How does WorkCover affect my superannuation? < Back

Does my employer have to continue to contribute to my superannuation fund whilst I am off work?
There is no obligation on your employer to contribute to your superannuation fund whilst you are absent from work on WorkCover. The obligation to contribute to superannuation under the Commonwealth legislation only applies to wages and salary that you receive whilst you are actually working. Under some industrial agreements, awards, workplace agreements or contracts, some employers are obliged to continue superannuation contributions for a limited period whilst a claimant is on WorkCover, for example, 12 months.

Can I obtain a superannuation pension, whilst I am receiving WorkCover weekly benefits?
You are entitled to draw on superannuation by way of pension, but your WorkCover weekly payment will be reduced on a dollar for dollar basis. This effect only applies if your superannuation pension relates the superannuation scheme for the employment in which you were injured. This will effectively mean that your superannuation pension is of little or no value to you as your weekly WorkCover payment will be reduced by the amount you receive. For this reason it is often better not to draw on your superannuation pension until your WorkCover weekly benefits cease.

Can I obtain a superannuation lump sum, whilst I am receiving WorkCover?
Drawing on your superannuation whilst you are receiving WorkCover, can affect your entitlement to WorkCover weekly payments. This effect only applies if your superannuation lump sum relates to the superannuation scheme for the employment in which you were injured. If you receive a superannuation lump sum and do not roll this over into an approved fund then your weekly payments of compensation will be suspended for a fixed period of time. The fixed period of time is calculated by dividing your normal wage into the lump sum. When this period has expired you may be entitled to return to weekly WorkCover benefits. It is therefore better to defer drawing on your superannuation entitlements whilst you continue to receive WorkCover benefits.

Under some circumstances it is possible to draw on your own contributions for an approved capital purpose such as to discharge your mortgage without affecting your weekly payments. If you are thinking of doing this it is important to obtain advice before doing so.

Can I claim under my income protection or superannuation disability policy whilst on WorkCover?
Normally, an income protection policy is a private contractual arrangement between you and an insurance company to pay lost income as a result of injury or illness. This type of private insurance arrangement can sometimes be part of your superannuation funds benefits, an employment benefit or part of a loan agreement you might have with the bank or mortgage provider.

These are independent insurance arrangements that usually do not have any impact on weekly payments of compensation from WorkCover. Each policy has its own terms and conditions.

It is therefore important, however, to check the terms of your policy in order to find out whether or not:
  • Coverage of incapacity from a work injury is excluded under the policy. This is usually not the case.

  • Benefits under the policy are payable if you receive a WorkCover weekly payment.

  • Benefits can be reduced by any WorkCover weekly payment.
If you have an income protection policy you should read the terms and conditions of the policy and then contact the insurer to submit a claim. If a claim is rejected, various options are available such as commencing legal proceedings all referring the rejection of a claim to the insurance ombudsman. If you are uncertain about your entitlements or have had a claim for income protection rejected, contact Workforce Legal for assistance on 1800 134 204.

Is there any way I can claim for my lost superannuation benefits because of my injury?
The only way in which lost superannuation benefits can be claimed is through a claim for Common Law damages based on the negligence of another party. If you are able to pursue damages (and you are authorised to obtain economic loss damages) then you can include lost superannuation as part of your claim for damages. In the circumstances, lost past contributions would be calculated, as would your likely lost future contributions. The lost income that these contributions would have earned within your fund will also be calculated and claimed. (Click here for more information).

Does my weekly payment include my employer's contribution to my superannuation fund?
Unfortunately, your WorkCover weekly payment will not include your 9% superannuation guarantee levy contribution which is made on your behalf by your employer. Where you have a salary sacrifice arrangement for super contributions over and above your standard contribution, the extra amount can form part of your pre injury average weekly earnings on which your weekly payment under WorkCover is based.