Superannuation and TPD (Total and Permanent Disability)


Many of us often forget about our future and concentrate on making ends meet here and now. While this is important, superannuation has a profound effect on your retirement when the time comes. Ensuring that you have a superannuation policy now ensures that you can spend the best part of your retirement years travelling or doing what you like.

In Australian law, it is compulsory for your employer to contribute funds into your superannuation policy throughout your working life. Additionally, you could also contribute funds to the fund yourself. The ‘Superannuation Guarantee’, is a contribution which can sometimes be considered as the retirement income system in Australia.

In order to be eligible for these contributions, there are guidelines to meet – some of which include:

  • Being between the age of 18 and 69, and be paid a minimum of $450 monthly (before tax)
  • Being employed with a contract, regardless of type (e.g. casual, part-time, full-time)
  • Another aspect to also consider is if your child under 18 and is working at least 30 hours per week – they will be eligible if so

Employers have the responsibility in providing the funds at least four (4) times a year, by the 28th day at the end of each month. Moreover, they also must contribute an amount equal to 9.5% of your regular wage or salary into your super fund as a minimum.

Under the general super funds, there are other levels of insurance that you are automatically covered for. Generally, it includes income protection, disability and death – though you are able to ‘opt-out’ or remove these benefits from your policy and premium.

Once you get to the age of retirement, or are considered as ‘TPD’, it is possible either receive your

TPD – Total and Permanent Disability

More commonly known as ‘TPD’, Total and Permanent Disability is a type of insurance benefit under a superannuation fund. This is an insurance benefit available under a superannuation policy and can also have contributions added by your employer or yourself.

Should you be needing to access our super funds early for financial hardship, you may be able to access from $1,000 up to $10,000. There are, however, particulars that need to be met in order for your matter to be considered as financial hardship. As ‘TPD’ no one-definition and varies from company to company, it is important to find out whether you meet the requirements before progressing with the matter.

With regard to early access to your funds, you may be able to withdraw a sum of money if one of the following occurs:

  • compassionate grounds:
    • medical treatment or transport for yourself or a dependent, where the condition causes chronic, chronic mental illness or life-threatening
    • costs associated with a dependant’s funeral, burial or death
    • if you have had to alter your livings to be of convenience for you or a dependent (that arises from a disability)
  • death
    • in the event of a death, your beneficiary will receive the balance of your super fund and any insurance units you have taken out
  • financial hardship:
    • have been receiving income support from the Australian Government for 26 weeks continuously – Newstart (Youth Allowance and Austudy do not count as payments of support)
    • unable to meet your immediate and reasonable living expenses from solely your income
    • resignation or retrenchment – if you have resigned, you can access the cash value of your super where it is not considered as preserved. This is for any personal contributions made before 1 July 1999 and returns on investments until 30 June 1999.