Personalise your total and permanent disability (TPD) cover

TPD cover pays a lump sum to you if you can’t ever work again after meeting the QSuper definition of total and permanent disablement.

QSuper members have a wide range of options available to tailor their insurance based on their personal situation, the level of protection they need and their budget.

TPD cover is provided to age 64 and to age 59 for Police Officers. A member can apply to:

  • change from unitised to fixed sum insured
  • apply to increase TPD cover to a maximum of $3 million ($1 million for casuals)
  • have different levels of TPD cover
  • have TPD cover without death cover
  • to have premiums to be occupationally rated.

How much cover can I have?

TPD cover comes in units of cover, and you can apply to buy additional units up to our maximum levels of cover. These are shown in the table below. There are some conditions around increasing your cover, and we’ll look at these in the information that follows:

Employment Situation TPD Cover
Full or part-time employee, including self-employed $3 million
Casual employee or unemployed person $1 million

What conditions are there around increasing my TPD cover?

Eligible members can apply to increase TPD cover at any time, up to the maximum limit of $3 million ($1 million if you are a casual employee or unemployed). However you do need to be aware that if you want to increase your cover above what is known as the automatic acceptance limit (see table below), you will need to provide health and other information before we can consider your request for increased cover.

The automatic acceptance limit (AAL) is age based, and is the higher of the following (but capped at $1 million):

Age Greater of: AAL capped at maximum
Below 40 $600,000 or 12 x your total annual income $1 million
40 to 54 $600,000 or 9 x your total annual income $1 million
55 to 59 $300,000 or 6 x your total annual income $1 million
60 to 64 $300,000 or 3 x your total annual income $1 million

Please see QSuper’s Accumulation Account Insurance Guide for a definition of income.

Regardless of your employment situation you won’t be able to increase your cover if any of the following apply to you:

  • you have made or are entitled to make a claim for a TPD benefit or similar benefit with QSuper or anyone else
  • you have been discharged from your employment as medically unfit, or retired due to illness or injury
  • you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness
  • you were not at work on the date of your application.

If you are applying to increase your cover up to the automatic acceptance limit you will need to provide health and other information if you don’t work for the Queensland Government, or if you work for the Queensland Government and are increasing your cover more than 120 days after starting your job.

If you have cover over $1 million and you move to casual employment or become unemployed you will be able to keep your current amount of cover but you will not be eligible to make any increases to your cover while you remain in casual employment or are unemployed. If you want to reduce or personalise your cover it will have to be below the maximum limit of $1 million as this limit will be applied to any changes you make in the future.

Can I choose a fixed amount of cover?

TPD units start to decrease in value after the age of 40. We know that many members want to keep the same level of cover for an extended period, especially if they have a family to look out for. That’s why up until age 60 you can apply for a fixed level of cover for TPD cover. (If you go fixed, you have to have fixed cover for both death and TPD, but you can have different levels of cover for both). Again there are some conditions around increasing your level of cover above your default amount, and we’ll look at these in the following paragraphs.

Fixed cover is bought in units, where the value of each unit is worth $1,000 of cover, with the cost of a unit based on your age.

Once you’ve fixed your level of cover, with one exception, it will remain unchanged until you tell us you want to change it. The one exception is that, based on your fixed cover at age 60, the amount of TPD cover you have will reduce every year from your 61st birthday, reaching zero on your 65th birthday. It’s calculated like this (using an example of $500,000).


Birthday Fixed TPD calculated as Calculation on $500,000 at age 60
61st 4/5 of age 60 cover $400,000
62nd 3/4 of age 61 cover $300,000
63rd 2/3 of age 62 cover $200,000
64th 1/2 of age 63 cover $100,000
65th $0 $0

We’ll write to you every year after you turn 60 though to let you know what your new cover amount is.

Changing between fixed cover and unitised cover

You can switch between the two types of cover at any time (although you must always switch both death cover and TPD cover at the same time). If you switch from unitised to fixed, you choose your level of cover in increments of $1,000.

If you switch from fixed back to unitised you have the option of choosing how many units of cover you want.

Any changes will be subject to the pre-existing condition terms outlined in the following section.

Will my cover have a pre-existing exclusion period?

In most circumstances your default TPD cover has no pre-existing exclusion period providing you are at work on the day your default cover starts. The circumstances where your default cover is subject to a five year pre-existing exclusion period are here.

If you are not at work on the day your default cover starts, an indefinite pre-existing exclusion period will apply until you have been at work for 30 consecutive days.

You should know that if you personalise your cover then decide to return to your default level of cover which will then result in an increase in cover, you will have to provide health and other information, and if accepted a five year pre-existing exclusion period will apply to the increase in cover.

If for any reason you have a pre-existing exclusion period on your default cover and you reduce your cover, the pre-existing exclusion period will remain in place.

How changing between fixed and unitised cover affects your pre-existing exclusion perious

If you change from unitised cover to fixed cover, a new five year pre-existing exclusion period will apply to any fixed cover that is higher than your previous unitised cover.

You should also be aware that from age 41 the value of each unit decreases. This means that the difference between your fixed cover and the previous value of your units will increase over time.

Why is this important? If you make a claim in the first five years of cover (the pre-existing exclusion period) you may be subject to a pre-existing exclusion of the difference between your fixed cover and the underlying unitised cover.

TaniaCase Study

Moana is 40 and has personalised her cover so she has four units of TPD cover worth $125,000 each. So her total cover is worth $500,000. (None of these units have a pre-existing exclusion period.) Moana decides she wants to fix her TPD cover at $500,000.

At age 41, the units she previously held would have been worth a total of $478,176. As Moana has fixed her cover at $500,000, $21,824 of her cover is now subject to a pre-existing exclusion period.

The following year (at age 42) the value of the four original units will drop again to $457,304, and the amount of Moana’s cover with a pre-existing exclusion period will be recalculated to $42,696. This will happen every year until five years after the date she fixed her cover, at which time the pre-existing exclusion period will expire.

If you switch back from fixed cover to unitised cover, and the value of the units you choose is higher than the value of your fixed level of cover, a five year pre-existing exclusion period will apply to this additional amount of cover. Also keep in mind that any remaining pre-existing exclusion period from the original change from units to fixed cover will stay in place.

Please note that the case studies are provided for illustrative purposes only and the members shown aren't real. It is assumed for the purpose of the case studies that all terms and conditions have been met. Additionally, figures may be rounded up for ease of understanding.

Reducing your cover

If you increase your cover more than once you may have multiple pre-existing exclusion periods on your cover with different timeframes. If you then reduce your cover and as a result some of your pre-existing exclusion periods can be removed, the one we will remove first is the one with the longest time remaining on it.

If you're not sure how changing your TPD cover will affect your premiums or what occupational rating you fall in to if you answer the health and other information questions, simply log into Member Online. If you head to the insurance section you can enter different combinations and see how much you would pay.

Please refer to our Accumulation Account Insurance Guide for further information on terms, conditions and eligibility.

Learn more about QSuper's TPD cover.