It was going to cost the insurer $5000. It was going to cost the fund $5000. And the insurer said I’m not spending the money. So that fell over. That’s going back to probably 1998. But I think the whole purpose is, if we can actually project and look at and record statistics and reduce our suicides, that’s hitting your bottom line. That’s why this program is so important – we can actually reach out to the members.

Greg Bright: Greg Staunton, funds are in a tight environment, returns matter, and costs are being cut. Can insurance and its communication to members remain a priority?

Greg Staunton: The trustees do have a problem of where does their priority lie for retirement funding and how does insurance fit within that. And as Michael said, just on one claim, it’s not just that person. The family could finish up being disabled – someone else is out of work because they’re worried about someone else. So it has a cascading impact on incomes and it flows through to different members’ accounts over and beyond just the individual.

We know lost work days is huge as a result of those things. I guess it comes back to what is the trustees’ role and those trustees have to format where insurance sits within their spectrum. Obviously death and disability is ceasing that capacity to fund that retirement. But that’s a minority of the group, and should the majority subsidise that? That’s a balance that’s got to be struck.

Helen Hewett: I think there’s a great opportunity here at the moment for funds to be able to distinguish themselves through other added value for members. So no one would be too thrilled about having front page stories about minus or near minus returns.

I think it’s actually a good opportunity to look at some of these other things and I think research shows that members find it very hard to compare the terms because they don’t tend to compare over a long period of time. They find it impossible to compare fees. But they do find it much easier to make a decision based on “I’ve got good service where I am and everything’s going okay”, or “I’ve got lousy service”.

So I think there’s good opportunities through the work that funds are doing now to improve the bottom line when it comes to the cost of insurance and make a really good contribution to doing good things for members by making people more aware of mental illness and educating people.

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