within 120 days of your account being funded.  You will receive a letter once your account is funded which details the insurance available through Essential Super and instructions to opt-in to get insurance cover. 

If you don’t opt-in for insurance cover within 120 days, you can still apply for insurance cover via NetBank but you will have to go through the underwriting process.

To apply, simply log on to NetBank and select your Essential Super account > Insurance > Add, change or cancel your insurance, choose the insurance cover you wish to apply for and click submit. We will notify you with confirmation if your application is successful or not.

Otherwise, you won’t automatically receive insurance cover until you are 25 years old and you have a super balance of $6,000 or more.

It's important to note that insurance premiums will be deducted from your account which will reduce your super balance.

How to keep your insurance with Essential Super

Protecting Your Super

If your account is inactive and you decide to keep your insurance with Essential Super, you’ll need to let us know before the end of your 16 month period of inactivity, this date will also be included in your inactivity notice. You can let us know by either:

  • completing an online election by logging on to NetBank > Essential Super Account > Insurance and follow the steps under ‘Keeping your insurance cover in Essential Super”; or
  • completing the applicable Insurance Election Form and mailing it to Essential Super, Reply Paid 86495, Sydney NSW 2001.

Putting Members' Interests First

To comply with the Putting Members' Interests First law, on 21 April 2020, we are required to cancel your insurance if your balance is less than and never exceeded $6,000 between 1 November 2019 and 20 April 2020, unless you request to keep it. . 

If you would like to keep your insurance cover, you must let us know by 20 April 2020. You can either:

  • Send an email with the subject line "Low balance insurance election" to contactessentialsuper@cba.com.au . Please include the following details to help us identify your account:
    • Your full name including any middle name/s
    • Your Essential Super account number - which is a 15 digit number and can be found via NetBank (log on to NetBank then select your Essential Super account)
    • The following mandatory declaration as stated here: “I want to keep my current insurance cover in my super account, even if my super account balance remains below $6,000.”
  • Complete the Insurance Election Form and upload a copy via NetBank (simply log on to NetBank and select your Essential Super account > Insurance > e-post a request or upload scanned form)
  • Complete the Insurance Election Form and mail it to Essential Super, Reply Paid 86495, Sydney NSW 2001

I previously elected to keep my insurance when I was advised about the Protecting Your Super legislation changes for Inactive accounts, will this election also apply for the Putting Members’ Interests First changes for low balance accounts?

If your account has been inactive for 16 months and you elected to keep your insurance between 1 November 2019 and 1 April 2020, insurance will not be cancelled due to account inactivity or having a low balance  of less than $6,000.

You will receive a letter from us in April to confirm this.

Can I reinstate my insurance after it has been cancelled?

Yes. If your insurance is cancelled by us, and you decide that you want to keep it, you have 90 days from the date your cover is cancelled to reinstate your cover.  Cover can only be reinstated if there is enough money in your account to pay premiums from the date your cover was cancelled.

You can reinstate your insurance by completing the Insurance Reinstatement Form and mailing it to Essential Super, Reply Paid 86495, Sydney NSW 2001. Alternatively, you can upload a scanned copy of the completed form via NetBank (simply log on to NetBank and select your Essential Super account > Insurance > e-post a request or upload scanned form).

If you don’t complete the process to have your insurance cover reinstated within 90 days, you can still apply for insurance cover but you will have to go through the underwriting process.

It's important to note that insurance premiums will be deducted from your account which will reduce your super balance.

To apply, simply log on to NetBank and select your Essential Super account > Insurance > Add, change or cancel your insurance, choose you’re the insurance cover you wish to apply for and click submit. We will notify you with confirmation if your application is successful or not.

How can I cancel or amend my insurance cover through Essential Super?

If you wish to cancel or amend your cover through Essential Super you can at any time by logging on through NetBank > Essential Super > Insurance > Add, change or cancel your insurance.

How can I reduce or apply for more insurance cover?

Simply log on to NetBank and select your Essential Super account > Insurance > Add, change or cancel your insurance, choose the insurance cover you wish to apply for and click submit. We will notify you with confirmation if your application is successful or not.

Transferring inactive low-balance super accounts to the ATO

What’s an inactive low-balance account?

Your super account could be considered an ‘inactive low-balance account’ if:

  • it has a balance under $6,000,
  • it has no insurance,
  • there have been no contributions or rollovers made into the account for 16 months,
  • you haven’t changed your investment options or insurance coverage for 16 months,
  • you haven’t made or amended a binding beneficiary nomination for 16 months, and
  • you haven’t made a declaration in the last 16 months to the ATO, telling them not to have your account transferred.

How can I check my super account balance?

To check your current Essential Super account balance, simply log into NetBank.

How often will Essential Super transfer inactive low-balance accounts to the ATO?

We’ll assess potential inactive low-balance accounts twice a year as at 30 June and 31 December. Unless you tell us not to, we’ll transfer these accounts to the ATO in April and October each year. 

Will I continue to pay fees if my money goes to the ATO?

You won’t be charged any fees on your Essential Super account once it has been closed and transferred to the ATO.

What If I don’t want my money to go the ATO?

If you’d like to keep your Essential Super account, you’ll need to make sure it’s no longer considered an ‘inactive low-balance account’.

To do this, you can:

  • make a contribution or rollover to your account,
  • make or change a non-lapsing death benefit nomination; or
  • make a change to the investment option on your account

You can also opt out of the transfer by completing an Inactive low-balance account declaration form before the end of your 16 month period of inactivity. Please mail the completed form to Essential Super, Reply Paid 86495, Sydney NSW 2001. Alternatively you can upload a scanned copy of the completed form via NetBank (simply log on to NetBank and select your Essential Super account > Insurance > e-post a request or upload scanned form).

What will the ATO do with my money?

If your super is transferred to the ATO, the ATO will look to consolidate your money to an active super account, if you have one. The ATO will process this transfer within 28 days of identifying your active super account and will write to you to confirm your super balance and the fund it has been paid to.

If you do not have another active super fund account you will need to contact the ATO.

Things you should know

Fees include administration fee, investment fee and indirect cost ratio.

Essential Super doesn’t currently charge exit fees.

Colonial First State Investments Limited ABN 98 002 348 352, AFSL 232468 (CFS) is the issuer of interests in Commonwealth Essential Super ABN 56 601 925 435 (Essential Super) and is a wholly owned but non-guaranteed subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 (Bank). This document may include general financial product advice but does not consider your individual objectives, financial circumstances or needs. You should read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and the Reference Guide for Essential Super carefully and consider whether the information is appropriate for you before making any decision regarding this product. Download the PDS and Reference Guide, or call us on 13 4074 for a copy. The Bank and its subsidiaries do not guarantee the performance of Essential Super and an investment in this product is subject to risk, loss of income and capital invested. An investment in Essential Super is via a superannuation trust and is therefore not an investment in, deposit with or other liability of the Bank or its subsidiaries. Where we mention ‘we’, ‘us’ or ‘our’, we mean CFS.