• Superannuation has undergone many changes in recent years, making it difficult for some employers to keep up. For example, the new superannuation legislation, Your Future, Your Super, could pose risks for employers that offer insurance as an employee benefit attached to superannuation.
  • The new superannuation stapling laws mean workers will no longer automatically join a new employer’s default super fund when they change jobs.
  • Instead, employees will remain with their original superannuation fund as they move from one employer to the next – unless they actively opt-in to the new employer’s fund. As a result, employers that pay for insurance benefits within default superannuation will soon be faced with a growing cohort of newer employees who can’t access those insurance benefits.

What does the new legislation mean for employers and employees?

For organisations that rely on in-super insurance benefits to support employees’ financial wellbeing, or as a lever for attracting and retaining talent, the new legislation could lead to diminishing value, and issues of equity across their employee base.

The new rules also limit an employer’s ability to positively impact their employees’ financial protection and wellbeing through a consistent default superannuation program. Employees could face more risk simply by failing to opt-in to their new employer’s fund. Some could miss out on insurance inside super altogether due to tighter entry requirements, such as age and super balance, potentially undermining employers’ diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

47% of HR professionals don’t know, or feel unsure about, the implications of super stapling on their organisation1.

The opportunity – a new era for employer-employee relationships

According to Aon’s 2021 Global Risk Management Survey, failing to attract and retain talent is now among the top five risks facing Australian employers.  Coupled with rising mental health claims2 and flat wages growth3, it is also a key factor driving organisations to improve their employee experience through benefit programs.

However, not all employees immediately appreciate the value of insurance as a benefit. Starting a new job can be overwhelming. With new relationships and systems to navigate, there is limited time for new employees to compare superannuation and insurance products while onboarding to a new workplace.  Unless support is provided to help employees understand the benefits being offered, some could miss out on important benefits designed to minimise financial stress and its wellbeing impacts.

Adapting to employee needs

Although salaries remain important, due to the impact of COVID-19 on workers and work patterns5,7,8, employees now place more value than they did before on intangible benefits, such as flexible work, access to career guidance, aligned values, and wellbeing support4,5.

HR leaders need to continually remind employees about their benefits, not just during talent acquisition and onboarding. Ongoing communication is especially important when it comes to superannuation and insurance, as employees can quickly disengage from these aspects of a benefits package, creating a missed opportunity for organisations that seek to build resilience by improving employees’ financial and overall wellbeing.  As well, benefit adoption and engagement rates should be closely monitored to ensure programs are equitable, inclusive, easy to use and flexible enough to suit all employees’ needs.

Employers also need to understand and communicate that financial stability is not just about adequate pay. Appropriate risk management strategies, including insurance, are fundamental tools for protecting employees’ financial stability – and employees now expect this to be a key part of their benefits package1,4,6.

“It has become increasingly important for employers to consider providing insurance benefits outside superannuation in order to uniformly support their employees’ financial wellbeing, and to prevent inequity, especially as employees’ needs change”. Stuart Whitbread, Director, Health and Benefits, Aon.

Getting Started

Here are some questions employers should ask themselves when assessing insurance benefits:

  1. Should we provide employer-funded insurance as part of our default superannuation? Or should we provide insurance outside super? Which approach will meet all employees’ needs?
  2. Are our insurance benefits fair and easy to access for everyone? Or could requirements for fund members to meet age and super balance requirements before accessing cover exclude some employees?
  3. Do our insurance arrangements help to enhance financial wellbeing, and do they match employees’ financial needs?
  4. Are we communicating clearly about insurance benefits? Do employees value the insurance we offer?
  5. How does we compare with similar employers? Is our benefits program helping us attract and retain talent?


Download Article: Erosion of Death and Disability Cover in Super

Download Guide: Superannuation and Default Insurances



  1. Aon’s 2021 Superannuation and Financial Wellbeing Survey, October 2021
  2. Aon’s 2021 – 2022 General Industry Benefits Benchmarking Guide
  3. Australian Bureau of Statistics data and What is really happening with wages growth in Australia?
  4. Employee Benefit Trends Study 2021 | MetLife
  5. Aon’s The Great Resignation or the Great Re-alignment?
  6. Employees Want Wellbeing From Their Job, and They’ll Leave to Find It |
  7. During the pandemic, 85 per cent of employees globally experienced higher burnoutand nearly half reported having worse work/life balance than before the pandemic. Three Lessons to Sustain Workforce Resilience
  8. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Australians and their APAC colleagues have worked longer hours, taken on more additional tasks and worked on days off more than in any other part of the world (Oct, 2021).

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