Benefits you receive and cover you can choose

As a Public Sector Superannuation (PSS) member, you’ll get Death and Invalidity benefits automatically and you may be eligible to apply for insurance cover.

Dad doing push-ups with twin daughters on his back

Benefits you receive and cover you can choose

As a Public Sector Superannuation (PSS) customer, here’s what’s available to you:

  • Death and Invalidity benefits—you receive these automatically, at no extra cost to you.
  • Additional Death and Invalidity Cover (ADIC)—you can optimise your super benefits by applying for extra cover. If you’re approved, your employer will pay half of the standard risk premium.
  • Income Protection, and Death and TPD insurance—if you become a PSSap Ancillary customer, you can apply for Income Protection and Death and TPD insurance through lifePLUS choice.

PSS offers you Partial Invalidity and Invalidity benefits if you become seriously sick or injured, and provides Death benefits if you die.

Eligible PSS customers automatically get Death and Invalidity benefits at no cost.

Who’s eligible?

  • Contributing customers

    You’re eligible for Death and Invalidity benefits if you’re a contributing customer and you’re under 60.

    The benefit payable through this cover is based on the lump sum you’d receive if you worked until you’re 60 (for full benefits customers).

  • Preserved customers

    You’re also eligible for Death and Invalidity benefits if you’re no longer a contributing customer. The Invalidity benefit amount is based on the value of your PSS benefit at the date of a claim.

You’re assigned a benefit classification 

If you’ve re-joined PSS, we’ll ask you to complete a Confidential medical and personal statement within 14 days of re-joining. We may also ask you to undertake a medical assessment.

We’ll use this information to assess how likely it’ll be that you can work without excessive sick leave or PSS claims within the first three years of re-joining PSS. After the assessment, you’ll be classified as either:

  • a full benefits customer; or
  • a limited benefits customer.

Full vs limited benefits

If you are a contributing member and we approve your claim for Permanent Invalidity:

  • full benefits customers will receive a benefit that takes into account their prospective years of service to age 60; or
  • limited benefits customers will receive a benefit that is calculated to the date they stopped working.

Death benefit

  • How much is payable?

    If you die, your dependants (usually your surviving spouse or eligible children) will receive a lump sum that’s calculated on the percentage of the pension you would’ve been paid if you retired on invalidity grounds.

  • Who receives Death benefits?

    Benefits are payable to your eligible spouse and/or children if you die:

    • when you’re a contributing or a preserved member; or
    • after you’ve retired, if you were receiving a PSS pension.

    If you die, and you are a:

    • full benefits customer, your dependants can choose to take the benefit as a pension, a lump sum or a combination of both; or
    • limited benefits customer, you dependants will receive a lump sum based on the benefit accrued up to the date you die. A pension is not payable.

    For detailed information and examples of death benefit calculations, download the Death and Invalidity benefits booklet.

Invalidity benefit

  • Invalidity retirement benefits vs Partial invalidity

    Invalidity retirement benefits support you if you’re retired on invalidity grounds by your employer and your CSC claim is approved.

    As a general rule, to be approved for Invalidity retirement you must be totally and permanently incapacitated, which means that because of a physical or mental condition you’re unlikely to work again in an occupation you’re reasonably qualified by education, training or experience to perform.

    A partial invalidity pension is a form of income maintenance. We pay this benefit if, through the claims process, we decide that your salary is permanently decreased because a medical condition causes you to be downgraded or to work reduced hours.

    We also pay it if you’re retired on medical grounds and then returned to work with a PSS participating employer for a salary that is lower than what you were paid when you first retired on medical grounds.

  • How we pay benefits

    If you make a successful claim, you can choose to take Invalidity benefits as a pension or as a combination of a pension and a lump sum.

    You may also be entitled to receive pre-assessment payments while you wait for our decision. Pre-assessment payments are in place to give you some income after your sick leave runs out, while you wait for us to assess your application.

  • Faster access if you’re terminally ill

    We will take steps to process applications for invalidity retirement with extra speed if you are terminally ill.

ADIC: insurance cover that may maximise the amount payable if you suffer permanent invalidity or if you die.

Additional Death and Invalidity Cover (ADIC) is extra cover you can apply for on top of the Death and Invalidity cover you receive when you joined or re-joined PSS.

It’s available to you at competitive rates and your employer will pay half of the standard risk premium.

Top up with ADIC

ADIC can help to ‘fill the gap’ between your current Accrued Benefit Multiple (ABM)[link] and the maximum amount payable from PSS. This may suit you, for example, if you joined or re-joined PSS later in your life and you have a short prospective service career before you turn 60.

Taking out this extra cover is a bit like buying an additional ABM—but one that’s only used if you die or retire due to Invalidity.

Who can apply?

If you’re contributing to PSS and you’re under 60, you can apply for ADIC.

If you’re a casual employee, if you have many PSS accounts or if you’ve transferred in from CSS, you may still be eligible to apply for cover. Please call us first to discuss your options on 1300 000 377.

How to apply

Request a quote and apply online through LIFEapp—it takes about 20 minutes.

Applying for ADIC

1. Gather your facts and figures

Have the following information ready:

  • Your height and weight.
  • Your medical history, including illnesses, injuries and medications.
  • Information about any hazardous pursuits you’re involved in.
  • Your doctor’s name, address and contact details.
  • Your occupation, average salary and Accrued Benefit Multiple (ABM). These are outlined on your latest Annual Statement, which you can download via your PSS account at or call 1300 000 377.

2. Work out the cover you need

The simplest way to think about what you may need is to consider your current and future financial obligations.

First, take into account the Death and Invalidity payments payable from your PSS defined benefit scheme, then think about whether you need extra insurance to cover your day-to-day expenses and debt repayments—and potential medical expenses if things go wrong. 

Then log in to your PSS account at and use our LIFEapp insurance calculator to get a quote. LIFEapp determines the maximum level of cover you can apply for.

3. When you’re ready, apply online or complete a form

When you’re ready, you can apply online or complete a form. A full insurance application process applies. The insurer will assess your application and may ask you to undergo a medical examination or provide medical reports. They’ll let you know if they need this.

Apply online: Log in to your PSS account at and apply using our LIFEapp insurance calculator.

Or complete a form: Download and complete the Apply for or change Additional Death and Invalidity Cover (ADIC) form and send to back it back to us.

For further support call on 1300 000 377.

Who pays for cover?

  • Your employer pays half of your standard risk premium…

    If the insurer assess you as:

    • A standard risk, that is, you’re deemed to be of good health and you don’t engage in hazardous pursuits, your employer will pay 50% of your standard ADIC premiums.
    • A non-standard risk, your employer pays half the cost of a standard risk premium.
  • …and you pay the rest

    You’ll need to pay the remaining 50% of the standard premiums. If you are assessed as a non-standard risk, you’ll also pay for any additional premium loadings that may apply. We’ll deduct your portion of the insurance fees and costs directly from your pay each fortnight.

    If you take unpaid leave, you’ll need to pay the whole premium amount for that period of leave.

Insurance payments and contribution caps

The amount paid by your employer counts towards your concessional (before-tax) contribution cap. The amount you pay counts towards your non-concessional (after-tax) contribution cap.

How much does ADIC cost?

ADIC premiums are based on your age and the amount of cover you’re eligible for. You can find the cost of cover the Death and invalidity benefits booklet.

We’ll let you know your premium when you’re first approved for ADIC.

Worked example

Here’s an example of how to work out the fortnightly insurance cover costs for a 50 year old.

The customer’s average salary is

$80000

Their maximum multiple is

1.10 x average salary

The amount of cover available to them is

$80,000 x 1.10 = $88,000

The premium for a 50 year old is

$3.57 per $1,000 cover

Their annual premium is

$3.57 x 88 = $314.16

(where 88 = $88,000 / $1,000)

Their fortnightly premium is

$12.08 ($314.16 / 26)

The customer’s share of the fortnightly premium is

$6.04 per fortnight

The employer’s share of the fortnightly premium is

$6.04 per fortnight

 

When cover may change

ADIC takes into account salary increases and changes to contributions. This means your cover amount may change after each birthday, after your salary review is completed. This may also change the premium.

Your cover and premiums will change when the average of your last three super salaries (also called your final average salary) changes. If your cover benefit and premiums change, we’ll let you and your employer know.

How we pay ADIC benefits

If you stop working because of invalidity and you have an approved claim, ADIC cover will make up a portion of your overall pension. And if you retire because of a terminal illness, you can receive the payment as a lump sum.

If you die, your eligible spouse can take the benefit as a lump sum or a pension. If you don’t have dependants, the benefit is paid to your estate as a lump sum.

Like any insurance policy, there are exclusions and restrictions, including when we can’t pay claims. For more details download our Death and invalidity benefits booklet.

More information

When does my ADIC start?

Your cover starts when the insurer accepts your application in writing.

How do I change or cancel my cover?

Complete the Apply for or change Additional Death and Invalidity Cover (ADIC) form. It includes instructions for increasing or decreasing your cover, and cancelling your cover.

If you need further support to work out your ADIC multiple, call 1300 000 377.

Am I covered if I take leave without pay?

If you go on approved leave without pay for up to 24 months, your cover will continue until your return to work as long as you pay your fortnightly premiums. A bonus is that your employer will pay half of the standard premium rates for the first 12 weeks of your LWOP.

If you need to, you can apply to the insurer to extend cover beyond 24 months, and the insurer will need to approve your application.

Insurance terms and conditions apply, so we can support with the details, emails members@pss.gov.au or call 1300 000 377.

What happens if I’m not living in Australia?

ADIC continues if you’re posted overseas and remain gainfully employed.

You won’t be able to increase your cover while you’re out of Australia (other than any increases that may occur because of normal salary increases).

If you travel overseas for a period of more than 12 months, and the purpose of your travel is not for eligible employment, please contact us to apply to extend your cover.

When does my ADIC stop?

Additional cover stops on whichever of the following happens first:

  • When you stop working for an eligible employer.
  • When you turn 60.
  • When you cancel your cover.
  • 30 days after you stop paying premiums for additional cover
  • On the date you die or are paid an Invalidity benefit under this policy.
  • On the date you retire from the workforce.
  • On the date you effect a continuation option with AIA Australia. A continuation option is when you leave the APS but keep your cover through a retail policy with AIA, and not through your super.
  • On the date you start active duty in the armed forces.

See the Death and Invalidity benefits booklet for full details.

Broaden your financial security with lifePLUS choice

PSS customers can apply for lifePLUS choice Income Protection Cover, and Death and TPD cover (which includes Terminal Illness cover) at rates that are generally not available outside of super.

This means you can tailor your insurance to fit your lifestyle and financial needs.

lifePLUS choice works with other PSS cover

Benefits paid through lifePLUS choice cover are on top of amounts you’d receive through a PSS Death and Invalidity claim, and this applies if you have ADIC or if you don’t.

Who can apply and how?

You’ll need to be:

  • a PSSap Ancillary customer to apply for lifePLUS choice; and
  • under 67 to apply for Income Protection cover and under 70 to apply for Death and TPD cover.

To become an Ancillary customer, you must have been employed by an eligible employer for at least 12 continuous months and be a:

  • current contributing or preserved PSS customer; or
  • be a former PSS customer who was contributing at any time on or after 7 March 2021.

When you join as an Ancillary customer, you’ll get another account, which works alongside your PSS account and allows you to apply for lifePLUS choice. For more information:

Before making any decisions you should read the PSSap PDS and Target Market Determination.

How to claim

Visit Make a claim for the details.

PSS claims

Make a claim

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Ancillary membership

Maximise your retirement benefits with an Ancillary Membership.

Read more about Ancillary membership

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