Taking a career break

Regardless of whether you're working, on a break or retiring, TelstraSuper can be your fund for life. If you're taking a break from the workforce there are some key things to think about. 

When you leave Telstra or a related company, your super's automatically transferred into TelstraSuper Personal Plus. You'll continue to enjoy uninterrupted TelstraSuper membership. However there are some important changes to your super account.

Find out about changes to your super account

Leaving your job may provide you with the opportunity to take a break from the work force to travel, start a business, or care for your family. If you’re taking a break from the workforce there are some key things to think about. 

1. Review insurance cover

When we receive notification that you’re leaving your Telstra Group employer, your account balance and any insurance cover you have will be transferred into TelstraSuper Personal Plus. Upon the date of transfer into TelstraSuper Personal Plus, Death & TPD insurance cover held in your TelstraSuper Corporate Plus account will be retained in your new TelstraSuper Personal Plus arrangement†, however new premium rates will apply. You’ll need to pay for this insurance cover and the premium will be based on a weekly unitised rate. This cover will decrease as you get older.

Any voluntary cover that is transferred will be based on the applicable TelstraSuper Personal Plus voluntary cover rates.

If you’re under 25 or have an account balance that is less than $6,000, you will be required to complete an Opt-in Member paid default insurance cover form in order for your cover to transfer into the new arrangement and retain your cover. If you have previously completed the Opt-in form or otherwise made an election, this won’t be required.

TelstraSuper Corporate Plus, TelstraSuper Division 5 and Sensis Super Plus Defined Benefit members with existing Income Protection cover will have that cover transferred‡ to TelstraSuper Personal Plus. For the cover to be retained, you need to have:

  • commenced new employment as a permanent employee and provided TelstraSuper with the Continuing Income Protection form within 120 days of you leaving your previous Telstra Group employer, and
  • received a Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contribution from your new employer into your new TelstraSuper Personal Plus account within 180 days of you leaving your previous Telstra Group employer, and
  • made an election to opt-in, if applicable (see above).

Eligible members transferring from TelstraSuper Division 2 can apply for Income Protection Cover, as outlined above.

For more information you should read the TelstraSuper Personal Plus PDS and Insurance Guide.

† Subject to the ‘active employment’ requirements contained in the relevant insurance policy.

‡ Subject to the At Work Requirements and other eligibility criteria and Exclusions contained in the Policy.

If you don’t commence new employment as a permanent employee, you won’t be eligible to continue your Income Protection cover and this will be cancelled.

Some of the things to consider are:

  • Will you have enough funds in your super account to pay for your insurance premiums for any cover that you have?
  • Can you claim Income Protection cover? You can’t claim Income Protection (IP) benefits from your IP cover as a result of a redundancy. However you may be entitled to benefits from Centrelink. You can find out more about Centrelink entitlements by visiting the Human Services website.
  • Should you review your insurance? You can increase, reduce or cancel your cover at any time via your online account**. You can also apply to increase your insurance during certain key life events without needing to provide medical evidence (subject to eligibility as outlined in the TelstraSuper Personal Plus PDS and Insurance Guide). An adviser from TelstraSuper Financial Planning can review insurance within your TelstraSuper account over the phone at no additional cost as phone advice is included in your membership.
**Members must have an account that allows insurance cover to be applied under a Policy and must be registered users of SuperOnline. Members must also have a valid email address and reside in Australia.

Speak to TelstraSuper Financial Planning

2. See how a career break may affect your balance

 Taking a break can have a long-term effect on your super savings. If you aren’t receiving or making contributions, the lost contributions can lead to a smaller balance when you retire. To see how a career break may impact your final super balance try out our online retirement income projector. You just need to put in your balance and the length of your break and it will provide you with a projected retirement balance. It could be a good idea to boost your super before, during and after a career break if you can so that you super doesn’t fall behind.

Calculate the impact of a career break

3. Make additional contributions

If you’re not working your employer contributions into super may stop, but there are still ways you can boost your super. If you’re under 65 you can make contributions into your super without meeting any work tests*. There can also be Government incentives for putting money into super if you have a lower salary.

Depending on your circumstances, you may wish to consider making additional contributions when you start working again to help  boost your super balance and make up for the time without employer contributions.

Boost your super during a career break

4. Accessing your super

Super is designed to help you save for retirement. As a result there are rules around when you can access your super.

Generally, you can access your super:

  •  When you turn 65 (even if you’re still working)
  • When you reach preservation age (the age the Government allows to access super) and you permanently retire from the workforce
  • When you reach preservation age and commence a transition to retirement income stream (tallowing you to draw down on your super before you are retired) 
  • If you meet another “condition of release” (limited circumstances such as financial hardship or compassionate grounds) If you’re retiring you can pay yourself an income through a RetireAccess income stream. 

Find out more about accessing your super 


  • create a budget
  • review your insurance needs
  • calculate the impact of a career break on your super
  • check out your eligibility for Government co-contributions and other possible benefits
  • if you have a partner look into spouse contributions
  • speak to TelstraSuper Financial Planning – general and simple personal phone advice is included in your membership so it won’t cost you anything extra.

To speak with an adviser call 1300 033 166 or request a call by filling in the online form.

* If you are aged 65 or over, you are required to satisfy the work test in order to make personal contributions and other non-mandated employer contributions. To satisfy the work test you must have worked for at least 40 hours within 30 consecutive days in the financial year in which the contribution was made.