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Answering your questions
Find answers to questions frequently asked by our members.
Do you have a question that isn’t covered? Give us a call on 1300 307 844 for assistance.
On the front of your member benefit statement you receive every year, it tells you what part of ElectricSuper you are in.
ElectricSuper is organised in four parts (known as Divisions). These each have different benefits based on different rules.
This is important as it affects what you can get from ElectricSuper in exchange for what you put in. What applies to one part often doesn’t apply to others (though it may).
Which part of ElectricSuper you are in depends on when you joined the electricity industry and other factors.
These parts are referred to by the following names:
The member booklet which sets out the features of each Division can be downloaded from the
Forms & publications section of this website.
There are three types of fees paid by members. Which of them you pay depends on what part of ElectricSuper you are in. Any fees that aren’t paid by members are paid by the employers.
The types of fees are:
Both investment management and administration fees are deducted from the interest rates that we credit to accounts. Insurance premiums are deducted from Accumulation Scheme accounts.
The following table shows which sections of ElectricSuper pay which fees:
Can I continue paying contributions whilst on maternity or other unpaid leave?
Yes you can. In Divisions 2, 3 and 4 this may be of value to you as it helps maintain your death and disability benefits.
Why is the contribution rate shown on my statement different to the actual amount I am contributing?
For Divisions 2, 3 and 4 the contribution rate shown on your statement is the rate that applies towards your defined benefits. It does not include any additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) that you make.
The reason for this is that we do not need to know the rate at which you make AVCs, as this rate has no impact on your employer-financed benefits in ElectricSuper. All we need to know are the dollar amounts of your AVCs, which payroll tell us. Your contributions are shown on your statement and the website.
How do I alter my contributions?
Download a form from the Forms & publications section of the website (Vary regular contributions form), fill it out and pass it to your payroll department.
My contributions on the web site do not appear up to date or correct – how can I check this?
There is often a delay in processing contributions while payroll transfer money or get a cheque written for us, and we match the data that is sent with the money that we receive. This delay can be up to 2-3 weeks, though we are constantly reviewing our processes in order to make receiving contributions both easier (which is good for us) and faster (which is good for you). Rest assured that your account is credited on the day that the contributions are deducted from your pay, even if there is a delay in getting the information into our administration system.
What effect is there on my contributions if I took leave and was on half pay?
For Division 5 members, your contributions will be half of the normal rate.
Members of Divisions 2, 3 and 4 must continue to contribute at their full rate of pay (and their benefits will keep accruing at the same rate), unless you write to the Board and ask that your contributions be reduced. Please contact ElectricSuper for more information.
Can I have the Super Guarantee paid into another fund?
You may have this choice if you are in Division 5. See our information sheet on “Choice of Fund“.
I have been paid superannuation from another employer due to casual work, can this be paid into ElectricSuper?
Yes. Ask your other employer to contact ElectricSuper on 1300 307 844.
What are the limits on contributions?
As you may know, from 1 July 2007 new limits on contributions came into effect. Exceeding these limits normally means you pay more tax, so there is an incentive for you to keep your contributions below the limit.
It is easy to track how you are going against the limit. Log on to the Member area of the website, go to the Contributions page, and click on the Annual Contribution Caps heading.
The Annual Contribution Caps page explains what the limits are, and how you are going against the limit for the current financial year on employer and salary sacrifice contributions. This page includes the cost of any defined benefit that you may get, if you are in one of the old Divisions.
General information on the concessional contributions caps can also be found on the information sheets under “Forms and publications/Contributions“.
Am I entitled to a benefit if I have an accident and for how long would the benefit be paid?
You are covered for anything that stops you working (except for Division 4 members). The benefit is not payable until you have used up your sick leave, and is payable for 12 months. If you are totally and permanently disabled you may be eligible for a lump sum benefit or long term pension.
I will be off work for 6 weeks after a knee reconstruction but only have limited paid sick leave – am I entitled to a temporary disability benefit?
Yes, for the period after your sick leave runs out. The sooner you let us know about your situation, the sooner we can assist you.
How do I claim for a temporary disability benefit?
Talk to your manager or HR, or contact ElectricSuper on 08 8224 6400, and we’ll send you the forms. Temporary disability cover is not available to members of Division 4.
I am having money troubles, what are the grounds for early release of super benefits?
Super usually has to stay in a fund until you retire from the workforce at or after age 55. However early release of super benefits is allowed under certain circumstances.
The early release of part of your superannuation benefit will reduce the amount of ElectricSuper benefits you will receive in the future. ElectricSuper strongly recommends that you obtain independent financial planning advice before you apply to receive any funds from an early release payment. If you are receiving Centrelink benefits, you should also seek advice as to whether the release of any superannuation will impact on your ability to claim Centrelink benefits.
It’s worth noting that ElectricSuper only has to release as much as it believes you need, and the amount that is released must be supported by relevant documentation.
Early release due to severe financial hardship
You can apply to ElectricSuper for early release of your super if you are in severe financial hardship.
You can apply for one payment of up to an amount of $10,000 gross (before tax) in a 12-month period, provided that you:
Different conditions apply if you have reached your preservation age plus 39 weeks. Please note that your preservation age depends on your date of birth. (If your date of birth is before 1 July 1960 your preservation age is 55, otherwise it will be older than this). In this case, you can apply for early release if you:
We will need a letter from Centrelink (dated not more than 21 days from the date of your application) confirming that you have been receiving a payment for the necessary number of weeks, along with a completed application form giving us some other details about your situation, and documentary evidence to support your application.
Early release on compassionate grounds
Your super may be released early to pay for:
How do I apply?
If you would like to apply for early release of part of your ElectricSuper benefits due to financial hardship or on compassionate grounds, please call ElectricSuper on 08 8224 6400 to find out details of the forms and supporting evidence that is required. Further information can also be found on the Department of Human Services website at the link shown here.
Please note that all applications and supporting documentation are to be forwarded to ElectricSuper for assessment (not the Department of Human Services).
What’s a beneficiary?
A beneficiary is a person that you want to get your superannuation after your death. If you are a member of Division 3 (Pension Scheme), ElectricSuper rules specify how a benefit will be paid on death (see question below). For other Divisions, members may nominate who they wish to receive the benefit. There is no obligation to do so.
Who can be a beneficiary?
If you nominate a beneficiary, they must be your ‘Dependant’ or legal personal representative (that is, the executor or administrator of your estate).
The definition of ‘Dependant’ is listed on the form for nominating your beneficiaries.
Any amounts paid to your estate would be distributed according to your will.
Can I split the benefit between my spouse and my children?
Depending on which Division you are in, yes. If your children are still young, then it may be better to leave the full benefit to your spouse to allow them to provide for the whole family. If your children are able to support themselves, you may leave them some or all of the benefit if you wish.
To split your death benefit, on the nomination form simply list all of the people you wish to split your benefit amongst, and the proportion of the benefit each is to get.
I am a Division 3 member, why can’t I nominate my beneficiary?
The Rules for Division 3 specify different benefits according to whether or not you have a spouse (including defacto) and/or children. The Rules in this Division do not allow any leeway in specifying alternative beneficiaries.
How do I change/update my beneficiary?
The Nomination of Beneficiaries form is available under Forms & publications in the menu.
How do I nominate my estate?
Write “My Estate” in the beneficiary section of the nomination form. This will make your intention clear, and the Board can pay your benefit as you wish.
What happens to the funds if my spouse and I die?
In this event, a benefit is generally payable to your estate.
What investment options are available?
There are four investment options, ranging from all shares and property to all cash investments. More information can be found in the Member Investment Choice information sheet, which is available in the Forms & publications section of this website.
How do I change my investment options?
Forms are available in the Forms & publications section of this website. Fill in the form and return it to us.
I am planning for retirement are you able to offer advice?
Advice on simple matters about super is available over the phone from ElectricSuper at no cost. Simply ring us on 1300 307 844 and explain your issue. This may be about contributions, investments or insurance.
However, for complicated matters, we recommend you sit down with a financial planner and discuss all your issues (as this will involve a lot more than just your super). Planning for retirement covers not only your super, but:
If you have a financial adviser, we are happy to work with you and them to make sure you get the most out of your super.
If you don’t have a financial adviser, we can refer you to one. The first appointment is normally free of charge.
Please note: ElectricSuper does not recommend, endorse or accept responsibility for this service, it is provided to assist members. Terms and conditions apply – these should be obtained from the organisation you contact. ElectricSuper does not accept liability for any loss or damage caused by the advice you receive. ElectricSuper does not receive any payment from any organisation as a result of members using their products and services.
Does ElectricSuper offer allocated pensions?
Yes. An allocated pension (also known as an income stream) is simply a bank account style pension that is paid from a super fund. The government requires that you receive a minimum amount each year (which goes up as you get older), but apart from that there are very few restrictions on them. You get interest on the balance, and you stop getting paid when the balance runs out. Contact ElectricSuper or your financial advisor for more information.
Can I access my funds as an income stream even though I am still working?
Yes, provided you are over your presevation age.
This is by a type of pension known as a Transition to Retirement pension. For more information, we suggest you ring ElectricSuper and discuss it with us.
Please note – This is complicated for members of Divisions 2, 3 and 4, so please give us a ring before making any decisions.
Is it best to retire at age 55 or 60 or is there little difference?
Generally, the longer you stay in ElectricSuper, the higher your benefit will be. What is better for you depends on your circumstances. This is a time for advice from a financial planner.
How is my lump sum payment treated by the taxation department?
If you are over 60, you don’t pay any tax (how good is that!). Under 60, you may pay up to 16.5% tax. It will depend on your circumstances.
If I continue to work after leaving my employer, does this affect my super?
Division 3 (Pension Scheme): I have a preserved pension. Can I convert some of the preserved pension to a lump sum?
Yes, at the time you ask to take it. You can convert any proportion of it to a lump sum (known as “commutation”). See the Pension Scheme member booklet (available in the Forms & Publications) for more detail.
Division 3 (Pension Scheme): Will I automatically receive my pension at 55 even though I am still employed?
No. You have to finish your job to get your pension. This doesn’t mean you can’t keep working, just that you have to end your current job.
Am I entitled to a 15% rebate on my pension?
Up to age 60, yes. After 60, no income tax is payable on money from super (and hence you don’t need a rebate).
Division 3 (Pension Scheme) – Commutation
Please note that you have 3 months after retirement to notify ElectricSuper that you wish to commute all or part of your pension. “Retirement” is the date that your employment ends, and includes any annual leave that you take as a lump sum when you finish employment. Any pension payments you receive before you notify ElectricSuper that you want to commute will not be taken off your lump sum amount. That is, you can take the lump sum and 3 months worth of pension, if you want to take the risk that your circumstances may change before you notify ElectricSuper.
Can I rollover funds from another superannuation fund into ElectricSuper?
Yes. We can accept funds from any other super fund. You can do this either using one of our rollover forms (available from the Forms & publications) or by contacting your other superannuation fund.
Alternatively, you can start an ‘online rollover request’ from your website record (look under ‘Related links’ on the ‘Your super amount’ page).
I’ve got lots of super accounts. How do I bring them together?
Putting your super together can save you money (as you don’t have to pay separate fees), and time (as you know where everything is).
The first problem is finding the accounts. The tax office can help you here with a neat website called SuperSeeker. To access the site click here.
To find superannuation accounts, you need to provide:
This website can even help you transfer your super. All you need is to click on the button and provide the website with some details, and they’ll provide a form to send to either ElectricSuper or the old fund.
The details you need to provide to the website to transfer super into ElectricSuper is:
You’ll need a certified copy of your driver’s licence or passport. This means taking a photocopy and having it signed as a true copy by a:
For example, most people at a local bank can sign, or pop into a police station or post office on your way past. The person signing will need to see both the copy and the original.
Then you just print out the form, attach the copy of your id, and send them off to either ElectricSuper at GPO Box 4303, Melbourne VIC 3001, or to your old fund.
You will need a separate form and a separate signed copy of your ID for each account that you want to transfer in. So if you have seven accounts, then you need seven forms.
How do I update my current salary on the web site?
Your employer updates your salary by providing ElectricSuper with the information. The salary that appears on the website is the latest information that we have from your employer. If the salary on the website is not up to date, please contact your payroll department. If they have given your new salary to ElectricSuper, please check with us by ringing 1300 307 844.
What is salary sacrificing?
This is where your employer stops paying you an amount (say 6% of your salary) and pays it into your super account.
What are the benefits of salary sacrifice?
You may be able to save tax. Salary you take as cash is taxed at up to 46.5%. If you give up that salary and pay it into super, you will pay 15% contribution tax. That’ll be it if you leave the money in a super fund until you are 60.
Get some advice on salary sacrifice by ringing ElectricSuper on 1300 307 844 (no charge).
Is there a limit on what you can salary sacrifice
There is no limit as far as ElectricSuper is concerned, however you must be aware of the concessional contributions limits (refer to ‘Contributions’ questions earlier in the FAQ section).
Is interest earned on salary sacrifice amounts?
Yes. All members can salary sacrifice any member contributions.
Can I salary sacrifice into another superannuation fund?
Depends on your employer.
Can I draw on my voluntary contributions?
Not until you leave ElectricSuper after age 55.
Can I salary sacrifice into my spouse account?
No. You can only pay post tax contributions into a spouse account.
Advice: If you want advice on whether or not salary-sacrifice contributions are right for you, ring ElectricSuper on 1300 307 844 and get some advice.
When do I receive my statement?
We aim to get your annual statement out by the end of September.
Why does it take so long?
There is a lot of work involved in making sure that our data and calculations are correct. Other funds can do it quicker, but they are often simpler benefits. The ElectricSuper benefits are more complicated, and we want to make sure we get it right. Up-to-date amounts are always accessible on our website.
I have misplaced my statement can I receive another copy?
Log into the member section of the website. On the ‘Your super amount’ page, your previous statements are available for viewing or printing on the right hand side.
What is surcharge?
It was an additional tax that the government put on superannuation contributions if your taxable income was above certain limits. It was removed in 2005.
Surcharge was a tax on you, that was paid by ElectricSuper. Previous assessments have been paid by ElectricSuper, so these assessments (plus interest) still have to be deducted from your benefit.
Do Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) offset my surcharge?
Yes. You can also set your surcharge account to zero now if you have sufficient funds in your AVC account. If you have been hit with the surcharge in the past, you would have received a letter in early 2008 about this.
Does my employer pay the surcharge on my behalf?
Is a TEC beneficial as far as superannuation is concerned?
It depends on how the cost of your super fits in with your overall remuneration. You may need to seek professional financial advice on that question. ElectricSuper can provide information but not advice on such matters.
I am transferring to the Government, can I take my funds and put them in the SA Government Scheme?
Yes. You need to talk to Super SA about transferring in.
I am transferring to the Government can I leave my funds in ElectricSuper?
I am leaving SA Power Networks and commencing with Alinta, do I rollover my funds?
It depends on what part of ElectricSuper you are in, and what conditions you were employed under. Contact ElectricSuper for more information.
What is the difference with the contributions when I transfer to the Government?
None, but you should check the conditions of the transfer carefully.
Can I transfer my account to another fund?
Yes, if you are in the Accumulation Scheme. If you are in another part of ElectricSuper, not until you leave employment.
Can I transfer my spouse membership funds into another superannuation fund?
Yes. Contact ElectricSuper on 1300 307 844 for more details.
If I transfer to another electricity employer in another state can I still contribute in ElectricSuper?
If your new employer is happy to pick up the employer cost. You will need to talk to them first, and make sure that they are ok with that. You may need to provide them with details of ElectricSuper, especially if you are in the Lump Sum, Pension or RG Schemes.
What is my PIN?
If you have not got a PIN, or you have lost it, and you’ve provided your email address to ElectricSuper, you can update your PIN online by clicking the ‘Reset your PIN’ link from the sign in box on the homepage. If you don’t know your member number or ElectricSuper doesn’t have your current email address, contact ElectricSuper Helpline on 1300 307 844.
Below are two trustworthy sources of information we recommend:
Super Guru is an independent website with essential information and tools designed to help Australians better understand and maximise their superannuation.
Calculators and tips to help you make better financial decisions from ASIC and the Australian Government. Simple guidance you can trust.
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