If you have been stood down due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis, there are some important changes to your current super and insurance arrangements to be aware of.
What happens to your super?
For members with a defined benefit
These details are current as at January 15 2021.
We acknowledge that we previously advised information on your unpaid compulsory member contributions would be provided to you by the end of 2020. We apologise for the delay, but Qantas payroll has needed to undertake some additional calculations to ensure that the total unpaid compulsory member contributions for each impacted member is correct. Once we receive the final data we will be able to let you about your options with respect to your unpaid compulsory member contributions. We expect to provide you with further information in February.
Here is what we currently know:
- You’ll remain in the same division of Qantas Super during the period you’re stood down
- Your Superannuation Salary, which is used to calculate your benefits and contributions, for most members will be based on the Super Salary you had before anyone was stood down
- Your Credited Service will continue to accrue while you’re stood down. The rate of accrual is being calculated and reported by your employer, but should be based on the full time or part time status you had prior to being stood down
- Your defined benefit will continue to accrue
- If you have found a role with another employer while you’re stood down, you can have them pay your super to your Qantas Super account. Just download this form and provide it to your new employer.
We continue to work with Qantas Group to determine what will happen in pay periods where you’re partially stood down and receiving part of your usual pay through either work or paid leave. We’re also working with Qantas Group to determine what effect JobKeeper payments will have on your benefit.
Impacts for compulsory member contributions
Because your Credited Service is continuing while you’re stood down, this means that your defined benefit will also continue to accrue – will not be ‘paused’, or ‘lost’. This also means that your obligation to make your compulsory member contributions will continue while you are stood down.
However, there are a few key details we need to finalise before we can let you know what this means for you and what you need to do, including:
1. How your Superannuation Salary is calculated
Your Superannuation Salary is used for a number of purposes, including to calculate your benefits and your compulsory member contributions. This means that we need to receive advice from payroll about your Super Salary and the associated shortfall in your compulsory member contributions while you’re stood down.
Under normal circumstances, your Super Salary is based on factors including your Division, your role, and your employment arrangements over a certain period. But because the stand down is unusual and affecting all members differently, the Qantas Group is carefully working through the process for calculating and reporting Super Salaries while members are stood down.
The Qantas Group is also considering the most appropriate way to calculate the Super Salaries of members who are being stood up and stood down intermittently during this period.
Once the process for calculating your Super Salary is finalised, payroll then need to use this information to calculate your compulsory member contributions. Once all of this information has been advised to us, in addition to details of the impact of stand down on you, we’ll be able to let you know about the shortfall in your compulsory member contributions. We’ll also let you know about the options you have to either pay these contributions while you’re stood down, or not pay these contributions and what that will mean for your benefits.
Division 1 & 2
Qantas has advised us that for most members in Divisions 1 and 2, your Super Salary while you’re stood down will be calculated based on your working arrangements as at 17 March 2020. Qantas has advised us that there may be some adjustments to this calculation for members where this doesn’t provide a fair reflection of their recent Super Salaries.
Qantas has advised us that for most members in Division 3, your Super Salary while you’re stood down will be calculated by considering the work arrangements that applied to you over the three months to 17 March 2020. This is because, depending on your role, some components of your Super Salary may be based on the actual hours you work. For example, actual shift penalties are included in the Super Salary for ground staff. Qantas has advised us that there may be some adjustments to this calculation for members where this doesn’t provide a fair reflection of their recent Super Salaries.
2. Your options regarding compulsory member contributions while you’re stood down
We understand you’ll have a lot of questions about making compulsory member contributions while you’re stood down and don’t have the contributions coming out of your pay. We’re working with the Qantas Group on your options at the moment, and expect that you will have at least two choices:
- Continue to pay your compulsory member contributions – we will need to wait until payroll provides us with information about each member’s stand down period and any shortfall in member contributions. We are working on ways that we can get that information to you, so you can then make this payment. If you would like to make contributions in the meantime, you can do this via BPAY.
- Not pay your compulsory member contributions, and have your benefit adjusted – if you don’t want to make contributions while you’re stood down, we are working on an option for your benefit to be adjusted to reflect that you have not made these contributions. With this option your defined benefit will still continue to accrue.
Please note, these options are still a work in progress and are not guaranteed. While we understand that you would like more details to help you make a decision, it’s important that we work through these options clearly for all members. We will provide more information when your options are finalised.
The important thing to know is that Qantas Group and Qantas Super are committed to providing you with an option not to make the payment if you are unable or would prefer not to, in which case you can choose to have your benefit adjusted. We are also exploring options with Qantas Group in relation to the timing of any payments, which may also be relevant to your decision.
Making contributions via BPAY
If you would like to make contributions in the meantime, you can do so via BPAY. You can find your BPAY details by logging into your account.
To help you determine how much you may want to contribute, you can refer to payslips issued before 30 March 2020. The ‘Less Deductions’ section will identify the amounts previously deducted from your pay by way of compulsory member contributions prior to stand down, with compulsory member contributions assigned the prefix ‘SUP MEM’.
Note that BPAY contributions are treated as post-tax contributions. If you were previously paying your compulsory member contributions by salary sacrifice, People Services will let you know the required amount to pay these contributions on a post-tax basis. You are unable to claim a tax deduction for compulsory member contributions made via BPAY.
At the moment, these contributions will automatically be classified as voluntary contributions when you make them, rather than compulsory contributions, so they will go into an accumulation account. Your contributions will then be re-classified as member compulsory contributions. While we are still working on the process for this, we can confirm that these contributions will be treated as you making the required compulsory member contributions for your Division.
3. How your benefit will be adjusted
For members in Divisions 1 and 3
If you’re member of Division 1 and request to pause your compulsory member contributions, an adjustment will be made to your Guaranteed Minimum Benefit. This is because your compulsory member contributions help to fund your Guaranteed Minimum Benefit.
If you’re member of Division 3 and request to pause your compulsory member contributions, an adjustment will be made to your defined benefit. This is because your compulsory member contributions help to fund your defined benefit. Therefore, if you don’t make your contributions, an adjustment will be made to reflect that.
We’ll make this adjustment by creating an accumulation account called an Offset Account. This type of account is our way of keeping track of any compulsory member contributions that have not been paid to your defined benefit, so we can ensure that these missed contributions are taken into account when it’s time calculate the total value of your benefit.
Some important things you should know about Offset Accounts:
- the balance of this account is negative;
- the balance is equal to the amount of any contributions that have not been paid; and
- the balance will increase in line with investment earnings applied on this account.
We are still in the process of determining the investment returns that apply to this account.
You’re able to reduce the balance in your Offset Account by making contributions, or by contacting us and instructing us to transfer an amount from your accumulation accounts to your Offset Account.
For members in Divisions 2 and 4
As a member of Division 2 or 4, your compulsory member contributions go into an accumulation account. This means that, if you choose not to make these contributions, the value of your accumulation account will be impacted.
If you’re a Division 2 member and also a former member of an Australian Airlines super fund, we may need to adjust your underlying benefit guarantee if you choose not to make the compulsory member contributions. We will let you know if this affects you.
4. What happens to your benefit if you have unpaid compulsory member contributions and take redundancy
As we work towards solutions for members with unpaid compulsory member contributions, we understand you may have questions about what it means if your role is made redundant before these arrangements are finalised.
The impact of unpaid contributions on your benefit if your role is made redundant will depend on your Division. The arrangements set out below may change as we get specific information about your unpaid contributions and develop options for you in relation to whether or not you wish to pay those contributions.
Please note that, as we’re still working on these arrangements, the balance you currently see online, or the balance that may be quoted to you by the helpline, has not yet been adjusted to take into account any unpaid compulsory member contributions.
For members in Divisions 1, 2 and 4
Your compulsory member contributions are added to your Member Account, with investment earnings. In turn, if you don’t make these contributions, the value of your Member Account will be lower than it otherwise would be had the contributions been made.
This means that if you’re made redundant and have unpaid compulsory member contributions at that time, the accumulation component of your redundancy benefit will be lower than if those contributions had been paid.
This means that for members in:
- Division 2 who do not have a Minimum Benefit Guarantee from an Australian Airlines plan; and
- Division 4,
Any unpaid compulsory member contributions will not be considered in the calculation of your redundancy benefit.
For members in:
- Division 1; and
- Division 2 who transferred from an Australian Airlines plan and have a Minimum Benefit Guarantee,
We are still working through what impact the unpaid compulsory contributions may have on your minimum benefit guarantee if they remain unpaid at the time your redundancy benefit is calculated.
For members in Division 3
For Division 3 members, we will deduct the unpaid compulsory member contributions from your redundancy benefit when it is paid to you, or after it’s transferred into the Gateway Division.
For members in Gateway and accumulation divisions
As employer super contributions are based on the pay you receive from your employer, you will not receive this type of contribution from Qantas Group in the period you are stood down, unless you are taking paid leave. However, you can receive this type of contribution from another employer if you have a second job (see more on that below).
What about JobKeeper and salary sacrifice?
Your employer and Qantas Group payroll are responsible for administering JobKeeper and salary sacrifice arrangements.
Qantas advised in its FAQs that the JobKeeper scheme allows for the JobKeeper payment to be paid to eligible employees in cash or as a fringe benefit or an extra superannuation contribution where the Company and employee agree. When JobKeeper first started, Qantas advised that it was unable to agree to apply these deductions but would provide further information if the situation changed.
Please check the Terminal for the latest FAQs or contact People Services.
What happens if you get a second job?
If you have been stood down and find work with another employer, you can have the super contributions from your new job paid to your Qantas Super account as long as you remain a Qantas Group employee. All you have to do is complete this form and give it to your new employer to process through their payroll.
If your employer has already given you a form to complete, you may need these details about Qantas Super:
- Fund name: Qantas Superannuation Plan
- Fund ABN: 41 272 198 829
- Fund USI: 41 272 198 829 401
- Address: GPO Box 4303 Melbourne VIC 3001
- Phone: 1300 362 967
What happens to your insurance?
We use your salary to calculate your insurance cover. Your cover will be calculated using your:
- Superannuation Salary – for Divisions 1, 2, 3, and 15
- Salary for Insurance Purposes – for other Divisions
before you were stood down.
The effect of being stood down on your insurance cover depends on your Division.
Divisions 3A, 6, 7, 10, or Gateway
Death and Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD)
If you are in Division 3A, 6, 7, 10, or Gateway, you will continue to be covered for death and TPD after you are stood down, provided that:
- you do not join the armed forces (excluding Australian Defence Force Reservists not deployed overseas);
- premiums continue to be paid; and
- you remain a member of Qantas Super.
This cover will continue for 16 months from the date of the last contribution or rollover made to your account in Qantas Super as long as your premiums continue to be paid.
If your account has not received a contribution or rollover for nine months, we’ll write to ask you to either make a contribution or opt in to keep your insurance if you want to stay covered. We’ll also send you reminders at 12 and 15 months. If you don’t opt in or make a contribution within 16 months, your insurance cover will be cancelled.
From 1 August 2020, your income protection cover will cease while you are stood down.
Divisions 1, 2, 3
Death and Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD)
When you commence a period of stand down, any Standard Cover for death and TPD you have automatically continues during the stand down period for up to two years. If you have Voluntary Cover for death and TPD, this will continue as long as premiums continue to be paid.
If you are still stood down after this time, we’ll send you a reminder and you’ll be able to apply for an extension. This extension will be subject to the approval of the insurer and your employer. If you request for your cover to be reinstated after it has ceased, you may be required to provide evidence of good health.
Before 1 August 2020
We are still working with the insurers to finalise how they will consider the stand down periods, including how any paid leave is treated for the purposes of your income protection cover.
From 1 August 2020
You can learn more about how your income protection cover applies when you’re stood down from 1 August 2020 here.
Your Voluntary Cover
Your voluntary cover won’t change while you’re stood down.
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