Do You Have TPD in Super? You Should Read This….

Do You Have TPD in Super? You Should Read This….

It’s time to get technical – let’s talk Total & Permanent Disability Cover (TPD) and how TPD is treated by insurers and especially super funds in the event of a claim under the “any occupation” definition.

Total and Permanent Disability cover means you are totally and permanently disabled – basically that you’re never going to work again. It’s a bit “end game” for your working life due to any sort of injury, illness or accident. An easy example is if you have a car accident and become a quadriplegic. You would be declared totally and permanently disabled from work and make a claim. If you want to learn more about TPD cover click here.

When you have insurance owned in your own name you will be declared totally and permanently disabled if you are “unlikely to engage in any occupation to which you are reasonably suited by training, education or experience”. So if you’ve been working as a teacher for 10 years the insurer can’t force you to go fold napkins. We’ve had many successful claims under this definition.

Now, let’s take a look at the definition of TPD cover through one of Australia’s biggest super funds – Australian Super. Lots of people think having their insurance through their industry super is the best option because it’s cheap.

Remember this for later: you get what you pay for.

Australian super states you are totally and permanently disabled when “ it is unlikely that you would be ever able to engage in any occupation to which you are reasonably suited by education, training or experience, or any job that you may become reasonably suited to with further education, training or experience”.

Seems they have written in a get-out-of-jail free clause to make it cheaper for them to retrain you in a totally different field than to pay you your claim money! Cheeky!

Oh ho, but there’s a rival for the worst  TPD definition – ESS Super. They cut right to the chase and basically say you have to be a vegetable to claim under their cover:

“the person is unlikely ever to be able to engage in any occupation whether or not for reward. Job market availability is not a relevant consideration in assessing if you are TPD”.

There is no fairness when it comes to your suitability for any type of work. And if you’re unable to work but would like to engage in volunteer work to keep your mind active like so many of my clients do, good luck with making a claim through ESS.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you get what you pay for. When considering insurance through super always seek advice – insurance advice is generally free as we get paid commission from the insurer, which means we don’t have to charge you a fee. If you’re not sure where you stand with your cover in superannuation we’re here to help you review your cover and devise the best solution to ensure the right protection.

Do yourself a favour and get educated and please share this with people so they can get educated and protect themselves properly.


Sacha Loutkovsky
  • terry JOHNSON
    Posted at 19:34h, 01 December Reply

    Great article Sacha. Not too technical and cuts through the crap.

    • Sacha Loutkovsky
      Posted at 09:31h, 19 January Reply

      Cheers Terry,

      It concerns me how many people get messed about by these sorts of clauses and how the super funds can get away with it! If you do anything with the information please share it so that more Australians can get educated and ensure they’re looking after themselves correctly.


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