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Frequently asked questions

For information relating to Coronavirus COVID-19 and your Protect account use the links below:

Search through answers to commonly asked questions below, or jump straight to your area of interest:

For further assistance contact the Protect Member Services Team.

Frequently asked questions

Severance

When you separate from your employer

If you lose your job or stop work for any reason, you can make a claim from your Protect account. These reasons may include:

  • Termination
  • Resignation
  • Redundancy*
  • Promotion to an above award position, or 'off the tools'
  • Retirement
  • Death

If your employment ceases, an initial claim can be made from your online Protect account via the yellow worker log in button on each page of our website, or from the Protect phone App, at any time of day.

For all other claims, please call us to discuss your circumstances so that we can assist you with any necessary paperwork.

* Only a payment for a genuine redundancy is eligible for the tax-free limit, all other termination event payments are taxed according to ATO rules.

The reason for leaving employment otherwise known as the 'termination event', dictates the tax applied. 

*The tax free threshold for the 2019/2020 financial year is $10,638 for the initial year, and $5,320 for each full year of service with your employer.

Use the App

An initial severance claim can be made via:

  1. The Protect App or
  2. Your online Protect account

Claims made via these online options can be made at any time of day and are the quickest and simplest avenues for accessing your entitlements.

Exception:

For all subsequent claims, please call us so that we can help you with any necessary paperwork.

Need help?

Our Member Services Team can help step you through the process phone 1300  344 249 or email info@protect.net.au 

The application form is online

To help counter the financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 Coronavirus, Protect has been granted approval by the Tax Office to make a hardship payment to workers from their account balance in the event that you are stood down without pay and are not relying on other forms of payment (annual leave or long service leave), and you remain employed. Where a worker is terminated and is unemployed, a termination or redundancy payment would apply.

Access the application form here

The Protect update is online

Information relating to Protect severance and coronavirus COVID-19 can be found at this news link:

Protect Severance - Coronavirus COVID-19 Update

Redundancy and termination initial claim limit is $6,500

Due to the impact of the coronavirus some changes have been introduced to smooth cash flow while maintaining workers’ full entitlements. We expect these to be temporary measures to assist in dealing with an expected large increase in claims.

Initial claims due to termination or redundancy will be paid to a limit of $6,500.

Subsequent claims will be paid up to a limit of $10,000. If you remain unemployed for a period of 35 days (5 weeks) the balance of your account will be paid out in instalments, 5 weeks apart.

Tax free redundancy payments are now aligned with the age pension qualifying age

Tax free redundancy payments are now aligned with the age pension qualifying age

As of 1 July 2019, you are eligible to receive tax free redundancy claims up to your age pension age.

Claims on a Protect account due to genuine redundancy attracts a tax free component, based on the person’s length of service with their employer. Previously you could only benefit from this if you were under the age of 65. However, new legislation has extended the age limit to match an individual’s age pension qualifying age, which means those working longer in life are no longer exempt from the tax benefits of being made redundant.

No - you can make a retrospective claim

With Protect you don’t have to be unemployed to make a claim on your Protect severance account. If you’re in new employment you can make a retrospective claim from a previous employer.

The Member Services Team

The Member Services Team

1300 344 249

Our Australian based Member Services Team is available to answer all queries relating to your Protect account. Calling 1300 344 249 will also grant you access to our Field Officers who are able to visit you in person should you require that level of assistance.

Email: info@protect.net.au

Within 5 days

Payment will be made to your account within five business days of receiving your initial severance claim, provided your claim is accepted. 

Tax is determined by your termination event

*The tax free threshold for the 2019/2020 financial year is $10,638 for the initial year, and $5,320 for each full year of service with your employer.

Claims above the tax free threshold are taxed at 32% if below the preservation age and 17% if above.

Other payments and Government Benefits

Your Protect severance payment may affect other Commonwealth Government benefits, such as the family tax benefit, childcare benefit and private health insurance rebate. You should consult your financial advisor, the Australian Tax Office or Centrelink for advice on how your personal circumstances may be affected.

Additional tax information

Late termination payments

We are legally required to withhold 47% tax from all severance claims made beyond 12 months of your retirement/termination date.

This law does not apply to redundancy claims.


Eligible Termination Payment Cap

Concessional tax rates of 32% (or 17% if you have reached your preservation age) only apply to the first $210,000 of all Eligible Termination Payments. Beyond this cap we are required to withhold 47% tax.


Deceased Claim Tax Rates

If you die, payments from your Protect severance account are generally not taxed if the beneficiaries are your financial dependents or your estate.

If your beneficiaries are not your financial dependents, 32% tax will generally apply to the payment from your account.


Whole-of-Income Cap

Any payment received not resulting from redundancy may also be subject to higher taxation via your personal tax return, if your taxable income plus this payment exceeds $180,000.

Please consult your financial advisor if you believe this may apply to you.

The tax free limit on redundancy payments

A genuine redundancy payment is tax-free up to a certain limit, based on the number of whole years of service you've completed with your employer.

For the 2019/20 financial year, the limit is:

$10,638 plus $5,320 for each complete year of service

Example of savings:

  • Jim has a balance of $7,000 in his Protect account
  • He is under 65 years old
  • He has been with his current contributing employer for two and a half years

When Jim is made redundant he lodges a claim with Protect. Jim is entitled to a tax-free redundancy payment of up to $21,278. Calculated as: ($10,638 + [2 x $5,320])
Therefore the entire balance of Jim’s account will be paid out to him tax-free.

No

All retirement claims are subject to tax as determined by the Australian Taxation Office. The only 'termination event' (reason for employment ending), that attracts a tax free component is genuine redundancy. 

It depends on your date of birth

It depends on your date of birth

Your preservation age is generally the age that you can retire and access your superannuation or other retirement-related benefits. Your preservation age depends on your date of birth and affects the rate of tax you will pay on a severance claim.

Protect members who have retired and are over their preservation age may claim their entire severance balance.

It depends on your date of birth

It depends on your date of birth

Your preservation age is generally the age that you can retire and access your superannuation or other retirement-related benefits. Your preservation age depends on your date of birth and affects the rate of tax you will pay on a severance claim.

Protect members who have retired and are over their preservation age may claim their entire severance balance.

No, there is now just one Protect account

Protect has one severance account that combines the best features of our old genuine redundancy (GRA) and termination (TER) accounts. The new account allows you to claim at any time that you leave employment AND it offers the best tax rates rates applicable to your termination event.

Members are not required to do anything to take advantage of this change. If you previously had a TER or GRA account you now have the new account in place and your membership number remains the same.

Why did Protect roll the two account types in to one account?

Protect were proudly the first severance scheme to offer members a choice of account types so workers could either claim in a wide range of circumstances OR choose a redundancy only account that allowed for a tax free component. In December 2019 however, we obtained Australian Tax Office approval to combine the benefits of both accounts in to one account allowing us to pay severance claims to workers based on the event which caused their employment to terminate. 

More options

You will still be able to access tax free initial claims on a genuine redundancy. In addition, you will be able to lodge a claim should you resign, or your employment is terminated for any reason other than redundancy. Under the old account, you were unable to access your severance if your employment terminated for any reason other than redundancy or retirement now you can!

Members are not required to do anything to take advantage of the change to one account type. Your Protect member number remains the same.

Potential for tax savings

Previously all claims payable on a TER account, were subject to tax. Under the new rules, if your employment terminates due to a genuine redundancy, your initial claim will be paid tax free.

Members are not required to do anything to take advantage of the change to one account type. Your Protect member number remains the same.

Claims lodged prior to the change are processed under the old tax rules

All initial claims processed before the change was implemented, are under the old claiming rules. Therefore, should you lodge a subsequent claim for the balance of your account, that claim will be treated under the old claiming rules.

Questions? Give us a call on 1300 344 249.

Income protection

Protect administers insurance products for ATC Insurance Solutions. Once your claim form is complete keep a copy and deliver the original to:

ATC Insurance Solutions
Level 4, 451 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: 03 9258 1770
Freecall: 1800 994 694
Email: info@atcis.com.au

Download a claim form

Protect administers insurance products for ATC Insurance Solutions. You can go directly to the ATC site for comprehensive information about claiming, or simply access the relevant claim form here:

Lodge your claim form

Once completed, keep a copy and deliver the original to:

ATC Insurance Solutions
Level 4, 451 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: 03 9258 1770
Freecall: 1800 994 694
Email: info@atcis.com.au

Here to help

Here to help

Sections of your claim form will need to be completed by you and others by your employer or medical practitioner. If you strike a hurdle, don't be shy in giving us a call. The Protect Field Team are independent of the insurer and work with members to ensure claims progress as smoothly as possible. Officers can visit you at home, at work, or at the hospital if need be, to assist you with your claim.

(Pictured L-R) Field Officers, Brett, Joyce, Glenn, Gary (not pictured, Craig and John) can be contacted via our Member Services Team on 1300 344 249. You can also leave a message for any one of them through their direct contacts linked below.

Field Team contacts

Please speak to your accountant or financial advisor as we are not permitted to provide members with financial advice.

The Protect Field Team

The Protect Field Team

Here to help

The Protect Field Team are independent of the insurer and work with members to ensure claims progress as smoothly as possible. (Pictured L-R) Field Officers, Brett, Joyce, Glenn, Gary (not pictured, Craig and John) can be contacted via our Member Services Team on 1300 344 249. You can also leave a message for any one of them through their direct contacts linked below.

Field Team contacts

The Protect update is online

Information relating to Protect severance and coronavirus COVID-19 can be found at this news link:

Protect Severance - Coronavirus COVID-19 Update

Income protection brochures are available by industry

Electrical 

Download

Standard Injury and Sickness Cover

Fire Rescue 

Download

Firefighter Injury & Illness Cover

Metals 

Download

AMWU Injury Cover

Copies of Protect Injury and Sickness Wording and Product Disclosure Statements can be requested from ATC Insurance Solutions.

View contributions via the App or your online account

View contributions via the App or your online account

Contributions can be tracked via the 'contributions' tab on the App (pictured left) or by viewing 'allocated contributions' on the workers portal (pictured right).

Register for our online services so that you can access your account via our website and the Protect App.  Please contact the Member Services Team on 1300 344 249 to arrange the initial registration. 

Once you have registered and received a password from us, you can view your account by logging in to the Protect workers portal using the yellow 'workers login' button on the top of each page of this website.

Download the Protect App and log in using the same password.

Accidental dental injury that occurs outside of work

Members with Protect's income protection insurance cover, and their dependent family members, are covered for accidental dental injuries that occur outside of work however, cover is not provided for normal maintenance of dental health. Up to four claims per family are permitted each year. 

What happens if I suffer a dental injury at work?

Workers compensation provides protection for work-related injuries. 

For more comprehensive information on your dental cover please download your industry income protection brochure, available above or from your industry page, or speak to one of our Field Officers.

Counselling

Phone 1300 725 881

Phone 1300 725 881

Call Protect Counselling on 1300 725 881 (free call) for immediate access to our independent counselling service. 

The service operates Australia-wide, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is available to Protect employers, workers and their immediate family, irrespective of your industry via a free phone service. Free face-to-face sessions at an independent location are also available, as well as on-site counselling services in response to emergency situations.

Yes

Yes

Protect Counselling is available to all immediate family members: 1300 725 881

Your family may also make free use of the Hunterlink online ‘Counselling Portal’ for access to self-assessment tools, information on work-related, personal and mental well-being matters.

Login with the password: Protect

Over the phone or face-to-face

Counselling is provided by trained professionals both over the phone and through face-to-face sessions. Male and female counsellors are available and this free, confidential service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is accessible Australia-wide.

Face-to-face sessions can be arranged near you. Protect Counselling has access to more than 170 qualified professionals throughout Australia, including regional centres.

No referral required

You do not need a referral to access Protect counselling. There is no wait time and every call is answered by a professional counsellor.

A resource for members

Members can access the Hunterlink online ‘Counselling Portal’ for access to self-assessment tools, information on work-related, personal and mental well-being matters.

Login with the password: Protect

Please note - the portal is part of Protect’s overall counselling service offering, however we strongly encourage you to call 1300 725 881 (free call) as your first priority.

The Protect App

The App Store

For Apple users:

Google Play

For Android users:

It's a handy tool for worker members

It's a handy tool for worker members

Keep track of your account

The Protect App can be found on Google Play and at the App Store. It's a tool for workers that lets you keep on top of your account. It's especially handy for those with a severance account because the simplest way to lodge an initial claim is through the App. 

  • Check your current account balance
  • Track employer contributions, paid or outstanding
  • View your employment history
  • Lodge an initial severance claim
  • View your severance claims history
  • Display your membership card
  • Change your account password
  • Check the latest Protect and industry news
  • View and update personal contact details
  • Contact us

You need to register before first use so give the Member Services Team a call on 1300 344 249 to get you set up with a password.

Your Protect Account

Protect benefits have been negotiated into your workplace agreement

Your employer has registered you with Protect because they are paying severance contributions and/or income protection insurance premiums to us on your behalf. The amounts paid will be in accordance with the terms of the industrial agreement that determines your pay and conditions, such as your enterprise bargaining agreement.

Severance or income protection contribution amounts differ for Protect members working under different agreements. You can contact your employer to access your agreement, or search via the Fair Work Commission website.

Only people registered by a Protect contributing employer can become worker members of Protect.

Expect a welcome pack and membership card

Within three weeks of being registered, worker members will receive a membership card in the mail plus information on the new benefits your employer has afforded you. You may be eligible for a severance account, income protection or both. All members have access to free counselling.

Do I have to do anything?

All you have to do is give us a call to set up online access to your account. Our Australian based Member Services Team is available during AEST office hours Monday to Friday on 1300 344 249

Once registered you can access your Protect account at any time by using the yellow 'workers login' button at the top of this page to access the worker portal. The same log in details will give you access to the Protect App.

Sometimes, but you'll need to check

Sometimes, but you'll need to check

Eligibility is determined by your Agreement

Agreements that include income protection for non-apprentices will usually also include it for apprentices. Entitlement to severance contributions however, depends on your workplace agreement. In the electrical contracting industry, for example, it's usually only after completing your apprenticeship that you are entitled to receive severance payments.

Please check with your union or give us a call to determine your eligibility. Call or email our Member Services Team on 1300 344 249 or via info@protect.net.au

Option 1

Update via your online account

Once you have registered for online account access by calling our Member Services Team, simply follow these steps to update your contact details:

  1. Log in to the members portal using the yellow 'workers login' button available at the top of every page of this website
  2. From the dropdown menu at the top left of the screen, select 'Account Details / Balance'
  3. Select 'Edit Account Details' at the top of the screen
  4. Update your details as required
  5. Press 'Submit'

 

Option 2

Use the Protect App

If you've registered for online access, your password will also log you in to the Protect App. To update your contacts:

  1. Navigate to 'Account Details / Balance
  2. Select ' Contact Details'
  3. Touch on the details displayed on the right to edit your contact details
  4. Press 'save' at the top right of the screen

 

Download the Protect App:

     

 

Unfortunately no

Unfortunately no

EMPLOYERS JOIN PROTECT AND SIGN UP THEIR  EMPLOYEES AS WORKER MEMBERS

Protect is limited to accepting contributions made under an industrial agreement and cannot accept registration of, or contributions from, individuals. This maintains the Fringe Benefits Tax exempt status of severance contributions to Protect, as an Australian Tax Office recognised Approved Worker Entitlement Fund. Protect income protection insurance is only offered as community cover, keeping premiums down and coverage up.

For more information:

Speak to your union for information on negotiating Protect into your workplace agreement.

Employers interested in joining can use our online enquiry form to kick off the application process or contact our Employer Relations Manager.

COVID-19 Employer FAQs

Our Employer Relations Manager

We appreciate many businesses will be experiencing financial hardship during these unprecedented times. Therefore, should you have any hardship concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our Employer Relations Manager via email joyce@protect.net.au to discuss your options. We will attempt to assist you as best we can in consideration of your circumstances.

Severance contributions may be waived

Should a workplace be shut down due to COVID-19 coronavirus, severance contributions will not be payable during this time, where workers retain their employment but cannot attend work. This may be subject to any conditions specific to your EBA.

You must continue paying premiums

In order for the insurance policy to continue to provide insurance coverage for employees in the event they become sick or injured while stood down from work, it is important that employers continue to pay their insurance contributions.

We appreciate many businesses will be experiencing financial hardship during these unprecedented times. Therefore, should you have concerns regarding the payment of your contributions, please do not hesitate to contact our Employer Relations Manager via email joyce@protect.net.au to discuss your options. We will attempt to assist you as best we can in consideration of your circumstances.

 

The date of shut down & employment status of workers

If shutting down is inevitable, please advise us of the shut down date via email info@protect.net.au so that we can adjust your account as applicable. For example, removing the severance contribution obligation.

If you are in a position where you must let staff go, please terminate them from your online Protect account on the day of termination. This will expedite payments to workers in a difficult time.

Workers may be eligible for a hardship payment

To help counter the financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 Coronavirus, Protect has been granted approval by the Tax Office to make a hardship payment to workers from their account balance in the event that they are stood down without pay and are not relying on other forms of payment (annual leave or long service leave), and they remain employed. Where a worker is terminated and is unemployed, a termination or redundancy payment would apply.

Hardship payments are available from 27 March, 2020. Workers can complete the hardship application form on the Protect website.

The policy does not contain any exclusions related to a pandemic

The Protect Injury & Sickness Policy (the Policy) provides income support for financial members who are declared unfit for work by a medical practitioner due to a covered injury or illness.

The Policy does not contain any exclusions, provisions or limitations specifically related to a pandemic virus that you might find in other insurance policies. Generally speaking, if a Protect member were to contract the virus and became unable to work as a result then it is likely that the Policy will be able to assist, even if symptoms are mild.

As is the case with all claims, we will require medical evidence to confirm the diagnosis. Claims for COVID-19 will require a copy of positive test results. This documentation can be obtained from the doctor/clinic/hospital that conducted the test(s).

Claims should be submitted via email or fax

Please note: all claims are subject to a waiting period of typically 14 or 30 days where no benefits are payable.

If a member is unsure if a claim will be covered, we suggest submitting a claim for consideration. Our focus is always to assist where we can.

To protect our staff, we ask that where possible, all claims be submitted to our office via email to info@atcis.com.au or fax to 03 9867 5540. Please do not advise workers to attend the ATC or Protect office to drop off paperwork or post paperwork if they have, or suspect they may have, COVID-19.

The policy applies to those who are sick or injured

Income protection covers instances where a member can’t work because they’re sick or injured. If you are shutting down, or reducing your hours, the Policy is unfortunately unable to assist workers because in these circumstances they're not sick or injured.

No - but service continues

Even though new Government measures to control the spread of Coronavirus require us to close our office, Protect staff are working remotely and our services continue.

How to stay in touch

Free confidential counselling 1300 725 881

During this time of concern for health, employment and finances, employer and worker members are reminded that you have access to Protect's independent free counselling service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Face to face sessions have ceased for the time being however phone and online services are running.

Didn't find your answer? Submit a question or get in touch

Email & Phone

Email: info@protect.net.au
Phone: 1300 344 249