It’s easy to take a steady income for granted. However, if you are injured or suddenly fall ill, you can very quickly find bills mounting up – as well as the pressure to meet the costs of food and accommodation. Having income protection in place is a smart strategy to ensure you can help meet your financial responsibilities.
At PSSap we’ve changed the way we deliver income protection insurance, providing more support while you undergo rehabilitation, allowing you to concentrate on getting better.
lifePLUS auto cover (default cover)
lifePLUS auto cover is the default insurance for new PSSap members.
If eligible, you will receive income protection benefits for up to 5 years, or for non-ongoing contract employees the earlier of 5 years and until the end of your contract period. For example, if you were employed on a non-ongoing contract that ended after four years, you would receive income protection benefits up to the end of your contract period.
If you don’t want a 5 year benefit period, you can switch to lifePLUS choice, and change to a 2 year benefit period.
Maximum cover (without underwriting)
The maximum income protection cover provided (without underwriting) is up to $15,000 per month depending on your income for lifePLUS auto cover.
Flexibility of cover with lifePLUS choice cover
lifePLUS choice cover allows you to customise your insurance.
Income protection cover options
- waiting periods: reducing the waiting period for income protection benefits (for example from 60 days to 30 days, or increasing the waiting period (for example from 60 days to 90 or 180 days)
- benefit period: reducing the period over which income protection benefits are paid from 5 years to 2 years, or increasing it back to 5 years
- applying for additional income protection cover
- transferring cover from other superannuation funds or insurers allowing you to consolidate super accounts.
Your ability to exercise some of these options will be subject to eligibility conditions and/or underwriting by the insurer, and members can choose to cancel cover at any stage.
You can assess your insurance needs and obtain a quote using the LIFEapp tool.
If you are a lifePLUS choice member you are responsible for ensuring your base annual salary is correct. Notify us of any changes using the lifePLUS Application and variation form.
Our focus on rehabilitation
Our lifePLUS income protection cover is designed to help you both financially and vocationally where you are unable to work due to sickness or injury.
As part of your income protection, the Insurer may cover the cost of rehabilitation programs designed to help you return to some form of work. Services available include:
- workplace assessments to identify solutions (and equipment) to support your return to work plan
- career guidance to explore alternative work options when you are unable to return to your role
- holistic work readiness programs (including fitness and coaching) to assist in ensuring you’re confident and ready to return to the workforce once recovered
- improving your skills and capabilities so that your return to work is sustainable over the long term.
The rehabilitation team works in collaboration with you, your employer and any other approved rehabilitation program provider in search of the best outcome for you.
Many studies have found that work is good medicine. Returning to work restores more than your income, it can also restore your sense of purpose. We have access to one of the largest and most experienced team of rehabilitation professionals in Australia. They’re here purely to support you in your recovery, and a number of PSSap members can attest to the benefit they received by knowing someone was there to help them.
If you’ve been injured or suffer an illness, why not find out if rehabilitation could be a good fit for you.
How your income protection benefit is calculated
All lifePLUS auto members have a 5 year benefit period for income protection. lifePLUS choice members have either a 2 year or 5 year benefit period.
Under lifePLUS cover, the period over which income protection benefits will be paid will be the lesser of:
- 5 years, and
- the term of your contract (for non-ongoing contract employees).
For the first 2 years of your benefit payments (or for non-ongoing contract employees, until the end of the contract term if this ends earlier), you’ll receive a monthly income stream of up to 90.4% of the lesser of your reported Base Annual Salary and your Pre-Disability income. 75% is paid to you directly, and 15.4%6 will be paid into your PSSap super account.
For the remaining 3 years of your benefit payments (or for non-ongoing contract employees, until the end of the contract term if this ends earlier), you’ll receive a monthly income stream of 65.4% of your reported Base Annual Salary with 50% being paid to you directly and up to 15.4% paid into your PSSap super account to help you to continue to build for your retirement.
At the end of the first 2 years of receiving your benefit, the definition in which you are assessed against will also change.
Indexing your benefits
After 12 continuous months of being paid a benefit, based on a 5 year benefit period, your benefit payments will be indexed each year by the lesser of CPI and 5%.
2 year benefits are not indexed.
Under lifePLUS choice cover, you’ll receive a monthly income stream of up to 90.4% of your reported Base Annual Salary. 75% is paid to you directly, and 15.4% will be paid into your PSSap super account.
Income from other sources
If you receive a benefit for TPD, you’ll continue to receive income protection benefits. However, income protection benefits will be reduced by any amount paid, or required to be paid under:
- workers’ compensation, transport accident compensation, or similar legislation in relation to your sickness or injury
- any continued income received from an employer while being paid a benefit
- income protection benefits from any other insurance arrangement; or
- any sick leave entitlements from any source.
You may be eligible to receive a partial disability benefit after the Waiting Period, if you’ve been totally Disabled for at least 10 out of 14 consecutive days within the Waiting Period, and meet the definition of Partial Disability following the end of the Waiting Period.
How your salary is calculated
Your income protection benefits are calculated on the lesser of:
- your actual Base Annual Salary at the time of your total disability; and
- the Base Annual Salary advised to PSSap.
Where your employer has not advised us of your Base Annual Salary at the time you commence with PSSap (for a full or part time employment status), we will use a default Base Annual Salary of $47,000.
lifePLUS auto cover
With the exception of Casual members, Base Annual Salary updates for lifePLUS auto cover members, must be supplied by your employer. Make sure your employer advises us if your Base Annual Salary changes, as this affects the benefits you’re entitled to and the premiums deducted from your account. Casual members must advise us of their Base Annual Salary when they elect to take up the offer of lifePLUS auto cover, and will be responsible for ensuring the Base Annual Salary details we hold remains up to date.
lifePLUS choice cover
All lifePLUS choice cover members will be responsible for ensuring their Base Annual Salary is kept up to date. It’s important to make sure your details are correct, because if the amount of Base Annual Salary in our records is higher than your actual Base Annual Salary, you will be paying a higher premium for a benefit amount that you’re not able to claim. If the amount of Base Annual Salary recorded by us is less than what you actually earn, then the benefit amount you are able to claim may be significantly less than expected and what’s required to meet your financial obligations.
When cover will cease
Your income protection cover will cease on whichever of the following events happens first:
- you turn 67 years old (currently cover ceases at age 65)
- you die
- you permanently retire from the workforce
- you stop being a member of PSSap
- 60 days after the date your full premium amounts are not paid when they fall due
- you are a non-resident of Australia and permanently leave, or are no longer eligible to work in Australia
you cease employment with an eligible employer and do not meet the conditions to retain your cover1
- we receive written notice that you want to cancel your cover; or
- we terminate the policy with the insurer (we will give you 30 days’ notice before doing this).
1 you are not eligible to retain your cover if you ceased employment due to sickness or injury and are receiving, eligible to receive or in the process of lodging a claim for income protection, or terminal illness.
Exclusions and restrictions
Exclusions and restrictions
There are some situations where no income protection benefit will be paid because certain events are excluded from cover. This occurs where a disability is caused wholly or partly, directly or indirectly by:
- any intentional self-inflicted injury or attempted suicide or self-destruction, while sane or insane
- uncomplicated pregnancy, childbirth or miscarriage
- war or act of war (whether declared or not)
- active service in the armed forces or peacekeeping forces (whether armed or unarmed) of any country or territory or foreign or international organisation; or
- participation in a combat or fighting force of any country or territory or foreign or international organisation.
Cancelling lifePLUS cover
You can choose at any stage to opt out of income protection cover for both lifePLUS auto cover and lifePLUS choice cover. Think carefully before you do this, however, and consider the following:
- if you decide to take up income protection cover again in the future, you will need to apply (including any previously transferred cover) and undergo underwriting; and
- if you later make a claim for TPD benefits, you may be required to meet a stricter disability test to access these benefits.
Refer to the Definitions section of 'Insurance and your PSSap Super' for the TPD definitions, and details of how they apply in different scenarios.
If you wish to cancel your lifePLUS cover, please call us on 1300 725 171 to request a copy of the Cancellation of Cover form.