Choosing between the DBD and Accumulation 2

When you first join the Defined Benefit Division (DBD), you’ll have 24 months from that date to choose whether to become an Accumulation 2 member.

Choosing a membership type in which to invest your hard-earned retirement savings is a big decision. Here's some important information to help you decide.

What's the main difference between the DBD and Accumulation 2?

The main difference is the way in which your super benefit accrues. With the Defined Benefit Division (DBD), your benefit is calculated based on a formula and growth is generally linked to a combination of factors which may include the rate of your contributions, salary, age and length of service. You cannot choose how the defined benefit component is invested however you can choose how the accumulation component of your account is invested. Learn more about defined benefit-style super 

With Accumulation 2, your account grows through contributions and investment returns. You can choose the way your entire account balance is invested. Learn more about accumulation-style super

Another difference is the type of insurance cover you have. With the DBD, you have access to inbuilt death, disablement and temporary incapacity benefits. These benefits are determined based on a formula and are provided by UniSuper (not an external insurance provider). You can’t opt out of these benefits.

With Accumulation 2, the types of insurance cover available are Income Protection, Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD), and Death cover. Insurance cover is generally based on your age and the number of units of cover you have, and is provided by our Insurer.

See the What happens to your inbuilt benefits if you choose Accumulation 2? booklet and the Insurance in your super booklet for more information.

How do I know which style of super is better for me?

When deciding whether to stay in the DBD or move to Accumulation 2, you may find it useful to consider the following:

  • Do you like the idea that part of your benefit will be determined by a formula?
  • How do you feel about uncertainties in investment performance?
  • Do you want to choose how all your super is invested?
  • Do you want the flexibility to control the amount of insurance cover you have? Or are you comfortable having formula-based inbuilt benefits?

Whether an accumulation or defined benefit-style super is better for you will depend on your personal circumstances. We recommend you talk to a qualified financial adviser before making any decisions about your super.

If you'd like more information on being in the DBD, including membership advantages and risks and how the DBD works, you can download a copy of our UniSuper’s Defined Benefit Division explained booklet.

What happens if I want to transfer into Accumulation 2?

If you transfer from our Defined Benefit Division (DBD) to Accumulation 2, you'll be bound by that choice as long as you remain a UniSuper member. It means you can't return to the DBD from Accumulation 2 even if you have a break in employment. 

It's important to remember, too, that if you’re thinking about changing from the DBD into Accumulation 2, the features of your membership will alter.

For example, the inbuilt benefits you have as a DBD member will transition to Death, TPD and Income Protection cover. For more information, see our transitioned cover page and read the following booklets:

What if I don’t make a choice?

If you don't make a choice, you’ll stay in the DBD and won’t be able to change down the track. We’ll contact you during your first 24 months to remind you to make your choice.