New budget details changes to superannuation group insurance arrangements

The latest federal budget announced changes to the arrangements for group insurance within superannuation, with the changes meaning that members under the age of 25 will be required to opt in to group life insurance, as opposed to that inclusion being the default arrangement. 

It has been left up to super funds to communicate the changes to their younger members, since some members will be under the impression that they are still covered by some forms of insurance (while the rest will remain none the wiser, since many super members don't know they have insurance cover). Younger members in high-risk occupations may require some form of cover. 

There hasn't been a budget for quite some time (since 2008) that didn't include changes to the superannuation system, creating uncertainty amongst both providers and the public. Contribution limits have been shifted, and the rising compulsory employer Superannuation Guarantee is set to hit 12 per cent if policy changes are accepted. The retirement age is also increasing over time. 

Some key changes over the years include: 

  • Co-contributions reduced, contribution caps halved in 2009
  • Employer contributions superannuation guarantee extended to age 74 in 2010
  • Changes to self-managed super funds, MySuper created in 2011
  • Contribution cap increases for over-50s in 2012
  • Superannuation guarantee set to rise to 12 per cent by 2019, in 2013
  • Superannuation guarantee delayed, pension income adjustments in 2014
  • Age pension rules become stricter in 2015
  • Lower contribution caps and changes to taxation, amongst other changes in 2016
  • First home buyer super saver scheme in 2017