COVID-19 information hub

COVID-19 information hub

Keep track of the latest updates about COVID-19 and your super. 

For more about accessing your super under the new early release changes, visit our early release page.

Have a question about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting your super? Check out the FAQs below.

 

Julie Lander

A message from our CEO

Since my last message, it’s been positive to see the way people have adapted and even thrived in the unique situation we find ourselves in.

Despite all the changes to our daily lives, our priority is always you – our members – and your retirement savings. We’ve been (and will continue) working hard to ensure you’re fully supported during these challenging times.

Read more >

Your investments

We’re all aware of the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy. Find out how our investment strategy has been critical in this environment.

Accessing your super
To help people access emergency funds, the government has temporarily changed the rules around accessing super.

If you’re experiencing financial difficulties as a result of COVID-19, you may be eligible to access up to $10,000 of your super this financial year (between 1 July and 24 September 2020).

Applications are now open through your myGov account.

Warning – Keep your details and your super safe

Criminals are taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Beware of scams related to COVID-19, especially early release of super. If you’re applying for early release of super due to coronavirus, make sure you go directly to the myGov website, contact the ATO directly on 1800 008 540 or visit the ATO website for more information.

Scams via SMS, email and phone

There are reports of callers pretending to be from the ATO, ASIC or myGov trying to steal your personal details and your super. Beware of anyone who calls and offers to help you set up your myGov account or access your super. If someone calls and says they are from a government department like myGov or the ATO, or a financial institution like us or your bank, hang up and call the organisation directly on the number that you find independently on their official website or your last statement.

We’ll contact you if you’ve asked for a call from us or been in contact with us to submit a request. However, if you receive a cold call from someone claiming to be from CareSuper, ask for their details and let them know you’ll call back to confirm their identity. Then call us on 1300 360 149.

Messages and emails that look legitimate but aren’t, have also been circulating. Don’t click on any links or attachments sent via SMS or email and don’t provide your personal details In a recent example, scammers used fake Coles and Woolworths messages to offer free vouchers if you provided your details. If in doubt, contact the organisation directly via their official website or phone number.

Check your myGov account to see if any unexpected applications for early release of super or financial relief have been made fraudulently on your behalf. Also check your contact details have not been changed (by someone else). Remember, if you receive any notification about an early release application that you have not made, contact us immediately.

Visit Scamwatch coronavirus update or Stay Smart online for more information.

 

Your insurance 

If you have insurance cover with us, the World Health Organisation's (WHO) pandemic declaration hasn't affected your cover. This applies to all existing and new CareSuper members. You can read more about COVID-19 and your insurance cover in our FAQs.

Check your insurance cover in MemberOnline.

Events and financial planning appointments

For the safety of our community, we’ve cancelled events and face-to-face financial planning appointments for the time being. If you’re registered for an event or a face-to-face appointment, we’ll contact you to confirm what’s happening. 

We’ve answered your questions about financial planning in the FAQs below.

Stay connected online

You can view your latest balance, check where you’re currently invested and even change your options by logging in to your MemberOnline account.

If haven’t registered yet, or if you haven’t logged in since April 2019, get started here. (Hint: You’ll need your member account number – check your last statement or your welcome letter.)

If you’re an employer
How we’re supporting you and your employees right now.
Changes to minimum pension payment limits
What are the changes to minimum payment limits?

In March 2020, the Federal Government temporarily reduced minimum payment limits for account-based pensions and similar products by 50% for the remainder of 2019/20 as well as for 2020/21.

This change was made in response to significant market volatility due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you prefer to maintain your capital, you may want to take advantage of the new temporary rates to draw less from your pension account.

There’s more information in the government’s Providing support to retirees fact sheet.

This change is in effect now.

I’m a CareSuper pension member. What does this mean for me?

We wrote to all pension members in June 2020 to let you know what's changing on 1 July 2020.

  • If you had elected to receive the minimum payment rate, we automatically applied the new temporary minimum rate to your payments on 1 July 2020. Prefer to keep your payments as they are? We’ve explained how to do this below.
  • If you had reduced your payments to the temporary minimum rate in the last few weeks of the 2019/20 financial year, we’ll keep your payments at the lower rate you’d changed them to.
  • If you had elected to receive your payments above the minimum rate, we calculated your payments for 2020/21 based on the payment choice you had in place at the end of the financial year. You can change this nomination at any time.

We calculates your new financial year payments on 1 July based on:

  • Your account balance on that day, and
  • The payment choice you had in place at the end of the financial year, and
  • The government-set payment limits, which are based on your age. 
What if I don’t want to reduce my pension payments?

From 1 July 2020 if you’ve elected the minimum payment rate your payments will automatically be paid at the lower rate. If you don’t want to reduce your payments you can manage your income payments via MemberOnline and set your income to level you’re comfortable with.

To change your payments, log in to MemberOnline and choose ‘Withdrawals’ from the main menu in the top right-hand corner, then click the Edit button next to your ‘Current Withdrawal Details’ to amend your payment preference.

What’s the new minimum income limit?

We’ve shown the new minimum income limits below.

  % of account balance
Age New rate Previous rate
Under 65 2% 4%
65 to 74 2.5% 5%
75 to 79 3% 6%
80 to 84 3.5% 7%
85 to 89 4.5% 9%
90 to 94 5.5% 11%
95 and over 7% 14%

 

Why did CareSuper reduce the minimum payment rate automatically?

If you’ve elected ‘minimum’ as your payment preference, it’s important that we do not pay you above the minimum set by the Government, otherwise we’re not acting in line with your instructions. The Government minimum payment limit has been reduced, and that’s why it’s automatically affecting the payment rate that’s calculated at 1 July 2020.

We understand some members would prefer to maintain their current income level, and that’s why it’s important to manage your payment preferences so you’re receiving your preferred higher income rate. You can change your preferences throughout the year, as long as they remain at or above the minimum.

Why would a pension member reduce their income?

When market conditions are volatile, some members might choose to preserve their capital and units by drawing less money from their pension account. The 50% reduction in the minimum income you must draw from your pension reduces the amount you are required to take as regular payments giving you the option to keep more capital in your account.

If you don’t have an immediate need for the income, you may prefer to draw less from your pension account.

When do I need to change my income payments by?

To allow time for us to process the change, we need to receive your change request a week before your next scheduled income payment.

To change your payments, log in to MemberOnline and choose ‘Withdrawals’ from the main menu in the top right-hand corner. You'll need to click on the ‘Edit’ next to your ‘Current Withdrawal Details’ to change your income.

You can also complete and return the Pension election form and send it back to us. If you can’t get to a post box, you can send this form to us online from our Contact us page. Attach an electronic copy of your completed form to your query. Make sure to allow at least five working days before your payment date.

As soon as we process your request, we’ll update your future payments to reflect your new instructions.

How do I change my payments?

To change your payment preferences, log in to MemberOnline and choose ‘Withdrawals’ from the main menu in the top right-hand corner, then click on the ‘Edit’ button next to your ‘Current Withdrawal Details’ to change your income.

You can also complete and return the Pension election form and send it back to us. If you can’t get to a post box, you can send this form to us online from our Contact us page. Attach an electronic copy of your completed form to your query. Make sure to allow at least five working days before your payment date.

As soon as we process your request, we’ll update your future payments to reflect your new instructions.

How do I view my pension payment amounts and dates online?

In MemberOnline, navigate to the ‘Withdrawals’ menu item, and once you're on the Withdrawals page, review the ‘Current Withdrawal Details’ table.

Can I stop my income payments?

You can only stop your payments if you’ve received the minimum for the year.

Once you receive that value, you can defer your next payment to the next financial year. You can set this up by completing a Pension election form to change your payment frequency and nominate a future month to recommence income payments.

Complete sections 1 and 3 and 5 of the form. In section 3, choose the frequency you want, then write the month you want your payments to resume (eg. ‘July 2021’) and include a note to say ‘I do not want any further payments until this date.’

Financial planning FAQs
How can I speak with a financial planner?

Our planners are working as quickly as they can and will be in contact with you within 5 business days.

To explore the types of financial advice options we offer, head to our Financial advice page.

The best way to reach us is to request a call-back to make an appointment. We’ve also provided you with a range of FAQs below to assist you while you’re waiting to speak with a planner.  

 

I’m already retired, what should I do?

If you’re currently drawing down from your super or pension account, you need to consider both your longer-term investment objectives and your short to medium term income needs before deciding to make changes to your investment strategy.

You can make this decision if you feel confident to do so. Read through your options when making your investment choice.

Or, you can talk to a member of our Financial Planning team to get advice, tailored to your circumstances. We will be in contact as soon as we can within 5 business days.

Our financial planners can assist you to make decisions that will help you maximise your retirement savings and navigate the current market conditions. Get in touch to book your appointment.

It’s important to remember that despite the high level of market volatility, downturns do not last forever. Making immediate changes to your super now may risk locking in potential losses – which could be costly in the long run.

I’m nearing retirement, what should I do?

Even if you are close to retirement, you probably still have a reasonably long investment horizon for most of your retirement savings. History has shown that downturns do not last forever. Making changes to your investment strategy now may risk locking in potential losses – which could be costly in the long run.

Given the current level of uncertainty, it’s important to consider the investment option best suited to your individual needs and short, medium and long-term goals. You can make this decision if you feel confident to do so. Read through your options when making your investment choice.  

Or, you can talk to a member of our Financial Planning team to get advice, tailored to your circumstances. Our financial planners can assist you in making decisions that maximise on your retirement savings and help navigate the current market conditions. Get in touch to book your appointment and we'll be in contact with you within 5 business days.

Retirement is still some time away, what should I do?

Staying focused on your investment strategy and long-term goals can make it easier to deal with periods of market volatility. As history has shown, downturns do not last forever. Making immediate changes to your super now may risk locking in potential losses – which could be costly in the long run.

While you might be tempted to shift investments to a more conservative strategy in uncertain times, it’s important to consider the option best suited to your long-term individual needs before making your investment choice.

You can make this decision if you feel confident to do so, or you can book an appointment with a member of our Financial Planning team to get advice. 

What a financial planner will consider when advising you

Our advisors will consider two behavioural traits: fear and optimism. Fear of losing money when markets decline, versus optimism of making money when markets perform well.

To choose the most suitable investment option for you, a financial adviser will ask you a series of questions. Things like – how long will you be invested for? What is your previous investment experience, and how sensitive are you to making emotional decisions during market movement?

This helps our planners determine how much you should allocate to growth or ‘risky assets’ – so that your money is working hard for you, and how much should be allocated to defensive assets – to counteract the level of risk. This exercise is called risk profiling.

From there, you should only need to revisit your investment strategy if your circumstances change – rather than every time the market moves.

COVID-19 and share market volatility
Why is there market volatility?

The main reason for this volaltity in markets is due to the impacts of the coronavirus (or COVID-19) that’s been spreading across the world.

Over February and March 2020 we’ve seen global investment markets rise and fall as Government responses to the health threat of the coronavirus have affected trade, travel, education and now oil markets. This is mainly due to the uncertainty around how long it will take for normal business to resume and to what extent company earnings and profits will be affected.

How is COVID-19 affecting my account balance?

There’s a lot of uncertainty in markets at the moment (we’ve outlined why in the question above) and it’s having an impact on our members’ super accounts.

We invest in shares and other investments in Australia and globally, and as the value of shares fall due to the economic concerns mentioned above, coupled with record low interest rates – the result is falling super account balances.

Your account balance may be fluctuating significantly, or not at all – it depends on the option(s) you’re invested in. Investment options with a higher proportion of share investments will be affected more than those that hold a lower proportion of shares. Options with more shares have also benefited from continuously rising share markets over the last 10 years.

What if I'm retired or close to retirement?

If you’re currently drawing down from your super or pension account, you need to consider both your longer-term investment objectives and your short to medium term income needs.

Here’s more about what to consider when you’re choosing investments.

What is CareSuper doing to mitigate risk?

Be assured that we’re closely monitoring portfolios, investment markets, exchange rates and economies to make sure we can respond to the current conditions while managing risk and building your savings over the long term.

We’re experienced at applying our investment strategy throughout long periods of market fluctuation and investment volatility in the past. We’ve worked hard to build and maintain our track record of long-term outperformance* and our investment strategy plays a big role in our strong returns.

Learn more about how we’re managing your investments in these current market conditions.

*Past performance is not an indicator of future performance. View our full investment returns.

How can I tell if my CareSuper account is invested in shares?

Most of our diversified investment options are invested in Australian and overseas shares.

If all of your super is invested in our Balanced option, about half of your balance will be invested in shares. View the Balanced option’s current asset mix.
    
To get a better understanding how much of your account balance is invested in shares, log in to your MemberOnline account and view your investments. Then check our investment option details for the breakdown.

COVID-19 and liquidity
What is financial liquidity?

Financial liquidity refers to how easily and quickly an investment can be converted to cash and still maintain its value.

Assets like shares and bonds are very liquid since they can usually be sold and converted to cash fairly quickly. On the other hand, assets like property and infrastructure are less liquid because they tend to take longer to sell (i.e. to liquidate).

How does CareSuper balance liquid and illiquid assets?

At CareSuper, we believe that a combination of liquid and illiquid assets is important for a diversified investment program.

All of our Managed options invest in liquid assets, including cash and assets traded on public markets (such as listed shares and fixed interest securities). In recent weeks, around two thirds of the assets in our Balanced option are classed as liquid assets, because they can be converted to cash within 30 days.  Most of our members have all or part of their super invested in the Balanced option.

Around one third of the Balanced option’s investment portfolio is held in illiquid assets. These comprise mostly our unlisted assets such as direct property (e.g. office buildings and shopping centres), infrastructure (toll roads, airports and ports) and our private equity (investments in private companies not listed on a stock exchange).These types of investments tend to perform differently in different market conditions and are an important part of how we diversify our investments to reduce the impact of volatility in share markets.

These illiquid assets have contributed to our strong long-term historical returns for members.^ You can learn more about our investments in our Investment Guide. 

^Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

What is liquidity risk and how does CareSuper manage it?

Liquidity risk describes the possibility that an entity may not be able to convert an asset into cash quickly and meet its short-term financial obligations without losing value in the process.

Managing our liquidity risk is a key part of our investment program and is outlined in our Liquidity Policy which is approved by the Board and implemented by our Investments team. Our approach to managing liquidity risk is in line with the relevant superannuation laws including the requirements set by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

Under these requirements, we must ensure we have enough cashflow at all times. This includes ensuring we have enough liquidity at extreme times such as the global financial crisis and the current COVID-19 pandemic.

How do we do this? Our approach to managing liquidity risk involves:

  • Explicitly considering liquidity when setting and reviewing asset allocations for each option
  • Monitoring key indicators of changes in investment markets and/or cash flows
  • Regularly ‘stress-testing’ our investment portfolio against a range of various scenarios to ensure we’re protecting our members’ assets and to determine whether we need to adjust our portfolios.
  • Maintaining a liquidity action plan for managing liquidity events.
How is CareSuper managing liquidity through the Covid-19 pandemic?

To protect our members and their interests, we’re currently remaining vigilant in how we manage several types of risk, including liquidity risk.

Our Investments team monitors and manages the liquidity of each investment option every day. This helps us to ensure our liquidity requirements are being met, and that each investment option remains aligned with its strategy. 

We’re also ensuring that we have cash available to purchase shares or other assets at attractive prices if markets fall further. These investments will contribute to long-term performance for members when markets start to rise again.

We can reassure you your money is secure with CareSuper. We currently have strong cash holdings and we're expecting to meet all of our upcoming and ongoing financial obligations. This includes helping members access their funds under the government’s temporary changes to accessing super.

COVID-19 and the Direct Property option
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted CareSuper’s Direct Property asset class?

The COVID-19 pandemic has materially changed conditions in the property market (across all major sectors – eg. retail, industrial and office property). The current restrictions on movement and home isolation due to COVID-19 have led to many shops and businesses closing (with the retail, leisure and hotel industries hardest hit) as well as diminished consumer confidence and, unfortunately, rising unemployment. All these factors have created a level of uncertainty for both rental income and the capital value of property investments.

In response to these significant changes in property, we recently revalued the investment holdings in our Direct Property option. This revaluation caused a drop in the value of the Direct Property option, which we’ve explained more about below.

We believe the revaluation is appropriate and important for ensuring member equity. Also, providing up to date and accurate information about the value of your investments helps you make informed decisions about your super. The revised valuations have been reflected in members’ account balances with unit prices for 31 March 2020.

We’ll continue to monitor property markets closely to ensure that valuations remain fair and reflective of prevailing economic and market conditions. 

 

 

What does the revaluation mean for my super balance?

For members invested in the Direct Property option, the revaluation will mean a reduction in unit prices which will be reflected in their account balance. We acknowledge this is difficult for members however, it is unavoidable in these current economic circumstances.

The change in the property valuation is modest compared to the fall in share markets (which, since February, have reduced by around 25%^) and Australian listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) (which have dropped by around 40%^). Importantly, this revaluation shows how unlisted property investments can be more stable and resilient than share markets in times of market downturn. This is a key part of our strategy with respect to property investment, and illustrates why we exclude listed investments from our property investment strategy.

Especially in times of market uncertainty, it’s important to keep in mind that super is a long-term investment. The Direct Property option has a recommended investment timeframe of 5+ years and a return objective of achieving returns that exceed the inflation rate by at least 3% per year (over rolling 10-year periods and after tax and fees). Over the last 10 years the Direct property option has delivered strong and consistent long-term returns*. You can view the Direct Property option’s performance on our investment performance page.

^As at 30 March 2020.

*Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

What types of investments does the Direct Property option invest in?

This option invests in unlisted property portfolios and has zero holdings in listed property investments (such as REITs). Our unlisted property portfolios focus on core, high-quality properties across a diverse range of sectors – mainly CBD office buildings, shopping centres, and some industrial sites. You can view the top holdings for the Direct Property option here, and the investment managers for the Direct Property holdings here.

We remain confident in the expertise of our property fund managers and their ability to make the best of difficult conditions for members.

 

How does the Direct Property option generate returns?

Returns on property investments come from both rental income and changes in the capital value of the properties over time. Our property managers are able to enhance returns through actively managing property portfolios (e.g. by securing rental growth, or by refurbishing and re-positioning properties). One of the key skills of our property managers is achieving effective diversity within each portfolio to balance exposures and position each portfolio for the future.

Like most investments, the value of property can rise and fall depending on prevailing market conditions. While the Direct Property option has performed well to date over the long term,* it is considered medium-to-high risk, with a likelihood of a negative annual return at 3.2 in every 20 years.

You can learn more about the Direct Property option and view returns on our investment performance page.

* Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

What impact has the revaluation had on the Balanced option?

Our Balanced (MySuper) option is a diversified option, which means it doesn’t rely on individual asset classes for its return outcome. With an emphasis on Australian and overseas shares, property and alternatives, it aims to achieve relatively high returns in the medium to long term but is subject to short-term fluctuations in returns.

The Balanced option has around a 12% allocation to the Direct Property asset class, and therefore returns for this asset class feed into the overall return.

To understand more about the Balanced option, learn about its asset mix, objectives and risk level, and view its performance over the long term.

How do I find more information on the Direct Property option?

Familiarise yourself with the investment option’s risk level, return objective, investment timeframe and likelihood of a negative return.

You can also find more information about all of your investment options

If you need advice, get in contact with a financial planner* to ensure the appropriateness of your investment strategy. This is a benefit of membership, so you don’t need to pay anything extra for this information.

*Financial advice obtained over the phone, or through MemberOnline, is provided by Mercer Financial Advice (Australia) Pty Ltd (MFAAPL) ABN 76 153 168 293, Australian Financial Services Licence #411766.

Changing your investments
How can I change my investments?

You have three options:

  1. Log in to your account to choose or change your investments, or
  2. Call us on 1300 360 149 to change your investments over the phone, or
  3. Download and complete an Investment choice form and send it to us here.
When will my investment switch become effective?

The date your requested change becomes effective will depend on when we receive it. Online change requests received by midnight (AET) on a business day and changes over the phone received by 8pm (AET) on a business day are processed using the unit price effective at close of markets the following business day. A ‘business day’ is defined as  Monday to Friday excluding national public holidays.

Switch requests received on weekends or national public holidays will be regarded as being received on the next business day and will receive the unit price for the business day following. For example, if we receive a switch request on Saturday the unit price effective Tuesday will usually apply.

When will my investment switch be visible in MemberOnline?

Your investment switch will generally be visible in MemberOnline three business days after we receive your request, once the change has been processed on your account and your assets have been reallocated. If you’ve submitted your request online, keep a copy of your receipt number for reference.

How do I change or cancel a pending investment switch?

Already put in a switch request and want to change your instructions? Call us on 1300 360 149, so we can walk you through the process. You cannot cancel an investment switch through your online account.

What unit price is used when I make a withdrawal?

If you request a withdrawal, we’ll withdraw your funds using the 'sell price’ from the day we process your transaction. If we don’t have enough information from you to proceed with your request, we may need to use the unit price from a later date. Where a transaction involves money going out of your account, the money will remain invested in the investment option(s) applicable to your account until the payment is processed.

COVID-19 and the Fixed Interest option
How is the COVID-19 pandemic impacting CareSuper’s Fixed Interest option?

Fixed interest securities (also known as bonds) have recently become more volatile (and some days even negative) than what would have been expected for a defensive investment during times of market crisis.

This is mainly due to the spread of COVID-19 across the world, which has led to different countries being impacted at different times and resulted in fluctuations (up and down) in global bond market movements, as well as a large disparity in performance of bonds issued by various countries.

In addition, due to the deepening COVID-19 pandemic, certain investors have displayed unusual behaviours, such as selling assets (e.g. government bonds, corporate bonds and even gold) to meet liquidity requirements such as margin calls or to rebalance and buy shares given the unusually sharp market sell-off.

It’s important to keep in mind however, that over the longer term, the risk level for the Fixed Interest option is very low with the likelihood of a negative annual return of 0.2 in every 20 years.

What types of investments does the Fixed Interest option invest in?

Our Fixed Interest option currently comprises 35% cash and 65% fixed interest securities (also known as bonds).

Fixed interest investments can be a loan to a government or company where the interest rate is set in advance and the principal is paid back at maturity. Most of the fixed interest securities that CareSuper invests in are Government bonds.

How does the Fixed Interest option generate returns?

Returns from bonds are generated from two key components:

  • The interest received, and
  • The capital movement (or price change) of the bond.

The interest rate is set when the bond is issued, and it is a fixed rate. This is where the term ‘fixed interest’ comes from.

Importantly, it is the value of the regular interest payments that is ‘fixed’ and not the market value of the security as a whole. For example, a $100 investment in a bond with a 3% interest rate would pay $3 dollars in interest per year. If the price of the bond does not change, the return on the investment in the bond would be 3% per year.

 

Can the value of my investment in Fixed Interest rise and fall?

Yes. Many of our members are aware that the value of shares and other assets can go up and down in the short term but may not realise that this can also occur with bonds (usually to a lesser extent than shares).

Even though the fixed interest asset class can provide more predictable investment returns and be less volatile than shares (and other growth assets), this option may still deliver low or negative returns over certain periods.

Like shares, fixed interest investments can be actively traded and have the potential for both positive and negative returns.

Investing in the Fixed Interest option is quite different to putting money into a term deposit or in cash. There is not a set rate of return on the Fixed Interest option.

What causes Fixed Interest assets to rise and fall?

Some of the main factors that affect bond prices include changes in prevailing/market interest rates and interest rate expectations.

A bond’s price always moves in the opposite direction to interest rates, so a higher interest rate (or yield) usually causes a fall in bond prices. Generally, bonds do not deliver negative returns very frequently, so many investors are not aware that this is possible.

The key to understanding this critical feature of the bond market is to recognise that a bond’s price reflects the value of the income that it provides through its regular interest payments. When prevailing interest rates fall — notably rates on Government bonds — older bonds of all types become more valuable because they were sold in a higher interest rate environment and are therefore paying a higher regular interest payment than a bond issued today.

Investors holding older bonds can then charge a ‘premium’, selling them at a higher price in the open market. On the other hand, if interest rates rise, older bonds may become less valuable because their interest payments are relatively low compared to bonds issued today. This means that the older bonds are therefore likely to trade at a discount, which could lead to negative capital returns. When the decrease in price (capital value) is greater than the interest payment, the bond’s total return is negative.
In the example of the $100 investment in a 3% bond in the previous question, if interest rates were to rise sufficiently that the capital value of the bond fell to $96, then even with the $3 interest payment, the return on the bond is still a loss of $1 for the year.

In this regard, negative returns are not necessarily caused by defaults or the failure of debtors to make repayments.

How do I find more information on the Fixed Interest option?

Familiarise yourself with the investment option’s risk level, return objective, investment timeframe and likelihood of a negative return. You can find this information on our website.

You can also find more information about all of your investment options here.

If you need advice, get in contact with a financial planner* to ensure the appropriateness of your investment strategy. This is a benefit of membership, so you don’t need to pay anything extra for this information.

*Financial advice obtained over the phone, or through MemberOnline, is provided by Mercer Financial Advice (Australia) Pty Ltd (MFAAPL) ABN 76 153 168 293, Australian Financial Services Licence #411766.

 

Insurance
Am I covered for COVID-19?

If you have death, TPD or income protection cover with us, the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) pandemic declaration hasn’t affected your cover.

You will be covered in the event of death, total and permanent disablement, or illness or injury if you meet the eligibility criteria and other conditions as at that time. This applies to all existing and new CareSuper members.  

I’ve lost my job. Can I make a claim through my income protection insurance?

Unfortunately not. Income protection doesn’t cover you if you lose your job. Your income protection benefit covers you if you need to take extended time off work to recover from an injury or illness. 

If you’re unemployed and need extra financial support right now, check if you’re eligible for any relief measures that may be available to you.  

If I’m currently not working due to COVID-19, can I still make an income protection claim if I suffer an illness or injury?

If you meet the usual eligibility claim requirements and have an inability to work due to illness or injury and you are stood down (as defined under the Fair Work Act), you’re considered by our insurer to be on leave without pay. Generally, any benefits would commence after the leave without pay period, however if you’re stood down due to COVID-19, our insurer will disregard this standard condition and benefits will commence at the end of your waiting period. For more information, please see the Making an income protection claim fact sheet.

Minimum work hour requirements will still apply, and any benefits payable will be based on average income for the previous twelve months prior to the date of disablement.

How will my income be calculated if my job has been in hibernation due to COVID-19 and i need to make an income protection claim?

The standard policy terms apply. Your monthly benefit will be subject to the 12-month average rule on income prior to becoming seriously ill or disabled.

See the ‘Income’ definition in the Insurance Guide that's relevant to you for more information on how the 12-month average income rule is calculated. 

 

  

If I’m currently not working or my regular hours have reduced due to COVID-19, will I be eligible for a TPD benefit if I become totally and permanently disabled?

Provided you met the eligibility terms and conditions of cover at the time your TPD cover commenced, there will be no change to your eligibility or TPD benefits if you’re not working or your work hours have reduced.

I’m part of a corporate arrangement and my insured benefit is linked to my salary. What will happen if my normal annual salary is affected by COVID-19?

Your insured benefit is reviewed once a year based on your salary at the time of your employer’s review date. Changes in salary aren’t reviewed between this one-year period. If your salary has reduced due to COVID-19 and your employer’s review date occurs before 27 September 2020, we’ll use your salary prior to 11 March 2020 (when the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a pandemic) to assess your insured benefit. If you’re concerned about a potential change to your insured benefit, please contact us to find out your employer’s review date.

If you have income protection cover any benefits payable will be based on your average income for the previous twelve months prior to the date of disablement, up to the maximum of your sum insured.

If I lose my insurance cover due to not having enough money in my account to cover my insurance fees, can it be reinstated?

If you’re an Employee Plan member or part of a corporate insurance arrangement, you may be able to have your previous level of cover reinstated in certain situations. See your relevant Insurance Guide for more information about the reinstatement and recommencement of cover or contact us for info.

If you’re a Personal Plan member, you’re not eligible to have your cover reinstated.

If I take all my super under the Federal Government’s COVID-19 early release measure, what will happen to my insurance cover and my super account?

If you withdraw all your super with us, your super account will close and you will lose your insurance cover. If you later get a new employer contribution, we’ll open a new account for you and you’ll need to meet the eligibility criteria for standard insurance cover to commence, as outlined in the Insurance Guide relevant to you at that time. This criteria may be different to when you last received standard cover with us, and the cover you receive may be limited cover.  Please note you will not be able to get any additional cover back (i.e. other cover you’d previously been accepted for with us, or cover you’d transferred from another fund).

You can check how much cover you have in MemberOnline or by contacting us.

Are there any changes to how insurance claims are assessed? How can I get more support?

There are no changes to how insurance claims are assessed.

If you’re having trouble making a claim, please contact us. If you have a claim in progress and have any questions about it, please contact our dedicated claims team on 1300 090 925.

How is insurance cover for new members affected by COVID-19?

There are no special conditions for new members. New members will receive standard cover as outlined in their Insurance Guide, if they meet the eligibility criteria. 

Is CareSuper’s New Member Options cover affected by COVID-19?

Eligible members can still apply to increase their standard cover under the New Member Options without any changes from COVID-19. Cover is subject to standard terms and conditions. 

If I’m diagnosed with COVID-19, or have visited a country or region that is considered a COVID-19 risk, can I apply for additional cover?

You can always apply for extra cover. Your application will be assessed by our insurer and you’ll need to provide health evidence.  

The insurer will wait at least three months to make a decision. You’ll need to receive a clean bill of health from your doctor, confirming you are free from illness and symptoms and have no ongoing respiratory conditions. 

Will I be covered if I travel internationally?

Your insurance provides worldwide cover 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  

While government-enforced travel bans are in place, you won’t be covered for international travel if you apply and are accepted for any additional cover.  

General COVID-19 FAQs
I’ve tried to call CareSuper. Why can’t I get through?

As you can imagine we’re receiving lots of calls from members at the moment. We’re sorry for the delays you’re experiencing. Please bear with us – our contact centre is fully staffed and we’re dedicated to helping you as promptly as we can.

How can I access my account details online?

MemberOnline lets you see at any time how your account is tracking– and make changes.

Log in here. If you haven’t registered yet, or if you haven’t logged in since April 2019, register now.

You’ll need:

  • Your member account number (check your last statement or your welcome letter)
  • Your date of birth
  • Access to your email address – so we can send you a link to complete the process.

 

Is CareSuper intending to change some of the terms and conditions that apply to member transactions?

No. CareSuper will not be changing the existing rules and requirements that apply to member transactions. We’re continuing to process all transactions – including withdrawals and investment switches – as usual.

Do I still need to post forms to CareSuper in the mail?

You can request most changes to your account online or over the phone (for example changing your investments, updating your details, or nominating a non-binding beneficiary) – and you can also upload completed forms to us online. 

The best way to do this is by logging in to your MemberOnline account and attaching a file to your query from the ‘Contact us’ section. You can also upload forms to us here.

If you’re nominating a binding beneficiary, you’ll need to send us a signed form in the post. Making a binding beneficiary nomination is a legally binding agreement and required to be signed in the presence of two witnesses. The law hasn't changed here, so we must have your original signature and those of your witnesses as a record of your request for your nomination to be valid in the event of your death. Learn more about nominating beneficiaries. 

If you’re looking to make a withdrawal from your account (that isn’t related to the new COVID-19 early release payment), get in touch with us and we’ll talk you through the process.

Which events did CareSuper cancel?

As a precautionary measure, we cancelled the following events. If you were registered to attend, we’ve contacted you directly.  

  • Pension morning tea (Sydney) – 19 March 2020
  • Future Focus seminar (Geelong) – 17 March 2020
  • Future Focus seminar (Campbelltown) – 24 March 2020
  • Future Focus seminar (Gold Coast) – 24 March 2020
  • Future Focus seminar (Canberra) – 25 March 2020
  • Future Focus seminar (Doncaster) – 2 April 2020
  • Level Up lunch (Melbourne) – 7 April 2020

Once we’ve re-scheduled, we’ll be in touch.

Getting in touch with us
We’re committed to providing you with the best service possible, even in these unique times.

Thanks for your patience and understanding if we take longer to get back to you or there’s background noise you wouldn’t usually hear. (We’re receiving a high volume of calls and emails right now, and in line with Government advice, our team is working from home.)

We’re updating this page as regularly as possible, but if you can’t find what you need, get in touch and we will come back to you as soon as we possibly can.