Newspaper icon
The latest issue of Financial Standard now available as an e-newspaper
Legalsuper appoints executive, increases premiums

The $4 billion industry super fund has welcomed a new executive manager of member experience formerly of Cbus. It comes as the fund prepares to also increase insurance premiums for its almost 40,000-strong membership.

Carrie Norman has joined legalsuper as executive manager, member experience, effective today. The role was previously held by Patsy Mullen-Conolly, who joined the fund in 2016 after six years at FIIG Securities.

Norman was most recently deputy group executive, member and employer experience at Cbus, prior to which she was head of customer experience.

She has previously held a number of roles with ESSSuper over eight years and also spent eight years with State Trustees.

The appointment comes as the fund notifies members of increases to insurance premiums across death and TPD, death only and salary continuance.

From November 1, the cost of death and TPD cover will rise from $1.95 per unit per week to $2.64 per unit per week - up 35.4%. The cost of death only will go from $1.37 per unit per week to $1.86 per unit per week - an increase of 35.6%.

Fixed cover insurance fees will also go up depending on age and gender.

The fund said the increases are a result of the Protecting Your Super and Putting Members Interests First legislative changes.

The fund also cites the Early Release of Superannuation scheme as a driver, with APRA stats out today showing legalsuper has paid about $50 million out under the scheme through 5862 applications - almost half of which were repeat applications.

The amount paid equates to about 1.2% of the fund's $4.1 billion in funds under management.

legalsuper chief executive Andrew Proebstl told Financial Standard that while the impact of the ERS scheme is at the lower end of the scale, there have been some lower balance members that have wiped out their savings, reducing the pool of members paying for insurance.

"It's not a high level of impact ... most of the members in our fund are support staff in legal firms. In our experience, the applications for early release have tended to be younger members and smaller legal practices," he said.

Proebstl added that the premium changes reflect the changes in the broader insurance industry, but the fund still engaged Rice Warner to conduct an independent review of the increases proposed by OnePath to ensure a robust process.

Proebstl flagged that its group insurance mandate will likely be put to tender down the line following a review of its insured benefit design. The last time a thorough review was undertaken was in 2005, he said.

"We feel it's timely. The landscape now is really different to what it was and we need to ensure our offering meets the changing needs of our members ... It's early days, we're talking to two different insurance consultants," he said.

"One aspect we might include is member research, focus groups with members to better understand what they're looking for from their super fund in terms of insurance cover."

He said the fund hasn't officially decided it will go to tender, but said if the review results in a new design that better suits the fund's members going forward, it is "highly likely" that the review includes running a tender.

Read more: LegalsuperCbusSuperannuationAndrew ProebstlCarrie NormanEarly Release of SuperannuationFIIG SecuritiesFinancial StandardOnePathPatsy Mullen-ConollyRice WarnerState Trustees
Link to something ySiz1U49