There are many reasons why you might take time out from work – some voluntary or some perhaps not by choice. You may be caring for others or for yourself, taking a career break to study or travel, in between roles or simply enjoying time away from the daily work routine.

In some cases, taking time out from work may also mean your super gets a 'time out' from receiving regular contributions from your employer. So it’s important to take this into consideration and what impact it might have over the longer term.

Women, career breaks and super

Time out of the workforce can often have a significant impact on the super savings of women, particularly where there may be more than one break in a career for things like parental leave.

If you're in a similar situation, there are several things you may want to consider to help avoid the super gap:

If your time-out is to care for a new child coming into your family, this will be an exciting time for you. And while it’s probably not the time you’ll want to think about it, it's important to make sure you protect your new family circumstances. Find out more about insurance cover, including our life events option, as well as updating your beneficiaries.

Consider any impact to insurance cover

Your insurance cover will generally continue regardless of whether you are working or not, or whether an employer is contributing to your account, but there are things to be aware of if you are considering time out from work.

One of the most important aspects is maintaining enough money in your account to maintain any insurance cover. If there’s not enough money in your super account to cover your monthly insurance premiums when they become due, your cover may lapse. Consider topping up your super balance if you want your insurance cover to continue.

If you are travelling overseas, your insurance cover in Accumulate Plus will generally apply worldwide. However, you generally need to be living in Australia at the time you apply for any new cover, and in the event of a claim, you may need to return to Australia for assessment if required by the insurer.

Other useful resources

    Super calculator

    Try this handy calculator to help see how much super you may have at retirement and how fees may affect your final balance. (Source: ASIC MoneySmart)

    How to break the super glass ceiling

    Different work patterns and incomes mean that Australians don’t end up with the same super balances when they retire. (Source: CommBank)

    Super contributions optimiser

    Work out the best way to grow your nest egg. (Source: ASIC MoneySmart)

    Taking time off to travel? 3 gap-year super tips

    Travelling is a priceless life experience, but being finance and super-savvy can ease the impact it has on your savings later on. (Source: CommBank)

    Life events

    It's your life and your money. Here are some money tips to help you when facing big financial or life decisions. (Source: ASIC MoneySmart)