Glossary

A type of pension purchased with super money on retirement or in transition to retirement.

You can choose the amount of pension you receive each year within limits set by law. Your super money is invested and progressively drawn down until the account balance runs out.

Account-based pensions were previously known as allocated pensions.


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Accumulation 1 is an ‘accumulation-style’ account within UniSuper.

Typically an Accumulation 1 account is made up of:

Amounts that are usually deducted from your account include fees, costs, insurance premiums (if it applies to you) and taxes.

If you're an Accumulation 1 member, your benefits in the Fund are kept in an account in your name. All contributions are paid into this account and invested in your chosen investment option(s). If you haven’t made an investment choice, your account will be invested in the Balanced option, our default investment option.

Your super balance accumulates over time with investment returns, which may be positive or negative. Your final benefit is the total of your UniSuper account, less any fees, insurance premiums (if any), taxes and other deductions, and is dependent on investment performance.

Employer contributions to your account are generally at the rate required by Superannuation Guarantee legislation (9.5% for the 2017/18 financial year). You're not required to make any personal contributions to your account.

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Accumulation 2 is an ‘accumulation-style’ account within UniSuper. 

Typically an Accumulation 2 account is made up of:

Income Protection, Death and Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) insurance cover is also available to eligible Accumulation 2 members.

Amounts that are usually deducted from your account include fees, costs, charges, insurance premiums (if it applies to you) and taxes.

If you're an Accumulation 2 member, your benefits in the Fund are kept in an account in your name. All contributions are paid into this account and invested in your chosen investment option(s). If you haven’t made an investment choice, your account will be invested in the Balanced option, our default investment option.

Your super balance accumulates over time with investment returns, which may be positive or negative. Your final benefit is the total of your UniSuper account, less any fees, costs, premiums for Death, TPD and Income Protection insurance cover (if applicable), taxes and other deductions, and is dependent on investment performance (which may be positive or negative).

Employer contributions to your account are generally 14% or 17%. You're also required to make personal contributions to your account, unless you elect to reduce your contributions through contribution flexibility.


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This relates to Defined Benefit Division members.

The accumulation component of your Defined Benefit Division membership works differently from the defined benefit component. 3% additional employer contributions (if these apply), any voluntary member contributions and any rollovers or government co-contributions you receive are allocated to the accumulation component.

Fees, costs and taxes are also deducted from your accumulation component (where these apply), as are any premiums for death and disablement cover. You can decide how this component is invested by choosing from UniSuper’s range of investment options.

Therefore, the value of your final benefit from the accumulation component is determined not by a formula (as in the case of your defined benefit component), but instead by the performance of the investment options you choose (which could be positive or negative).This means the value of your accumulation component can rise or fall depending on how investment markets have performed over the period your accumulation component is invested.

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An accumulation super account provides a super/retirement benefit based on your account balance. It includes contributions to your account and any investment earnings based on those contributions, less any fees, insurance premiums (if any) and taxes.

With accumulation super accounts, you choose how your super is invested and you carry the investment risk. If investments perform poorly, your benefits are directly affected. This is because an earnings rate is applied to your account regardless of whether it's positive or negative.


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In relation to Death and Total & Permanent Disablement insurance cover:

means:

A. for a person who is:

  • employed with an employer, the person is:
    • actively performing or capable of actively performing all of the duties of their usual occupation with their employer on a full-time basis; or
    • on employer approved leave for reasons other than illness or injury, and capable of performing their usual occupation on a full-time basis;

free from any limitation due to illness or injury; or

  • unemployed or self-employed, the person is actively performing or capable of actively performing all of the duties of their usual occupation free from any limitation due to illness or injury on a full-time basis; or
  • engaged exclusively in unpaid domestic duties, the person is actively performing or capable of performing all of their unpaid domestic duties on a full time basis, free from any limitation due to illness or injury; and

B. the person is not entitled to, or receiving, income support benefits relating to illness or injury from any source including but not limited to workers' compensation benefits, statutory transport accident benefits and disability income benefits.

In relation to Income Protection insurance cover:

means:

A. for a person who is:

  • employed with an employer, the person is:
    • actively performing or capable of actively performing all of the duties of their usual occupation with their employer on a full-time basis; or
    • on employer approved leave for reasons other than illness or injury, and capable of performing their usual occupation on a fulltime basis;

free from any limitation due to illness or injury; or

  • self-employed, the person is actively performing or capable of actively performing all of the duties of their usual occupation free from any limitation due to illness or injury on a full-time basis; and

B. the person is not entitled to, or receiving, income support benefits relating to illness or injury from any source including but not limited to workers' compensation benefits, statutory transport accident benefits and disability income benefits.

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means:

  • Dressing - the ability to put on and take off clothing without assistance;
  • Bathing - the ability to wash or shower without assistance;
  • Toileting - the ability to use the toilet, including getting on or off, without assistance;
  • Mobility - the ability to get in or out of bed and a chair without assistance;
  • Feeding - the ability to get food from a plate into the mouth without assistance;

where assistance means the assistance of another person.

 


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An income test measure used by the Australian Taxation Office in determining your liability to surcharge tax.

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A fee to cover the cost of running the Fund on a day-to-day basis.

In UniSuper's case this includes our dedicated in-house administration and Member Helpline, benefit statements, publications and website. It's deducted from your accumulation super account or allowed for in the Defined Benefit Division formula.

The administration fee is a flat fee for all but Flexi Pension and Term Allocated Pension accounts.

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A contribution made from after-tax salary.

After-tax contributions are a type of non-concessional contribution.

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Alternative investments typically constitute investments made in unlisted companies (as opposed to those that are publicly listed on stock exchanges). Such investments can be made directly (e.g. a direct equity interest in such a company) or through an investment manager.

UniSuper’s alternative investments are generally invested in the infrastructure and private equity asset classes. 

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To convert a figure covering more or less than one year to a figure that shows a rate on an annual basis.

An investment, purchased with a lump sum that guarantees to pay a set income for either an agreed number of years, or for life. Generally, your money is locked away for a fixed period or for life, though some annuities allow early withdrawals or for a 'residual capital value'. There is no capital left at the end of the specified period. The income payments may be indexed each year, often in line with inflation. Some annuities allow for reversionary beneficiaries.

Anti-detriment payments are sometimes paid to certain beneficiaries of a deceased member in addition to the death benefit. It’s an additional amount that equates to a tax refund on the super contributions paid by a deceased member throughout their life.

The Government has removed the anti-detriment provision from 1 July 2017, which means from this date no new death benefit payments will be eligible for an anti-detriment payment. Payments for claims relating to members' deaths prior to 1 July 2017 can still be made however they must be paid by 30 June 2019.

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A resource of a company, individual, business or other party that's held to produce a future economic benefit such as income or capital gain. A super fund’s assets include shares, property, cash, bonds and life insurance policies.

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The major asset classes are shares, property, fixed interest, alternative investments and cash. All asset classes have different risk and return characteristics.

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The peak industry body for the super sector, representing all types of super funds, service providers and fund members.

A licence required to conduct a financial services business given out by ASIC. It may authorise a licensee to do one or more of the following: 

  • provide financial product advice to clients
  • deal in a financial product
  • make a market for a financial product
  • operate a registered scheme
  • provide a custodial or depository service, and
  • provide traditional Trustee company services.

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The Australian Government agency responsible for the prudential regulation of banks, life insurance companies, general insurance companies and super funds.

The Australian Government agency responsible for the regulation of companies, the securities and futures industries, consumer credit and finance broking. 

ASIC is also responsible for monitoring and promoting market integrity and consumer protection in relation to the Australian financial system, the provision of financial services and the payments system.


The Australian Government's principal revenue collection agency.


A factor used in the calculation of defined benefits. The factor is a time weighted average of a member’s contribution factors (CFs). 

A contribution factor is determined by the level of member contributions you make. 

For example, if you always make 7% (after tax) standard member contributions, your CF and ACF will be 100%. Reducing the level of your standard member contributions or ceasing to make standard member contributions decreases your ACF.


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This reflects how much of your Defined Benefit Division or Accumulation 2 membership has been spent in full-time employment (this is your service fraction).

Your average service fraction (ASF) is calculated by averaging all of your service fractions over your period of your benefit service.

For example, if you always worked full-time with your UniSuper employer(s), your ASF is 100%. However, any breaks in employment will reduce your ASF. Typical breaks in employment include the time between ceasing one job and starting another, periods when your benefits are deferred or treated as deferred, periods of leave without pay, periods of part-time work and half contributions. Breaks in employment are calculated in days and include weekends.

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A measure of wage and salary levels of employees in Australia as measured by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and published monthly.

Economists and others use AWOTE as one indicator of economic activity and wage inflation trends. The government uses movements in AWOTE as a way of removing the inflationary impact from various super calculations. 

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Contributions made by your employer before tax has been deducted.

Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions and salary sacrifice contributions are examples of before-tax contributions.

Before-tax contributions are a type of concessional contribution.

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A standard against which the performance of a security, investment fund or portfolio can be measured.

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A person entitled to, or in receipt of, a benefit. Usually an employee, a super fund member, a related dependant or any financial dependants.

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The amount of money you're entitled to receive upon resignation, retirement, death, disablement or other circumstances as specified in the Trust Deed.

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If you're a Defined Benefit Division member, your benefit salary until January 2015 is calculated as the average of your annual equivalent full-time salaries (indexed by CPI) over the last three years you have been employed by a UniSuper employer as a contributing member (or over the time you have been employed as a contributing member if less than three years).

From 1 January 2015, your benefit salary will be averaged over your last five years of employment as a contributing member and annual equivalent full-time salaries within the averaging period will generally no longer be indexed (by CPI) to the date of the benefit calculation.

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Your period of benefit service essentially covers the years and days of your DBD membership as a contributing member, plus any period to be counted as such in accordance with the Trust Deed.

In the event of your death before age 60, your benefit service will also include the period from the date of your death to what would have been your 60th birthday. In the event that you suffer disablement your benefit service covers the period (years and days) from the date of your disablement up to age 65.

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A written direction to the Trustee that sets out the dependants and/or legal personal representative you want to receive your benefit in the event of your death and the proportions payable to each beneficiary.

If your binding death benefit nomination is valid and in effect at the date of your death, the Trustee must pay your benefit in accordance with the nomination. UniSuper offers two types of binding death benefit nominations; lapsing and non-lapsing. A valid lapsing binding death benefit nomination remains in effect for three years from the date it's first signed, last amended or confirmed. A non-lapsing binding death benefit nomination doesn’t expire (unless you amend or revoke it).

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A method of making payments directly from a bank, building society, credit union or credit card account electronically through online or phone banking.

The increase in value of an asset over time.

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Cash investments include money in bank deposits or in short-term money market securities. The investment returns largely come from interest paid on the amount invested as well as any increase, or decrease, in the case of negative returns, in the value of the underlying securities due to changing interest rates. 

Short-term money market securities are different from bank deposits and can increase or decrease in value.

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Includes a child, adopted child, foster child, a ward, or a child of you or your spouse within the meaning of the Family Law legislation.

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Under the Choice of Fund legislation, you may be eligible to choose the super fund into which your Superannuation Guarantee contributions are paid. Eligibility for Choice of Fund depends on your conditions of employment. Choice of Fund isn't generally available to you if your conditions of employment are governed by an award or industrial agreement. DBD members aren't eligible for Choice of Fund.

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UniSuper is governed by a Trust Deed that sets out rules and processes UniSuper must adhere to. Clause 34 of the Trust Deed provides a process for the UniSuper Trustee to manage the financial health of the Defined Benefit Division, including a mechanism to reduce members’ and pensioners’ defined benefits if necessary.

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UniSuper is governed by a Trust Deed that sets out rules and processes UniSuper must adhere to. Clause 35 of the Trust Deed sets out the options for Defined Benefit Division members who cease to be contributing members.

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The process of converting a pension into a lump sum payment. This payment can be paid to a beneficiary or rolled over to another product within the same super fund or to another super fund.

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A super fund that meets the requirements of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act) and qualifies for concessional tax rates.

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Compounding is the ‘snowball’ effect of investment returns earned on your investment returns. Compound interest is interest that's paid on both the principal amount and the interest previously earned.

It happens when you reinvest investment returns (as you must do with superannuation) rather than withdrawing and spending them. If you do this, compounding can result in your savings accumulating faster.

For example, on an annual 10% interest rate and a $100 principal amount, interest in the first year is $10 (10% x $100). In the second year, interest earned is $11 (10% x $110).

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See: Before-tax contributions 

Concessional contributions include:

  • contributions made from before-tax money (i.e. before-tax contributions). They include employer contributions to an accumulation account (including any salary sacrifice contributions)
  • personal member contributions made by you which you validly claim as a tax deduction
  • the taxable component of all your directed termination payments in excess of $1 million
  • notional taxed contributions to a defined benefit component

Concessional contributions incur the 15% contributions tax. Additional taxes may apply if you exceed the concessional contributions cap, if you don't provide your Tax File Number or if you fall into the category of a high income earner with income (income in this context includes income for surcharge purposes plus concessional contributions) that exceeds $250,000 in a year.

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There is a limit on the amount of concessional contributions you can make into super each financial year. You can contribute up to $25,000 regardless of age in the 2017-18 financial year.

From 1 July 2018, if you have a total super balance of less than $500,000 on 30 June of the previous financial year, you can carry forward unused concessional contributions under your cap on a rolling basis for five years.

Contributions over the concessional contribution cap will be included as taxable income, taxed at marginal tax rate plus an excess concessional contributions charge.

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Under the super preservation rules, you must meet a condition of release before accessing your preserved benefits. The conditions of release include:

  • permanently retiring from the workforce on or after reaching your preservation age,
  • terminating employment after you reach 60,
  • reaching age 65,
  • becoming permanently incapacitated,
  • financial hardship (partial release only),
  • compassionate grounds (partial release only),
  • being eligible for the Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP), or
  • terminating employment with an employer who contributed to UniSuper on your behalf and your benefit is less than $200, or
  • death. 


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A measure of the quarterly changes in the prices of selected goods and services which account for a high proportion of representative expenditure of metropolitan wage and salary earners. CPI is calculated and reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and is the most common method of measuring the rate of price inflation.

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An employer who contributes to a super fund for the benefit of a member. Sometimes this is according to an arrangement between the employer and the trustee of the super fund.

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A DBD or Accumulation 2 member who is:

  • making standard member contributions,
  • half contributions,
  • has elected to reduce their standard member contributions under the Fund’s contribution flexibility arrangements, or
  • is relieved from making standard member contributions.

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The period of your service as a contributing member, plus any period to be counted as contributing service according to UniSuper's Trust Deed, expressed in years and days.

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A government measure allowing you to split certain super contributions with your spouse.

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The amount you can contribute to your super before heavier taxes apply. There is a concessional and after tax (non-concessional) contributions cap.

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A tax (currently 15%) deducted from employer contributions. For this purpose, any salary sacrifice contributions you make are treated as employer contributions.

An additional tax is imposed on concessional contributions made by, or on behalf of, very high income earners. This is referred to as the Division 293 tax and is imposed at a rate of 15% on individuals with incomes and relevant contributions over $250,000.

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The rate of investment return determined by the Trustee to be credited (or debited) to your account, based on the performance of the investment option your accumulation component or account is invested in. The crediting rate is usually expressed as a percentage per annum.

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The process of entering into arrangements that involve converting one currency into another on particular terms, which can provide some certainty in the face of fluctuating exchange rates.

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The risk that the changing value of currency either in Australia or overseas may change the value of any overseas investment.

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The benefit payable in the event of your death.

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Investments, such as cash and fixed interest, which generally provide you with returns in the form of income. They generally have lower levels of risk compared with growth assets. However, they also tend to produce lower returns, especially over longer time frames.

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The part of your Defined Benefit Division benefit that's calculated in accordance with a formula that generally takes into account your benefit salary, benefit service, lump sum factor, average service fraction (ASF) and average contribution factor (ACF).

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If you're a DBD member, you have two components to your super, a defined benefit component and an accumulation component.

DBD members receive 14% employer contributions into their defined benefit component and may also receive 3% additional employer contributions into their accumulation component. The value of your defined benefit component is calculated in accordance with a formula.

If you're a DBD member, you're required to make standard member contributions at the rate of 7% from your after-tax salary (or 8.25% from your before-tax salary) into your defined benefit component to maintain full defined benefit entitlements.

DBD members are able to elect to reduce your level of standard member contributions under the Fund’s contribution flexibility arrangements. The value of your accumulation component is based on the amount of contributions you make and the investment earnings you receive (see accumulation component).

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A super fund where retirement benefits are calculated by a pre-determined formula. Retirement benefits are usually calculated using your average salary over the last few years before you retire and the number of years you worked in the company or public service. In general, market fluctuations have limited effect on the value of the benefit, although in periods of prolonged economic downturn, your defined benefits could be affected. At UniSuper, Clause 34 of the Trust Deed provides the mechanism for the reduction of benefits if necessary.

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The lump sum benefit paid to temporary residents and working holiday makers whose visas have expired or have been cancelled and who have permanently departed Australia.

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These include your spouse (including a legal or de facto partner of the opposite sex or same sex), children or the children of your spouse (regardless of age), any person in an interdependency relationship with you at the date of your death and any other persons (irrespective of age) who, in the Trustee’s opinion, are, or were, in any way financially dependent on you at the date of your death.

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A financial instrument whose value is derived from an underlying asset such as a share, commodity or index. Common types of derivatives include options and futures contracts.

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In relation to the DBD:

A state of health which in the opinion of the Trustee renders a member permanently incapable of performing duties or engaging in employment for which they are reasonably qualified by training and experience where:

a) the member has been absent from employment through injury or illness for three months within a period of 12 consecutive months immediately prior to ceasing to be in the service; and 

b) the Trustee is satisfied that the state of health is not due to or induced by any wilful action on the part of the member to obtain a benefit.

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Generally a distribution from a company to a shareholder out of company profits. A franked dividend consists of profits the company has already paid tax on.

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A qualified medical practitioner registered to practise in Australia or New Zealand or as otherwise agreed by an insurer. That person may not be the insured person, the insured person's business partner, a member of the insured person's immediate family or their employer.

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You may be able to access all or part of your preserved benefits early, provided you satisfy the eligibility criteria, in the following limited circumstances:

  • Specified compassionate grounds: you must apply directly to the Department of Human Services.
  • Severe financial hardship grounds: you must apply directly to the Trustee and you must be receiving eligible Commonwealth Government income support benefits to qualify.
  • Terminal medical condition: you must apply to the Trustee.

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A super fund that's eligible to receive benefits automatically rolled over from other super funds. ERFs are generally required to accept inactive small accounts and lost member accounts from other super funds.

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Nations with social or business activity in the process of rapid growth and industrialisation.

A lump sum payment made to an employee on termination of employment.

ETPs paid on or after 1 July 2007 can't be rolled over into a super fund (other than those made under transitional arrangements).


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The process of planning for the disposal of a deceased person’s estate.

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Occupations excluded from Income Protection insurance cover.

For a complete list, see the booklet relevant to your membership:

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An amount paid to a service provider such as an accountant, financial adviser or lawyer, for specific work, completed at a client's request, for a client's benefit.

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A person that stands in a special relationship of trust, confidence and responsibility towards another.

For example, a Trustee.

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A person, or authorised representative, of an organisation licensed by ASIC to provide advice on some or all of the following areas:

  • investing,
  • super,
  • retirement planning,
  • estate planning,
  • risk management,
  • Insurance, and
  • taxation.

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A plan usually created with the help of a financial adviser that defines your financial goals and sets out investment strategies to reach your stated goals, with reference to your personal circumstances.

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A guide that contains information about the entity providing financial advice. It generally explains the financial service offered, the fees charged and how the person or company providing the service will deal with complaints.

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means the dollar amount of insured cover, expressed in multiples of $1,000, that we have most recently agreed to accept in relation to an insured member subject to TPD cover reducing by 10% for each year from the insured member's 61st birthday in accordance with the following table:

Insured member’s birthday Proportion of most recently agreed fixed cover which applies to the insured member in respect of TPD during the 12 months commencing on their birthday
 60  100%
 61  90%
 62  80%
 63  70%
 64  60%
 65  50%
 66  40%
 67  30%
 68  20%
 69  10%
 70  NIL
 

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Investments in securities such as bonds and debentures. In buying fixed interest securities, you effectively lend money to a corporation or government. The returns arise from the interest paid on this 'loan' as well as any increase (or decrease in the case of negative returns) in the value of the underlying securities primarily due to changing interest rates.

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A tax credit that shareholders receive on franked dividends representing the tax an Australian company has already paid on its profits prior to distributing those profits to shareholders via a dividend. (Franking credits avoid the double taxation of Australian company profits, giving shareholders a rebate for the amount of their dividend on which the company has already paid tax).

Also known as an imputation credit.

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Refers to UniSuper.

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The transfer balance cap applies to the total amount of super that can be transferred into the retirement phase tax free. For the 2017-18 financial year the total amount of super that can be transferred into the retirement phase tax free is $1.6 million.

The cap will be indexed in $100,000 increments in line with the consumer price index (CPI). Individuals who breach the cap will be subject to additional tax.

For those eligible, a regular, fortnightly payment from the Australian Government upon reaching pension age.

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An additional payment may be made by the government to your super fund if you're a low-income earner when you make personal contributions to super.

Also known as a co-contribution.

Someone who, or something that, is exempt from a new law or regulation.

Assets that include shares and property which have the potential to achieve higher returns over the longer term compared with defensive assets, but have a higher risk of delivering low or negative returns from time to time.

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DBD members are entitled to inbuilt benefits, subject to satisfying certain criteria set out in the Trust Deed. 

‘Inbuilt benefits’ is the term used to describe benefits payable on disablement, temporary incapacity, suffering a terminal medical condition and death, which are calculated based on a formula set out in the Trust Deed. These benefits contain an inbuilt component which is provided by the Fund, not by an external insurance provider. You cannot opt out of these benefits.

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An additional booklet included with a publication, such as a product disclosure statement, that gives more detailed information on a topic.

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An indexed pension provides you with a regular monthly income indexed to CPI for the rest of your life. (Note: UniSuper could decide to stop adjusting Defined Benefit Indexed Pensions in line with CPI for a period of time or they could be adjusted by less than CPI).

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The indirect cost ratio (ICR)—for a MySuper investment option or another UniSuper investment option offered by UniSuper—is the ratio of the total of the indirect costs for the MySuper product or investment option, to UniSuper's total average net assets attributed to the MySuper product or investment option.

Note: A fee deducted from a member’s account or paid out of UniSuper is not an indirect cost.

ICRs are deducted indirectly from your UniSuper account. For a breakdown of these costs for each investment option, see the Fees and costs booklet.

For DBD members, the ICR for the defined benefit pool is allowed for in the formula used to calculate your benefit. The applicable ICR is deducted in part from investment returns and assets on a DBD member’s accumulation component and some portions are deducted from entities we invest in.

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Industry super funds are historically funds for people in a particular industry or line of work.

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Often refers to price inflation, which is an increase in the general price level of goods and services in the economy, usually measured in terms of movements in the consumer price index (CPI).

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Essential facilities and services such as roads, power stations, water supply and other utilities.

Investment in infrastructure can take a number of forms, including:

  • a loan to a government or semi-government authority
  • equity in a particular development
  • a loan to a participant in a development, such as an equity holder or a financier.

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Bodily injury caused by violent, external and visible means.

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TAL Life Limited. ABN 70 050 109 450.

A relationship between two people (whether or not related by family) if they live together in a close personal relationship, and one or each of them provides the other with financial support, and one or each of them provides the other with domestic support and personal care.

If two people have a close personal relationship but don’t live together or provide this support or care because either or both of them suffer from a physical, intellectual or psychiatric disability, they may still be deemed to have an interdependency relationship.

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An investment fee is a fee that relates to the investment of UniSuper's assets and includes:

  1. fees in payment for the exercise of care and expertise in the investment of those assets (including performance fees); and
  2. costs, other than indirect costs that are not paid out of UniSuper that the Trustee has elected in writing will be treated as indirect costs and not fees, incurred by the Trustee or in an interposed vehicle or derivative financial product that:
    1. relate to the investment of UniSuper's assets; and
    2. are not otherwise charged as an administration fee, a buy-sell spread, a switching fee, an exit fee, an activity fee, an advice fee or an insurance fee.

The investment fee is not deducted directly from your account. Instead, it is deducted from the investment returns and assets of the relevant investment option periodically.

For DBD members, the investment fee for the defined benefit pool is allowed for in the formula used to calculate your benefit. The applicable investment fee is deducted from investment returns and assets on a DBD member's accumulation component.

We offer our accumulation members a choice of investment options, split into two menus (pre-mixed and sector). You can select any investment options from either or both investment menus (this is known as investment choice).

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The amount of money that an investment earns or loses. Investment returns for periods greater than 12 months are usually expressed as an annual percentage.

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The likelihood that money will be lost on an investment. Investment risks can come from a range of sources depending on the investments held. For example, changes in market, economic, social and political conditions can all affect different investments in different ways.

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The executor of your Will, or the administrator of your estate if you die without a Will.

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Means the whole hand below the wrist or whole foot below the ankle.

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means the insured member is only covered for claims arising from: 

a) an illness which first became apparent, or
b) an injury which first occurred

on or after the date the cover last commenced, recommenced or increased for the insured member, as applicable.

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means cover for claims arising from: 

(a) an illness which first became apparent, or 
(b) an injury which first occurred

on or after the date the insured cover last commenced, recommenced or increased for the insured member.

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A multiplier that may be applied to your premium by the Insurer depending on your health evidence or other information provided. If a loading is applied, then your premium will be increased. You’ll be notified if this applies to you. Loadings start at 50% and rise in increments of 25%.

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You will be become a lost member if:

  • mail is sent to your last known address at least once and is returned unclaimed
    or
  • if we have never had an address for you
    or
  • you have been a member for more than two years, and we have not received any contributions or rollovers within the last five years.

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See: Legal personal representative (LPR)

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A benefit payable as cash rather than as an income stream (like a pension). A lump sum benefit can include a taxable component, and tax-free component.

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Tax that is payable on the taxable component of a lump sum benefit.

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A component of our Defined Benefit formula. Your lump sum factor is a percentage determined by your age. See the Defined Benefit Division and Accumulation 2 PDS to find out what your lump sum factor is.

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The Medicare levy funds the scheme that gives Australian residents access to health care. The Medicare levy surcharge may apply to high income individuals or families who don't have private patient hospital cover.

Actively participating in or contributing to an act of terrorism, war, war-like operation or civil commotion.

The person that you have nominated in writing as the person you would prefer your benefit to be paid to in the event of your death. You can nominate one or more of your dependants and/or legal personal representative.

This nomination is not binding to the Trustee, unlike a binding death nomination.

See the PDS relevant to your membership for the full definition of non-binding beneficiary nomination.

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An income stream (such as a pension) that must be taken as a series of periodic payments at least monthly, and can't be taken as a lump sum.

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These are generally contributions made into your super from personal after-tax money. They include:

  • personal contributions made from your take-home pay
  • voluntary personal contributions you don’t claim an income tax deduction for
  • most spouse contributions
  • certain amounts transferred from foreign super funds
  • excess concessional contributions.

Some personal contributions aren’t treated as non-concessional contributions, including certain contributions arising from settlement of legal claims or orders for personal injuries, or made from proceeds of certain capital gains tax events.

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There’s a limit to the amount of non-concessional (after-tax) contributions that can be made each financial year. The limit depends on the amount you already have in super— and your age.

If your total super balance at 30 June of the previous financial year is less than the general transfer balance cap, you can generally contribute up to the annual non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap of $100,000. If you do make non-concessional contributions above the annual non-concessional cap you will have excess non-concessional contributions.

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Non-mandated employer contributions include:

  • contributions made by employers over and above their super guarantee or award/industrial agreement obligations.

We can accept non-mandated employer contributions from members aged 65 or over but under 75 if they satisfy the work test.

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An employer that is not a participating employer (i.e. that has not signed a deed of covenant regarding its participation with UniSuper) but makes super contributions into UniSuper on behalf of a member.

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The notional amount of contributions (excluding after-tax member contributions) that relate to a Defined Benefit Division (DBD) member’s defined benefit interest.

NTCs are counted towards a member’s concessional contributions cap and are added to the other concessional contributions made to a member’s accumulation-style accounts in a financial year to determine whether the member’s concessional contributions cap has been exceeded.

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See: Notional taxed contribution (NTC)

If you are looking for NTC fact sheets visit our forms and brochures page.

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Ordinary times earnings (OTE) are what you’re paid for the usual hours you work. It generally includes things like annual leave and most bonuses, but not overtime.

Take a look at how the ATO classifies OTE

means that an insured member because of illness or injury:

a) directly before suffering a partial disability, suffered total disability continuously for a period of 14 consecutive days
b) has been unable to return to performing all of the duties of his or her usual occupation because of that illness or injury
c) is under the regular care of a medical practitioner, and is following that medical practitioner’s advice and
d) earns a monthly income that is less than his or her pre-disability income.

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An eligible business or organisation that has entered into a deed of covenant with the Trustee to govern its participation in UniSuper.

The following entities are eligible to become participating employers (upon entering into a deed of covenant) :

  1. A university or university college
  2. A body which, in the opinion of the Trustee, is in any way associated with a university or university college, or
  3. A body otherwise engaged in higher education (or any related or incidental purpose which is approved by the Trustee for participation in UniSuper). For example, a co-operative research centre, commercial spin-off company or academic committee
  4. The Trustee of UniSuper or any related body corporate of the Trustee. 

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Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) withholding is a system where tax is required to be withheld from payments. The total amount of tax withheld each year under the PAYG system (if any) is credited against your final income tax assessment for that year.

See: Participating Employer

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A superannuation benefit paid as a regular income stream. Pensions can be provided by a super fund.

Some pensions from a super fund may not be regarded as income streams for tax purposes.

The government also offers a variety of social security pensions to those eligible, including the Government Age Pension.

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The complete loss of functional sight in an eye/both eyes. which is permanent.

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Under the portability transfer rules, you can transfer all or part of your accumulation component/account into another complying super fund. Your employer will continue to make contributions into UniSuper on your behalf. You can request a portability transfer once in each 12-month period.

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For the death in service benefit in the DBD, the number of years from your date of death until you would have reached age 60.

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means:

  • where the insured member does not directly or indirectly own part of the business or practice making the employer contributions with respect to that insured member, 1/12th of the insured member's current annual pre-tax salary excluding director's fees, commissions, overtime payments, bonuses, penalty or shift allowances, investment income, income received from deferred compensation plans, disability income policies or retirement plans or income not derived from vocational activities; or
  • where the insured member directly or indirectly owns part of the business or practice making the employer contributions with respect to that insured member, 1/12th of the annual share of the income of that business or practice generated by the personal exertion of the member (in the previous 12 month period) less their share of expenses in generating that income;
  • where the insured member is not a permanent employee working 15 hours or more per week in the six months prior to the date of disability, the average monthly income of the member over the 12 month period immediately prior to the date of disability;
  • where the insured member is on leave without pay, 1/12 of the insured member's annual pre-tax salary prior to commencement of the leave without pay excluding director's fees, commissions, overtime payments, bonuses, penalty or shift allowances, investment income, income received from deferred compensation plans, disability income policies or retirement plans or income not derived from vocational activities;

unless we have expressly agreed otherwise.

means that we will not pay a claim that relates to an illness or injury:

  • in respect of which, prior to the relevant date, the member or a reasonable person in their position:
      • was aware or was aware of symptoms related to the illness or injury, or
      • should have sought advice or treatment or should have sought advice or treatment in relation to symptoms related to the illness or injury (conventional or alternative) from a medical practitioner or other allied health professional (in circumstances where a reasonable person in their position would have sought advice or treatment), or
      • has had a medical consultation or been prescribed medication or therapy and
  • which existed, or any symptoms related to the injury or illness which existed at any time prior to the relevant date.


A range of diversified investment options, each with its own mix of asset classes, performance objective and risk profile.

Pre-mixed options generally invest in a mix of growth and defensive assets.

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The age at which you can access your superannuation upon permanent retirement from the workforce.

Your preservation age depends on the year you were born.

Date of birth Preservation age 
Before 1 July 1960 55 
1 July 1960 - 30 June 1961 56
1 July 1961 - 30 June 1962
57
1 July 1962 - 30 June 1963
58
1 July 1963 - 30 June 1964
59
1 July 1964 or after 60 

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A classification of benefits under superannuation law.

Superannuation law requires benefits to be given one of three classifications:

  • preserved,
  • unrestricted non-preserved, or
  • restricted non-preserved.

The rules for each classification differs.

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Investments in unlisted companies, generally held through Australian or international private equity funds, and may include venture capital (funds for start-up firms, small businesses and specialised projects with growth potential), expansion capital (funds for more mature enterprises looking to expand or restructure) and buy-outs.

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A document given to a member, a potential member, or a client, that gives a detailed explanation of a financial product’s features and costs.

Super funds are required by law to issue PDSs for each product they offer.

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Property investments are investments in land and the facilities on it. They fall in to two categories: unlisted property and listed property.

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The process of adjusting your portfolio to readjust or reset the weighting of each asset allocation.

Each of our investment options can perform differently over time. As a result, the overall percentage of your super invested in each option may be quite different over time from the breakdown you originally intended. By regularly checking your portfolio for such changes and rebalancing your portfolio (e.g. through investment switching), you can ensure your super remains invested according to your personal financial objectives.

You can rebalance your UniSuper portfolio by switching your investments options, or redirecting your contributions or pension drawdowns (where applicable).

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means any expenses for rehabilitation which are incurred directly to assist the insured member to return to performing all or some of the duties of their usual occupation or, where relevant, another gainful occupation and includes;

  • the cost of house and car modifications;
  • rehabilitation education expenses and vocational retraining program expenses; and
  • the cost of a rehabilitation program (other than an excluded rehabilitation program) which a medical practitioner certifies as necessary for the insured member's rehabilitation.

Generally, restricted non-preserved benefits can be accessed in certain circumstances when you terminate employment with an employer who had contributed to UniSuper on your behalf.

Restricted non-preserved benefits can also be accessed if you meet a condition of release.

In the DBD there are additional restrictions on access to benefits. Generally members can’t access their DBD component until it entirely consists of unrestricted non-preserved money.

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For eligible pension members: by nominating one of your eligible dependants as a reversionary beneficiary, the balance of your pension can continue to be paid to one of your eligible dependants after your death as a pension rather than a lump sum.

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Process of transferring super from one super fund into another.

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When used in the context of super, this is an arrangement between a member and their employer, where the employer agrees to put an additional portion of your before-tax salary into your super.

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See: Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT)

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Less diversified investment options (mainly single asset class options) that are designed for members who want exposure to more specific and special interest investment areas. These are not intended to be used in isolation, but rather combined with other investment options to build a diversified portfolio.

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Service fraction means:

  1. in relation to a Fractional Time Member, that fraction of full-time service which the Employer deems to be Fractional Time Service and which, unless otherwise agreed between the Employer and the Trustee, will be calculated by comparing the Member’s Salary during any period of Fractional Time Service with the Equivalent Full-Time Salary;
  2. in relation to a Contributing Member who is not a Fractional Time Member:
    1. one; or
    2. where a Member’s Salary includes a Temporary Allowance, one or a fraction which is greater than one and which is determined by the Trustee by regarding the period during which such Temporary Allowance is received as a period of Full Time Service; and
    3. in relation to a Member who is not a Contributing Member, zero, and, unless expressly provided otherwise in this Deed, the last Service Fraction at which a Member was employed will continue to be the Member’s Service Fraction.

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When you buy shares in a company, you are buying a part of that company. This means you share in the company's performance in the form of profits that can be given to you as dividends and/or capital growth through the value of your shares increasing. Companies generally list on the stock exchange to raise capital for their company and to create a market in their shares.

If you own shares, you are a shareholder.

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See: Permanent loss of sight

Investing in companies with more socially responsible and sustainable investment practices as compared to their peers. Investments are selected according to environmental, social and ethical considerations, as well as their labour standards.

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A ‘Spouse’ in relation to a UniSuper member is:

  • a person to whom you are legally married
  • a person, whether of the same or the opposite sex, who is in a relationship with the UniSuper member that is registered as a prescribed kind of relationship under certain Australian State or Territory law, or
  • a person, whether of the same or the opposite sex, with whom you are in a relationship and not legally married, but who lives with you on a genuine domestic basis as a couple within the meaning of super law.

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Spouse contributions are non-concessional (after tax) contributions made by a person on behalf of their eligible spouse.

You may be able to claim an 18% tax offset on some of the contributions if you’re eligible.

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Contributions that DBD and Accumulation 2 members are required to make in addition to employer contributions. Generally these contributions are at the rate of 7% unless reduced under contribution flexibility arrangements.

See more on Standard member contributions.

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A portfolio’s neutral asset allocation that aims to achieve long-term investment objectives. It’s based on the longer-term risk and return outlook for the asset classes.

Each of UniSuper’s investment options is structured with a unique, targeted mix of defensive and/or growth investments to meet each option’s individual performance objectives.

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An independent body set up by the Australian Government that deals with superannuation-related complaints.

Contributions an employer makes into your super fund to comply with Superannuation Guarantee (SG) legislation.

The compulsory SG contribution rate is currently 9.5% and will increase as follows:

Year Commencing SG percentage %
1 July 2014 - 1 July 2020 9.5%
1 July 2021 10.0%
1 July 2022 10.5%
 1 July 2023 11.0%
1 July 2024 11.5%
1 July 2025 and after 12%

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The legislation that sets out the minimum level of contributions an employer must make for its employees, and governs the other superannuation guarantee obligations for employers.

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The legislation governing the prudential management of complying superannuation funds.

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The Superannuation Product Identification Number (SPIN) is the standard method of identification for superannuation products within the financial services industry. UniSuper's SPIN is UNI0001AU.

A document included with a product disclosure statement to give updated or additional information.

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See: Investment switch

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A unique number assigned to each taxpayer by the Australian Tax Office (ATO), so they can identify your tax records.

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If you are temporarily unable to work due to injury or illness, you may be eligible to claim a temporary incapacity benefit.

Temporary incapacity is defined in the UniSuper Trust Deed as:

A state of health which, in the opinion of the Trustee, renders a member unable to perform their own duties or any other duties for which they are reasonably qualified by training and experience and which are available at the member’s employer where:

  • the member has been absent from employment through injury or illness for three months within a period of twelve consecutive months immediately prior to the date of making a claim for a benefit on the grounds of temporary incapacity, and
  • the Trustee is satisfied that the state of health is not due to or induced by any wilful action on the part of the member to obtain a benefit.

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If you are a DBD member, temporary incapacity benefits are an inbuilt feature of your membership. This means that if you are temporarily unable to work due to injury or illness, you may be eligible to claim a temporary incapacity benefit.

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means:

  • two medical practitioners have certified in writing, that an insured member suffers from an illness, or has incurred an injury, that is likely to result in the death of the insured member within a period ('the certification period') that ends not more than 12 months after the date of the certification;
  • at least one of the registered medical practitioners is a specialist medical practitioner practicing in an area related to the illness or injury suffered by the insured member;
  • the illness or injury and certification referred to in paragraph (a) occur while the member has cover under the policy;
  • for each of the certificates, the certification period has not ended; and

we are satisfied, on medical or other evidence, that despite reasonable medical treatment, the illness or injury will lead to the insured member's death within 12 months of the date of the certification.

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A condition in relation to the member where the Trustee is satisfied that the following circumstances exist:

  • two registered medical practitioners have certified separately that the person suffers from an illness, or has incurred an injury, where it is likely to result in the death of that person within a period that ends not more than 24 months after the date of the certification,
  • at least one of the registered medical practitioners is a specialist practising in the area related to the illness or injury suffered by the person, and
  • for each of the certificates, the 24 month period has not ended.

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If you are a DBD member, terminal medical condition benefits are an inbuilt feature of your membership. This means that if you are unable to work due to a terminal medical condition, you may be eligible to claim a terminal medical condition benefit.

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means while insured by us under the policy the insured member:

A. in our opinion solely because of illness or injury has suffered ill-health (whether physical or mental) which makes it unlikely that the insured member will engage in gainful employment for which the insured member is reasonably qualified by education, training or experience  nd, unless condition 4.4 applies:

  • in respect of an insured member who was, at the date of disablement, gainfully employed or on employer approved leave without pay in accordance with condition 17.1, has been absent from gainful employment for six consecutive months; or
  • in respect of an insured member other than an insured member referred to in (i) above, has suffered the ill-health for six consecutive months;
    or

B. in our opinion, solely because of illness or injury, is unlikely ever to be able to perform at least two of the activities of daily living;
or

C. was not, at the date of disablement, gainfully employed but was, at that date, engaged in domestic duties and:

  • is under the care of a medical practitioner;
  • unless condition 4.4 applies, is absent from performing domestic duties for six consecutive months; and
  • in our opinion, solely due to illness or injury, the insured member is:
    • unable to perform those domestic duties;
    • unable to leave home unaided; and
    • disabled to such an extent as to render the insured member unlikely to perform domestic duties or engage in gainful employment for which the insured member is reasonably suited by education, training or experience;
      or

D. is an insured member who, immediately prior to 1 July 2014, was a member:

  • with insured cover for TPD; or
  • in respect of whom the in-built self-insurance arrangements in the fund applied in the event of disablement,
    whose insured cover for TPD has not been discontinued from the date of commencement of that cover and, in our opinion, solely because of illness or injury, has suffered the:
    • permanent loss of the use of two limbs;
    • permanent loss of total sight in both eyes; or
    • permanent loss of the use of one limb and the permanent loss of total sight in an eye.

For the avoidance of doubt:

  • paragraph (d)(ii) applies in respect of a member whose converted cover for TPD commences after 1 July 2014 who was, immediately prior to becoming entitled to converted coverfor TPD, a member in respect of whom the in-built self-insurance arrangements in the fund applied in the event of disablement prior to 1 July 2014;
  • discontinuance of cover does not include a cessation of cover which is reinstated from the date of cessation.

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Your total super balance is made up of the balance of all of your super and the transfer balance of your retirement savings accounts. This is reduced by the sum of any personal injury structured settlement amounts contributed to super.

means solely as a result of an injury or illness, the insured member is:

  • unable to perform at least one income-producing duty of his or her occupation (which produces at least 20% of the member's pre-disability income), and
  • not working in any occupation whether for reward or not for reward, and
  • under the regular care of a medical practitioner and undergoing appropriate treatment and care.

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See: Total and permanent disability (TPD)

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Under the transition to retirement rules, eligible members who have reached their preservation age but are under age 65 can take all or part of their super benefit in the form of a non-commutable account based pension while continuing to work.

UniSuper members can transition to retirement using a Flexi Pension if eligible.

From 1 July 2017, the earnings on the amount supporting a TTR will be taxed at the concessional rate of up to 15%, as it applies to a super account.

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The legal document that contains the governing rules for a superannuation fund.

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The body that is responsible for the management of the fund and must manage the fund in accordance with superannuation law and the fund’s governing rules.

The trustee of UniSuper is UniSuper Limited.

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See: Transition to retirement (TTR)

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The USI is used to identify a superannuation fund’s products and/or channel.

UniSuper’s USI is 91385943850001.

means all the cover in respect of an insured member in force under the policy that is in the form of units.

The cost of each unit of cover stays the same as you get older, but the amount of insurance you get for that cost reduces.

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Unrestricted non-preserved benefits can generally be accessed at any time, subject to Trust Deed restrictions, regardless of your age, employment situation or financial position, and are usually made up of benefits that you have already become entitled to, but have voluntarily decided to keep within the super system (for example if you have reached age 65 but you are still working).

Generally, if you’re a DBD member, you cannot access your defined benefit component unless all of your benefit is unrestricted non-preserved.

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A measure of fluctuation in price over time. It can represent an investment’s likelihood of going up and down in price, compared with other investments. Volatility is a measure of risk.

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A condition that members aged 65 or over but under 75 must satisfy in order for us to accept non-mandated contributions.

Under the work test, we can only accept non-mandated contributions provided you have worked for at least 40 hours in a period of not more than 30 consecutive days in the financial year the contribution is made.

The work test must be met once in each financial year before any non-mandated member contributions can be accepted. It’s up to you to demonstrate to us that you have met the work test each financial year.

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A working holiday maker is an individual with a visa subclass 417 (Working Holiday) or 462 (Work and Holiday). From 1 July 2017, Departing Australia Superannuation Payments (DASPs) made to working holiday makers (WHMs) will be taxed at 65%.