FAQs


Follow the links below to find the answers to some of the more frequently asked questions by members of the Scheme.

Your question not covered below? Call our Helpline on 1300 307 844.
 

What part of the Scheme am I in?


On the front of your member benefit statement you receive every year, it tells you what part of the Scheme you are in.

The Scheme is organised in four parts (known as Divisions). These each have different benefits based on different rules.

This is important as it affects what you can get from the Scheme in exchange for what you put in. What applies to one part often doesn't apply to others (though it may).

Which part of the Scheme you are in depends on when you joined the electricity industry and other factors.

These parts are referred to by the following names:

  • Division 2 or the Lump Sum Scheme - most people who joined between 1988 and 1999
  • Division 3 or the Pension Scheme - many people who joined before 1988
  • Division 4 or the RG Scheme - the others who joined before 1988
  • Division 5 or the Accumulation Scheme - anyone who has joined since privatisation and others who joined before 2000


The member booklet which sets out the features of each Division can be downloaded from the
Forms & publications section of this website.

What fees do I pay?


There are three types of fees paid by members. Which of them you pay depends on what part of the Scheme you are in. Any fees that aren't paid by members are paid by the employers.

The types of fees are:

  • Investment management fees: these are what the Scheme's investment managers charge us to make the investments that the Scheme has.
  • Administration fees: these are the cost of running the Scheme, communicating with members, getting legal advice when we need it.
  • Insurance: the Scheme pays premiums to an insurance company to cover benefits payable on death or disability.

Both investment management and administration fees are deducted from the interest rates that we credit to accounts. Insurance premiums are deducted from Accumulation Scheme accounts.

The following table shows which sections of the Scheme pay which fees:
 

Division Investment
management fee
Administration
fee
Insurance
premium
2
3
4
5
 


Members in Divisions 2, 3 and 4 pay at most only 30% of the administration costs of the Scheme. This fee is taken out of the interest that we add to your accounts.

How much you paid in fees in the last year is shown on your statement.

Contributions


Can I continue paying contributions whilst on maternity or other unpaid leave?

Yes you can. In Divisions 2, 3 and 4 this may be of value to you as it helps maintain your death and disability benefits.

Why is the contribution rate shown on my statement different to the actual amount I am contributing?

For Divisions 2, 3 and 4 the contribution rate shown on your statement is the rate that applies towards your defined benefits. It does not include any additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) that you make.

The reason for this is that we do not need to know the rate at which you make AVCs, as this rate has no impact on your employer-financed benefits in the Scheme. All we need to know are the dollar amounts of your AVCs, which payroll tell us. Your contributions are shown on your statement and the website.

How do I alter my contributions?

Download a form from the Forms & publications section of the website (Vary regular contributions form), fill it out and pass it to your payroll department.

My contributions on the web site do not appear up to date or correct - how can I check this?

There is often a delay in processing contributions while payroll transfer money or get a cheque written for us, and we match the data that is sent with the money that we receive. This delay can be up to 2-3 weeks, though we are constantly reviewing our processes in order to make receiving contributions both easier (which is good for us) and faster (which is good for you). Rest assured that your account is credited on the day that the contributions are deducted from your pay, even if there is a delay in getting the information into our administration system.

What effect is there on my contributions if I took leave and was on half pay?

For Division 5 members, your contributions will be half of the normal rate.

Members of Divisions 2, 3 and 4 must continue to contribute at their full rate of pay (and their benefits will keep accruing at the same rate), unless you write to the Board and ask that your contributions be reduced. Please contact the Scheme for more information.

Can I have the Super Guarantee paid into another fund?

You may have this choice if you are in Division 5. See our information sheet on "Choice of Fund".

I have been paid superannuation from another employer due to casual work, can this be paid into the EISS?

Yes. Ask your other employer to contact the Scheme on 1300 307 844.

What are the limits on contributions?

As you may know, from 1 July 2007 new limits on contributions came into effect. Exceeding these limits normally means you pay more tax, so there is an incentive for you to keep your contributions below the limit.

It is easy to track how you are going against the limit. Log on to the Member area of the website, go to the Contributions page, and click on the Annual Contribution Caps heading.

The Annual Contribution Caps page explains what the limits are, and how you are going against the limit for the current financial year on employer and salary sacrifice contributions. This page includes the cost of any defined benefit that you may get, if you are in one of the old Divisions.

General information on the concessional contributions caps can also be found on the information sheets on the Scheme website, under "Forms and publications/Fund information".

Warning:

  • These figures bear no relationship to the amounts that your employers actually pay. The government guidelines ask for the cost to be calculated using generous investment return assumptions, and for younger members who may not even reach retirement. The cost to your employers is higher, but that is irrelevant for the tax limits, so that is good for you.
  • Please seek advice if you are planning any large one off contributions, or increasing your additional voluntary contributions significantly. You can get advice from the Scheme over the phone, by calling 1300 307 844.
     

I'm off crook and I've run out of sick leave, what can I do?


Am I entitled to a benefit if I have an accident and for how long would the benefit be paid?

You are covered for anything that stops you working (except for Division 4 members). The benefit is not payable until you have used up your sick leave, and is payable for 12 months. If you are totally and permanently disabled you may be eligible for a lump sum benefit or long term pension.

I will be off work for 6 weeks after a knee reconstruction but only have limited paid sick leave - am I entitled to a temporary disability benefit?

Yes, for the period after your sick leave runs out. The sooner you let us know about your situation, the sooner we can assist you.

How do I claim for a temporary disability benefit?

Talk to your manager or HR, or contact the Scheme on 08 8224 6400, and we'll send you the forms. Temporary disability cover is not available to members of Division 4.

Early release of super benefits


I am having money troubles, what are the grounds for early release of super benefits?

Super usually has to stay in a fund until you retire from the workforce at or after age 55. However early release of super benefits is allowed under certain circumstances.

The early release of part of your superannuation benefit will reduce the amount of Scheme benefits you will receive in the future. EISS strongly recommends that you obtain independent financial planning advice before you apply to receive any funds from an early release payment. If you are receiving Centrelink benefits, you should also seek advice as to whether the release of any superannuation will impact on your ability to claim Centrelink benefits.

It's worth noting that the Scheme trustee only has to release as much as it believes you need, and the amount that is released must be supported by relevant documentation.

Early release due to severe financial hardship

You can apply to your Scheme for early release of your super if you are in severe financial hardship.

You can apply for one payment of up to an amount of $10,000 gross (before tax) in a 12-month period, provided that you:

  • Have been receiving a Commonwealth income support payment, continuously, for at least the last 26 weeks; and
  • Satisfy your Scheme Trustee that you are not able to meet reasonable and immediate family living expenses.
 

Different conditions apply if you have reached your preservation age plus 39 weeks. Please note that your preservation age depends on your date of birth. (If your date of birth is before 1 July 1960 your preservation age is 55, otherwise it will be older than this). In this case, you can apply for early release if you:

  • have been receiving a Commonwealth income support payment for a cumulative period of 39 weeks since you reached preservation age
  • are unemployed or employed for less than 10 hours per week at the time of your application
 

We will need a letter from Centrelink (dated not more than 21 days from the date of your application) confirming that you have been receiving a payment for the necessary number of weeks, along with a completed application form giving us some other details about your situation, and documentary evidence to support your application.

Early release on compassionate grounds

Your super may be released early to pay for:

  • medical treatment for you or a dependant
  • medical transport to enable you or a dependant to get to necessary treatment
  • changes to your home and/or vehicle which are needed because of severe disability (yours or a dependants)
  • palliative care or funeral expenses for you or a dependant
  • mortgage repayments to prevent your mortgagee from selling your home
 

How do I apply?

If you would like to apply for early release of part of your EISS benefits due to financial hardship or on compassionate grounds, please call the Scheme on 08 8224 6400 to find out details of the forms and supporting evidence that is required. Further information can also be found on the Department of Human Services website at the link shown here.

Please note that all applications and supporting documentation are to be forwarded to EISS for assessment (not the Department of Human Services).

Who gets my super if I die?


What's a beneficiary?

A beneficiary is a person that you want to get your superannuation after your death. If you are a member of Division 3 (Pension Scheme), the Scheme rules specify how a benefit will be paid on death (see question below). For other Divisions, members may nominate who they wish to receive the benefit. There is no obligation to do so.

Who can be a beneficiary?

If you nominate a beneficiary, they must be your 'Dependant' or legal personal representative (that is, the executor or administrator of your estate).

The definition of 'Dependant' is listed on the form for nominating your beneficiaries.

Any amounts paid to your estate would be distributed according to your will.

Can I split the benefit between my spouse and my children?

Depending on which Division you are in, yes. If your children are still young, then it may be better to leave the full benefit to your spouse to allow them to provide for the whole family. If your children are able to support themselves, you may leave them some or all of the benefit if you wish.

To split your death benefit, on the nomination form simply list all of the people you wish to split your benefit amongst, and the proportion of the benefit each is to get.

I am a Division 3 member, why can't I nominate my beneficiary?

The Rules for Division 3 specify different benefits according to whether or not you have a spouse (including defacto) and/or children. The Rules in this Division do not allow any leeway in specifying alternative beneficiaries.

How do I change/update my beneficiary?

The Nomination of Beneficiaries form is available on the Scheme website under Forms & publications in the menu.

How do I nominate my estate?

Write "My Estate" in the beneficiary section of the nomination form. This will make your intention clear, and the Board can pay your benefit as you wish.

What happens to the funds if my spouse and I die?

In this event, a benefit is generally payable to your estate.

Investment options


What investment options are available?

There are four investment options, ranging from all shares and property to all cash investments. More information can be found in the Member Investment Choice information sheet, which is available in the Forms & publications section of this website.

How do I change my investment options?

Forms are available in the Forms & publications section of this website. Fill in the form and return it to us.

Planning for retirement


I am planning for retirement are you able to offer advice?

Advice on simple matters about super is available over the phone from the Scheme at no cost. Simply ring us on 1300 307 844 and explain your issue. This may be about contributions, investments or insurance.

However, for complicated matters, we recommend you sit down with a financial planner and discuss all your issues (as this will involve a lot more than just your super). Planning for retirement covers not only your super, but:

  • What you want to do in retirement
  • How best to pay for it
  • Your spouse's super, Centrelink benefits and other investments


If you have a financial adviser, we are happy to work with you and them to make sure you get the most out of your super.

If you don't have a financial adviser, Mercer Financial Advisers have experience with helping Scheme members and understand the benefits. You can make an appointment with Mercer Financial Advisers to discuss your issues, and the first appointment is normally free of charge.

For more information on what to expect when seeing a financial planner, see our information flyer.

When you make an appointment, mention that you are a member of EISS.

Please note: EISS does not recommend, endorse or accept responsibility for this service, it is provided to assist members. Terms and conditions apply - these should be obtained from the organisation you contact. EISS does not accept liability for any loss or damage caused by the advice you receive. EISS does not receive any payment from any organisation as a result of members using their products and services.

Does EISS offer allocated pensions?

Yes. An allocated pension (also known as an income stream) is simply a bank account style pension that is paid from a super fund. The government requires that you receive a minimum amount each year (which goes up as you get older), but apart from that there are very few restrictions on them. You get interest on the balance, and you stop getting paid when the balance runs out. Contact the Scheme or your financial advisor for more information.

Can I access my funds as an income stream even though I am still working?

Yes, provided you are over your presevation age.

This is by a type of pension known as a Transition to Retirement pension. For more information, we suggest you ring the Scheme and discuss it with us.

Please note - This is complicated for members of Divisions 2, 3 and 4, so please give us a ring before making any decisions.

Is it best to retire at age 55 or 60 or is there little difference?

Generally, the longer you stay in the Scheme, the higher your benefit will be. What is better for you depends on your circumstances. This is a time for advice from a financial planner.

How is my lump sum payment treated by the taxation department?

If you are over 60, you don't pay any tax (how good is that!). Under 60, you may pay up to 16.5% tax. It will depend on your circumstances.

If I continue to work after leaving my employer, does this affect my super?

No.

Division 3 (Pension Scheme): I have a preserved pension. Can I convert some of the preserved pension to a lump sum?

Yes, at the time you ask to take it. You can convert any proportion of it to a lump sum (known as "commutation"). See the Pension Scheme member booklet (available in the Forms & Publications section of this website) for more detail.

Division 3 (Pension Scheme): Will I automatically receive my pension at 55 even though I am still employed?

No. You have to finish your job to get your pension. This doesn't mean you can't keep working, just that you have to end your current job.

Am I entitled to a 15% rebate on my pension?

Up to age 60, yes. After 60, no income tax is payable on money from super (and hence you don't need a rebate).

Division 3 (Pension Scheme) - Commutation

Please note that you have 3 months after retirement to notify the Scheme that you wish to commute all or part of your pension. "Retirement" is the date that your employment ends, and includes any annual leave that you take as a lump sum when you finish employment. Any pension payments you receive before you notify the Scheme that you want to commute will not be taken off your lump sum amount. That is, you can take the lump sum and 3 months worth of pension, if you want to take the risk that your circumstances may change before you notify the Scheme.

Rollovers


Can I rollover funds from another superannuation scheme into EISS?

Yes. We can accept funds from any other super scheme. You can do this either using one of our rollover forms (available from the Forms & publications section of this website) or by contacting your other scheme.

Alternatively, you can start an 'online rollover request' from your website record (look under 'Related links' on the 'Your super amount' page).


I've got lots of super accounts. How do I bring them together?


Putting your super together can save you money (as you don't have to pay separate fees), and time (as you know where everything is).

The first problem is finding the accounts. The tax office can help you here with a neat website called SuperSeeker. To access the site click here.

To find superannuation accounts, you need to provide:

  • your tax file number (TFN)
  • your family and given names
  • your date of birth.


This website can even help you transfer your super. All you need is to click on the button and provide the website with some details, and they'll provide a form to send to either EISS or the old fund.

The details you need to provide to the website to transfer super into EISS is:

  • Fund Name: Electricity Industry Superannuation Scheme
  • Fund phone number: 1300 307 844
  • Membership number: on your statement, or ring us and find out
  • Australian Business number: 57 923 283 236
  • Superannuation Product Identification Number: leave blank


You'll need a certified copy of your driver's licence or passport. This means taking a photocopy and having it signed as a true copy by a:

  • Police Officer
  • Justice of the Peace
  • Australia Post Office Employee (who has worked for the post office for at least two continuous years)
  • Barrister or Solicitor (who is enrolled on the roll of a State or Territory Supreme Court or the High Court of Australia, as a legal practitioner)
  • Finance Company Officer , (eg. a Bank Manager or Bank Employee who has worked for the company/ies for at least two continuous years)
  • Financial Institutions Officer (who has worked for the company/ies for at least two continuous years)
  • Officer with, or Authorised Representative of an Australian Financial Services Licensee (who has had at least two years continuous service with one or more licensees)
  • Notary Public Officer
  • Registrar or Deputy Registrar of a Court
  • Australian Consular Officer or Australian Diplomatic Officer
  • Judge or Magistrate of a Court
  • Chief Executive Officer of a Commonwealth Court
  • Accountant (who is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants or CPA Australia or the National Institute of Accountants, with at least two years continuous membership.


For example, most people at a local bank can sign, or pop into a police station or post office on your way past. The person signing will need to see both the copy and the original.

Then you just print out the form, attach the copy of your id, and send them off to either EISS at GPO Box 4303, Melbourne VIC 3001, or to your old fund.

You will need a separate form and a separate signed copy of your ID for each account that you want to transfer in. So if you have seven accounts, then you need seven forms.

Salaries


How do I update my current salary on the web site?

Your employer updates your salary by providing the Scheme with the information. The salary that appears on the website is the latest information that we have from your employer. If the salary on the website is not up to date, please contact your payroll department. If they have given your new salary to the Scheme, please check with us by ringing 1300 307 844.

Salary sacrifice / additional voluntary payments


What is salary sacrificing?

This is where your employer stops paying you an amount (say 6% of your salary) and pays it into your super account.

What are the benefits of salary sacrifice?

You may be able to save tax. Salary you take as cash is taxed at up to 46.5%. If you give up that salary and pay it into super, you will pay 15% contribution tax. That'll be it if you leave the money in a super fund until you are 60.

Get some advice on salary sacrifice by ringing the EISS on 1300 307 844 (no charge).

Is there a limit on what you can salary sacrifice

There is no limit as far as EISS is concerned, however you must be aware of the concessional contributions limits (refer to 'Contributions' questions earlier in the FAQ section).

Is interest earned on salary sacrifice amounts?

Yes. All members can salary sacrifice any member contributions.

Can I salary sacrifice into another scheme?

Depends on your employer.

Can I draw on my voluntary contributions?

Not until you leave the Scheme after age 55.

Can I salary sacrifice into my spouse account?

No. You can only pay post tax contributions into a spouse account.

Advice: If you want advice on whether or not salary-sacrifice contributions are right for you, ring the Scheme on 1300 307 844 and get some advice.

Statements


When do I receive my statement?

We aim to get your annual statement out by the end of September.

Why does it take so long?

There is a lot of work involved in making sure that our data and calculations are correct. Other funds can do it quicker, but they are often simpler benefits. The EISS benefits are more complicated, and we want to make sure we get it right. Up-to-date amounts are always accessible on our website.

I have misplaced my statement can I receive another copy?

Log into the member section of the website. On the 'Your super amount' page, your previous statements are available for viewing or printing on the right hand side.

Surcharge


What is surcharge?

It was an additional tax that the government put on superannuation contributions if your taxable income was above certain limits. It was removed in 2005.

Surcharge was a tax on you, that was paid by the Scheme. Previous assessments have been paid by the Scheme, so these assessments (plus interest) still have to be deducted from your benefit.

Do Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) offset my surcharge?

Yes. You can also set your surcharge account to zero now if you have sufficient funds in your AVC account. If you have been hit with the surcharge in the past, you would have received a letter in early 2008 about this.

Does my employer pay the surcharge on my behalf?

No.

Total Employment Costs (TEC's)


Is a TEC beneficial as far as superannuation is concerned?

It depends on how the cost of your super fits in with your overall remuneration. You may need to seek professional financial advice on that question. The Scheme can provide information but not advice on such matters.

Transfers


I am transferring to the Government, can I take my funds and put them in the SA Government Scheme?

Yes. You need to talk to Super SA about transferring in.

I am transferring to the Government can I leave my funds in EISS?

Yes.

I am leaving SA Power Networks and commencing with Alinta, do I rollover my funds?

It depends on what part of the Scheme you are in, and what conditions you were employed under. Contact the Scheme for more information.

What is the difference with the contributions when I transfer to the Government?

None, but you should check the conditions of the transfer carefully.

Can I transfer my account to another fund?

Yes, if you are in the Accumulation Scheme. If you are in another part of the Scheme, not until you leave employment.

Can I transfer my spouse membership funds into another scheme?

Yes. Contact the Scheme on 1300 307 844 for more details.

If I transfer to another electricity employer in another state can I still contribute in EISS?

If your new employer is happy to pick up the employer cost. You will need to talk to them first, and make sure that they are ok with that. You may need to provide them with details of the Scheme, especially if you are in the Lump Sum, Pension or RG Schemes.

Website access - PIN number


What is my PIN?


If you have not got a PIN, or you have lost it, and you've provided your email address to the Scheme, you can update your PIN online by clicking the 'Reset your PIN' link from the sign in box on the homepage. If you don't know your member number or the Scheme doesn't have your current email address, contact the Scheme Helpline on 1300 307 844.

Where can I obtain more information on Super and money matters?


Below are two trustworthy sources of information we recommend:

SuperGuru
http://www.superguru.com.au/

Super Guru is an independent website with essential information and tools designed to help Australians better understand and maximise their superannuation.

MoneySmart
https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/

Calculators and tips to help you make better financial decisions from ASIC and the Australian Government. Simple guidance you can trust.

 
 

Electricity Industry Superannuation Board ABN 57 923 283 236 as Trustee of the Electricity Industry Superannuation Scheme.

This website is provided by Mercer Outsourcing (Australia) Pty Ltd (MOAPL) ABN 83 068 908 912, Australian Financial Services Licence #411980. The Trustee pays a fee for the provision of this service, however this fee is not conditional on you using this service or acting on the information or advice provided through this service. 'MERCER' is a registered trademark of Mercer (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 32 005 315 917. Copyright 2016 Mercer LLC. All rights reserved.