SMSFs and trauma insurance
From 1 July 2014, an SMSF can generally only provide an insured benefit for a member that is consistent with one of the following conditions of release of a member’s superannuation benefits:
- terminal medical condition;
- permanent incapacity (causing the member to permanently cease working); or
- temporary incapacity (causing the member to temporarily cease working).
Trauma insurance is not consistent with any of these conditions of release.
Trauma insurance typically pays out a lump sum where an insured person is diagnosed with one of the critical illnesses, or injuries, defined in the policy, such as cancer, stroke, coronary bypass and heart attack.
Therefore, from 1 July 2014, an SMSF that takes out a new trauma insurance benefit in relation to a member will generally be in breach of the new regulation. The new regulation does not apply to insured benefits for members who joined a fund before 1 July 2014, and were covered by that benefit before 1 July 2014.