There are many reasons why you might take time out from work – some voluntary or maybe some that aren’t by choice. You may be caring for others or for yourself, taking a career break to study or travel, 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 bigger effect on the super savings of women, particularly where you may have more than one break in your career for things like parental leave.

But 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 things going wrong, it is an important time 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 a couple of things to be aware of if you are considering time out from work.

One of the most important aspects is whether there will continue to be 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. In this case you’ll need to top 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

    How to make the most of a career break

    Look for the point midway between ‘a change is as good as a rest’ and ‘you’re never too old to learn’ and you’ll find the career study break. (Source: Colonial First State)

    Planning calculator

    Try this handy calculator to help see how your time off work may affect your super. (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)

    Women & super

    In this short video, we explore why women tend to have less in super savings than men and how to bridge the gap. (Source: Commonwealth Bank Group Super)

    How to take a career break without hurting your super

    Whether you’ve decided to travel, study, be a carer, raise a family or simply escape the daily grind, taking a career break doesn’t necessarily have to set back your super savings. (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)