For many Australians, super is just seen as something to help fund your retirement. But, as AustralianSuper member Caroline discovered, your super fund can give you benefits before that, through several valuable insurances. And when unforeseen changes come, it can be lifechanging. Read Caroline’s story.
Health concerns and a career change drove Caroline to better understand her superannuation benefits. Unable to work because of major surgery, Caroline’s income protection insurance – provided through her AustralianSuper account – helped to financially support her and her family through a tough time.
Discover Caroline’s story
Caroline Toyer is a working mum from Townsville, a few years ago she was struggling with debilitating pain from hip dysplasia. After years of coping with the condition (the most common cause of hip arthritis in young women1), she decided to take control and opted for medical help.
‘I ended up in quite a bit of pain and had to have major surgery to correct it to preserve my hip joints for as long as possible, and hopefully avoid a hip replacement later,’ Caroline says.
The surgeries were intensive and required Caroline to be fully committed to her recovery, meaning she ultimately had to resign from her customer service job. Losing this source of income – as well as medical bills adding up – could’ve put a lot of financial strain on her family. However, Caroline knew she had income protection insurance through her super.
Insurance through super helped Caroline when she needed it most
For Caroline, navigating this superannuation benefit was simple.
‘It was a matter of contacting the AustralianSuper team and finding out whether I may be eligible, looking at the criteria and determining what I needed to do. They were very helpful.’
She was able to draw on this financial support while she rested and rehabilitated – something she’s very grateful for.
‘It was extremely helpful in the fact that I could focus on my health and my recovery and not worry about how I would have an income during that process,’ Caroline recalls.
Reviewing your super - making up for time off work
Fully recovered, Caroline opted for a career change and began studying to become a personal trainer to help others regain their health and happiness. The mother of one has also returned to work on a part-time basis. Through these job changes, Caroline makes a point of looking at her super yearly to see how it’s tracking.
‘I do think that I should be doing extra to help my super, especially having been out of the workforce for a period of time and not having super paid into it. I have looked at fees and I’ve looked at other funds when I’ve changed jobs. But I chose stay with AustralianSuper.’
Between all of the flux, one thing remained constant: Caroline’s desire to stay in control of her finances. She concentrated on saving money to build her family’s new home in Townsville, but hopes to be able to contribute more to her super in the future.
‘I will be looking at speaking to my employer to have extra deductions taken from my pay automatically before it even comes into my account. So, in that way, I don't miss it because it's not coming into my account. It’s already gone into my super.’
Insurance for AustralianSuper members
Just like Caroline, insurance through your super can help make sure your family are financially taken care of if you die or become ill or injured. The cost of insurances is paid out of your super account, not your take home pay, so it's hassle free.
AustralianSuper provides most members with basic insurance cover included with their super account. Eligible members receive age-based Death, Total & Permanent Disablement (TPD), and Income Protection cover. As you get older, age-based cover is designed to provide a minimum amount of cover for your changing needs.