Policy & Research

We undertake evidence-based advocacy to influence public policy settings which ensure the best retirement outcomes for fund members.

Insurance in Superannuation Working Group (ISWG)

The Insurance in Superannuation Working Group (ISWG), established in October 2016, is openly and proactively identifying current weaknesses within the system, in order to bring group insurance to a higher standard.

The ISWG is identifying changes to improve superannuation member value and protections. Work priorities include:

  1. Reducing benefit erosion on superannuation account balances for members, including establishing the right level of automatic cover for young people and low income earners;
  2. Reducing inappropriate, multiple insurance policies;
  3. Providing better and more timely assistance to members during claims;
  4. Improving superannuation fund member communications on insurance;
  5. Improving data standards to improve service to members; and,
  6. Undertaking independent research on the costs and benefits of group insurance within superannuation

ISWG is a group comprised of Australia’s superannuation bodies, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST), the Financial Services Council (FSC), Industry Funds Forum (IFF) and Industry Super Australia (ISA) who share the common belief that group insurance in superannuation is fundamentally the right policy setting for millions of Australians. This group also includes representative life insurers, superannuation funds and consumer advocates.

Through the ISWG, industry bodies, in consultation with consumer groups, are building a reform framework and implementation plan to ensure that group insurance in superannuation remains accessible to all Australians.

As part of the reforms, a Code of Practice will lift superannuation fund and RSE licensee obligations to meet consumer needs and expectations.

The ISWG has two tiers: a Governance Board which makes the decisions on a consensus basis, and a Technical Working Group which is responsible for developing the priorities determined by the Governance Board.


Voluntary Code of Practice:

  Insurance in Superannuation Voluntary Code of Practice

This Code which comes into effect from 1 July 2018, is a first for the industry and sets standards that will provide greater understanding, clearer accountability and consistency of delivery across the superannuation industry.

ASFA, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) and the Financial Services Council (FSC) are the owners of the Code and they look forward to working with their respective members to implement the Code from next year.

The Code is voluntary for superannuation funds to adopt and it is expected that there will be strong support for trustees to sign up to it.

The Code improves superannuation member value and protections and is a strong step towards enhancing member interests and helping build confidence in and understanding of life insurance through superannuation.

Consultation paper:

  Insurance in Superannuation Code of Practice

This draft code outlines a set of industry standards and new measures for all classes of insurance in superannuation, including life, total and permanent disability (TPD) and income protection. It has been jointly developed over the past 10 months by the ISWG with input from insurers, super funds and legal and consumer groups, as well as other stakeholders.

Discussion Paper Five:

  Premium Adjustment Mechanisms

This paper outlines how practices sometimes described as ‘profit share arrangements’ apply across the industry and operate in practice.

Discussion Paper Four:

  Data Management

This paper outlines proposals that seek to enhance member insurance outcomes by improving access to timely and relevant information.

Discussion Paper Three:

  Member communication and engagement

This paper outlines options to improve member engagement and understanding of their insurance arrangements within superannuation. Some practical options are proposed to help bring these aspirations to life including use of standardised consumer language and terms across the industry.

Discussion Paper Two:

  Claims handling

This paper examines existing practices and issues associated with insurance claims handling and outlines some ambitious changes in timeframes developed by superannuation and life industry representatives to improve the member experience.


  ISWG Premium Limits Survey

The ISWG is asking each of the participating funds to consider how it will comply with this test from both a methodological and an outcome perspective.