How the DBD works

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Your employer has determined that you’re eligible to join our Defined Benefit Division (DBD). This means you’ll be receiving generous employer super contributions of up to 17%. Additionally, 7% default member contributions will also be deducted from your after-tax salary, but you can choose to reduce this.

Super benefits provided through the DBD usually include a defined benefit component and an accumulation component. With the DBD component, your super is pooled together with other members’ super.

This large pool provides greater protection from market downturns as everyone shares the risk—even during times of negative investment performance.

Your defined benefit component and other benefits are calculated on a formula based on:

  • your age 
  • your years of service
  • how much you’ve contributed 
  • your salary over the last five years before you retire.

You can choose to invest in any one of our 16 investment options through the accumulation component of your account.

Key features of the DBD

  • You’ll receive either 17% or 14% employer contributions and make default member contributions to your super.

  • If eligible, you’ll automatically receive a form of insurance at no additional cost—called inbuilt benefits—which covers you if you become disabled, terminally ill, temporarily incapacitated or die.

  • Within the first two years of becoming a member, you can decide whether to stay in the DBD or transfer to Accumulation 2.
    Our Choosing your style of super video will help you understand the difference between the two styles of super.

  • You have the flexibility to choose your level of default member contributions.
    Read the Default member contributions fact sheet and application form (PDF, 632KB) for more information.

  • You can make extra contributions to boost your super savings.

  • The DBD component of your account is determined using a formula and your assets are pooled with other DBD members.

  • If your employer contributes 17% to your super, the additional 3% will generally be directed to your accumulation component. If your employer pays 14%, this—along with your default member contributions—will be allocated to your defined benefit component.

  • You can choose how to invest your accumulation component from our range of 16 investment options.

  • Protection for you and your loved ones with access to additional Death and Total Permanent Disablement (TPD) insurance cover, provided you satisfy the eligibility criteria.

  • You can stay with us throughout your working life.

Benefits of the DBD

Our DBD has been specifically designed to support the higher education and research sector and is one of the only defined benefit funds in Australia to accept new members.

Investment performance and financial management

investment performance

We have a history of strong long-term investment performance and have regularly achieved returns that exceed industry benchmarks and averages*.

Low fees

low fees

We're proud to be a profit-for-member fund. We don’t charge exit fees, pay adviser commissions or shareholder dividends.

Inbuilt benefits and insurance


Receive inbuilt benefits which, like insurance cover, can provide financial protection against injury, illness or death – at no additional cost. Insurance cover is also available—provided by our insurer, TAL Life Limited.

Stay with us for life


Now that you’re in, you can stay with us as long as you like. When you joined UniSuper, you entered a partnership that can continue for life. You have access to more than just our super products – we’re here to support you throughout your working life and beyond, with super and retirement options to suit your needs.

We're here to help

If you have any questions about the DBD or your account, call us on 1800 331 685, email us or chat with us

You can also book an appointment with a UniSuper on-campus consultant who can give you free general advice about your super and your DBD account.