Here's what's changed

Protecting Your Super (PYS) 

Super funds must cancel insurance on inactive accounts.

If you haven’t received a contribution or rollover into your super account for 16 consecutive 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).

Impacted 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% p.a. Furthermore exit fees2 have been banned altogether.

You’ll automatically receive a refund of any fees over the 3% p.a. 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 was below and never exceeded $6,000 between 1 November 2019 and 20 April 2020, your insurance was cancelled unless you requested to keep it. 

Insurance was 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

Your Future Your Super (YFYS)

Your active super fund will be stapled to your TFN

From 1 November 2021, you will no longer need to provide your new employer a Super Choice form to let them know where you want your employer superannuation contributions to be paid. It is your new employer’s obligation to check whether you have an active superannuation fund linked to your TFN and ensure that they pay employer contributions to this active fund.

If you are currently receiving your employer contributions elsewhere, you can still use the Super Choice form to request your employer to change where they are make employer contributions to Essential Super. Simply log onto the CommBank app or NetBank > select Essential Super > Share your details

Introduction of an annual performance test for superannuation products.

On 31 August 2021, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) released the results for the first annual performance test on MySuper products, including Essential Super’s MySuper Lifestage investment options.

The performance test assesses all MySuper products’ performance against a new benchmark over the past seven years as well as administration fees for the financial year ending 30 June 2021.

For Essential Super, the benchmark for the test blends performance across Essential Super’s different MySuper Lifestage investment options, which means that the return for a member’s specific Lifestage investment option could be different to the return used in the performance test.

Find out more

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

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 (PYS)

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.

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 (PMIF) changes for low balance accounts?

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

You would’ve received received a letter from us in April 2020 to confirm this.

Can I reinstate my insurance after it has been cancelled?

Yes. If your insurance is cancelled by us due to PYS/PMIF, and you decide that you want to keep it, you'll 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.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

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 or the CommBank app.

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.

Where can you find information on how your investments are performing?

You can view your investment performance by:

How has Essential Super’s Lifestage investment options performed?

Essential Super’s Lifestage investment options have delivered an average return of 20.67% for members over the 12 months to 30 September 2021. In the Rainmaker Selecting Super rankings of Workplace Super (MySuper/Default options) , Essential Super’s 1980-84 Lifestage was ranked 1st for performance for the year to 31 August 2021 against peer MySuper funds.

Essential Super’s Lifestage investment options have delivered returns in excess of the investment objectives that were established when the fund was set up in 2013, which aims to deliver a return of between 1.0% and 3.0% above inflation (CPI), depending on your age.

Things you should know

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

Colonial First State Investments Limited ABN 98 002 348 352, AFSL 232468 (CFSIL) is the issuer of interests in Commonwealth Essential Super ABN 56 601 925 435 (Essential Super). Colonial First State (CFS) is Superannuation and Investments HoldCo Pty Limited ABN 64 644 660 882 and its subsidiaries which include CFSIL. Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 (the Bank) holds a significant minority interest in CFSIL. The content on this page is issued by CFSIL and may include general financial product advice but does not consider your individual objectives, financial circumstances or needs. The Target Market Determinations (TMD) for our financial products can be found at www.cfs.com.au/tmd and include a description of who the financial product is appropriate for, and any conditions on how products can be distributed to customers. 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. Read the PDS and Reference Guide, or call us on 13 4074 for a copy. Neither the Bank, CFS, nor any of their respective subsidiaries guarantee the performance of Essential Super or the repayment of capital. 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 CFSIL.

The insurance provider is AIA Australia Limited ABN 79 004 837 861 AFSL 230043 (AIA Australia). AIA Australia is not part of the Commonwealth Bank Group. The insurance cover is provided under policies issued to the Trustee.