In the second of a series of four roundtables on mental health and superannuation, the industry participants and mental health experts discussed the major problem of schizophrenia, the results of interventionist programs in mental health problems and the issues associated with death and total and permanent disability insurance.

The roundtables have been sponsored by CommInsure and organised in conjunction with Industry Funds Forum. Participants at the roundtable were:

Dr Vaughn Carr, chief executive, Schizophrenia Research Institute and director of the Centre for Brain and Mental Health Research at the University of Newcastle

Donald MacDonald, life governor, Schizophrenia Research Institute

Graham Long, pastor, The Wayside Chapel • Greg Staunton, director, group risk, IFS Insurance Broking

Simon Swanson, managing director, CommInsure

Frank Crapis, executive wholesale product manager, Comminsure

Julie-Ann MacCormick, senior rehabilitation consultant, CommInsure

Antonella Formosa, program director, Industry Funds Forum

Ian Morante, fund secretary, Nationwide Super Fund

Frank Briggs, business development and insurance manager, Asset Super

Michael Rooney, general manager, operations, Print Super

Gerard Parlevliet, general manager, OSF Trustee Services, Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Bernard O’Connor, assistant chief executive and manager administration, NGS Super

Cheryl Heath, member education manager, HESTA

Helen Connealy, fund raising and partnerships director, Schizophrenia Research Institute

Greg Bright, publisher Investment & Technology

Colin Tate, executive director,

Super fund trustees have been concerned for several years about mental health problems with many of their members. Mental health related claims on funds, either because of suicide or through total and permanent disability (TPD) or income protection insurance claims, are astonishingly high.

For some funds, up to 20 per cent of death claims are the result of suicide. While there are no precise figures available – and what figures there are probably understate the problem – the average appears to be about 12 per cent.

Similarly, a small proportion of TPD claims is due to mental illness, although according to figures from IFS Insurance Broking, in at least one fund about 33 per cent of all TPD claims in a certain period were related to mental illness. In other funds in a small survey, about 5 per cent of TPD claims were related to mental illness.

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