Inbuilt benefits

Defined Benefit Division (DBD) members have access to inbuilt benefits for disablement, temporary incapacity, terminal medical condition and death if they satisfy certain criteria.

If you’re an eligible DBD member, any Death and/or TPD insurance cover you have (or are eligible for) comes in addition to your inbuilt benefits.

Inbuilt benefits are a feature of your membership and provided by UniSuper, not an external insurance provider. They are calculated using a formula set out in the trust deed and you can’t opt out of them.

Temporary incapacity

If you become injured or fall ill and have to take some time off work, you may be eligible for a temporary incapacity benefit to help you until you can work again. 

In order to claim a temporary incapacity benefit, you need to have been absent from work because of injury or illness for three months within a period of 12 consecutive months immediately prior to lodging your claim.

If you qualify for an inbuilt temporary incapacity benefit you’ll be paid a monthly payment for up to two years, provided you continue to satisfy the eligibility requirements.


If you become permanently disabled, you might be able to claim disablement benefits through your membership.

To be able to claim an inbuilt disablement benefit, you need to have been absent from work because of injury or illness for three months within a period of 12 consecutive months prior to ceasing employment.

If you qualify for an inbuilt disablement benefit you’ll receive a monthly payment if you’re under age 65. If, in the future, you are no longer disabled, your benefit will stop. If you’re aged 65 or older, you cannot commence an inbuilt disablement benefit. However, you may have external Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) insurance cover which would be paid as an additional amount if you make a separate claim that is accepted by our Insurer.

Terminal medical condition

If you are diagnosed with a terminal medical condition before age 60, you may be able to receive a lump sum payment of your account balance plus an additional amount (this is equivalent to your inbuilt death benefit).

If you do claim a terminal medical condition benefit  but later decide to continue to work or to return to work, you will not be eligible for DBD or Accumulation 2 membership and all future contributions must be made into an Accumulation 1 account. You’ll also be unable to apply for any additional insurance cover.


If you die before age 60, your benefit will include the inbuilt death benefit component.

Your beneficiaries may also be able to make a separate claim under any Death insurance cover you have (if eligible).


Learn about how to make a claim.

The following documents also contain more information about inbuilt benefits:

Tax on inbuilt benefits

We’ll deduct any tax before paying your benefit. You’ll also receive a PAYG payment summary confirming the tax treatment of your benefit. 

The tax we deduct depends on:

  • your age
  • whether you’re a DBD or Accumulation 2 member* 
  • the tax components of your benefit, and
  • if your benefit is classified as a ‘superannuation lump sum(s)’ or a ‘superannuation income stream.’

*The only inbuilt benefits payable from Accumulation 2 are those that commenced before 3 January 2015 or are under insurance Takeover Terms.

Inbuilt disablement pensions can be taxed as superannuation income streams or as a series of super lump sums. The tax treatment that applies to you depends on your individual circumstances. We recommend you speak to a tax specialist before receiving any benefits or talk to UniSuper Advice.

Learn more

The inbuilt benefit feature of your DBD membership can get quite complex, and contains a lot of detail. This page only gives you a brief summary.

You should carefully read the Defined Benefit Division and Accumulation 2 PDS or contact us to learn more about inbuilt benefits.