What’s happening at NEOS?
Since my last update, we’ve had a pricing change to Encompass Protection which had an instant impact – tripling recommendations and moving NEOS Life into the second position for new business IRESS recommendations.
We’re continuing to build and improve the NEOS Life Platform and the future is looking very bright so watch this space!
What’s happening in the market?
I find myself as optimistic as I’ve ever been when it comes to the financial advice industry. Michelle Levy has got my attention and her professional planner interview two weeks ago was really encouraging (I still have more questions than answers though). If you missed it, you can listen to the ifa podcast.
What advice trends am I seeing?
Since the launch of the new IP products in October 2021, we have seen the take up rate of the Superannuation Contribution Option increase 10 fold to 25%, as advisers increasingly focus on protecting their client’s retirement. Interestingly, the take up rate of the IP Booster benefit (which increases the benefit amount by 20% for the first six months of claim) is only 0.84% across the industry since 1 October 2021. Though the benefit materially eases the cashflow impact on customers when first on claim, we suspect the take up rate is affected by affordability issues.
My partner and I are heading off to Bali at the end of October (childless – yay) to see a few wedding venues. While I’m looking forward to the four days of rest, something tells me that wedding planning may not be that relaxing.
Finally, if there’s anything that I or my team can do to help, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’ll be happy to assist.
Thank you for your continued support and partnership, it’s greatly appreciated and not taken for granted. We look forward to continuing these relationships into the future.
ANNUAL MEMBER STATEMENTS
On 30 September we sent annual member statements to clients who hold cover through the Protect Super Plan or Protect Super Plan 2.
All Encompass Protection and NEOS Protection clients that paid premiums during the last financial year have been sent a statement.
DDO REPORTING DEADLINE THIS WEEK
A reminder that the Design and Distribution Obligations (DDO) significant dealings and complaints reporting is due by 12 October 2022.
If you’ve been made aware of a significant dealing or received any complaints about a NEOS product during the reporting period, you must report this to NEOS within 10 business days of becoming aware. NEOS will inform the Insurer or Trustee accordingly. Please note this applies to both general advice and personal advice business.
We’ve outlined the types of significant dealings and the process for distributors to report significant dealings to NEOS on our website neoslife.com.au/compliance.
You can also email the details of a significant dealing to email@example.com.
Be sure to include the following information:
|Date(s) of the significant dealing||Include both:
|Description of the significant dealing||Describe the significant dealing, including why it’s not consistent with the TMD.|
|Why the dealing is significant||Describe why the distributor considered the dealing to be significant.|
|How the significant dealing was identified||For example, the significant dealing may have been identified through the distributor’s product governance arrangements or as a result of a consumer complaint.|
|What steps, if any, have been, or will be, taken in relation to the significant dealing||Include details as relevant.|
How to submit a complaints report to NEOS:
Distributors who have received complaints about a NEOS product between 1 April 2022 and 30 September 2022 can submit a complaints report to NEOS via our website, by following these three steps:
- Download the complaints reporting template from our website
- Add the details of each complaint to the report
3. Email the completed report to firstname.lastname@example.org
ENCOMPASS PROTECTION PRICING AND PRODUCT UPDATES
We updated our lump sum premium rates for Encompass Protection on 9 September 2022.
This means you should now find Encompass Protection easier to recommend for most of your clients. A summary of the new discounts and the upcoming product changes are below.
Summary of new discounts
The new pricing is available on all new quotes.
To ensure our adviser portal continues to provide the responsive service advisers are used to, all quotes created prior to this date will be expired on the evening of 9 November 2022.
Later this month, we’ll be writing to your clients about some improvements and changes that may apply to their existing Encompass Protection policies. The improvements will be effective from 28 October 2022. An updated PDS and Adviser Guide will be available on this date.
The key improvements and changes are outlined below.
|Income Protection (in super only)||Introduction of Supplementary Income Protection Insurance
Due to super legislation, if your client is unemployed prior to becoming disabled, they may not be entitled to be paid an Income Protection benefit in super. However, if this happens, Supplementary Income Protection Insurance applies.
Supplementary Income Protection Insurance provides identical benefits as the Income Protection Cover in super, including any optional benefits. If no benefit is payable under the Income Protection Cover in super because your client has not satisfied the requirement for temporary incapacity solely because they are not gainfully employed at the time of disability, we will assess if we can pay them a benefit under Supplementary Income Protection Insurance. Supplementary Income Protection Insurance is provided by the Insurer directly to the insured person and doesn’t involve the super trustee.
|Income Protection (all policies)||Benefit adjustments
The policy wording has been improved so that income protection insurances that were disclosed at the time of application will not be offset against your client’s monthly benefit.
Other changes and clarifications
|Income Protection (all policies)||Working during the waiting period
The policy wording has been updated to clarify that your client can return to work during the waiting period, as long as they meet the requirements of the waiting period definition.
|All policies||Australian resident definition
The policy wording has been updated to reflect the current Australian Government working visa requirements.
Let’s get your clients covered!
OUR ACCREDITED SHORT-FORM WEBINARS ARE BACK!
Don’t miss our popular short-form webinars – helping you better understand what NEOS is all about, and how we can help you get the best for your clients. We also want to help with your CPD hours.
To do that, we’re bringing back our regular webinars from our growing library of accredited presentations. Each topic will give you the opportunity to hear from a subject matter expert, and the ability to ask questions directly of them.
Visit our events page if you’d like to register to attend one of our upcoming sessions:
- 30-minutes of claims for NEOS Protection (accredited 0.50 CPD hours)
NEOS INVESTS IN THE FUTURE
People are our greatest asset, and we’re proud to announce that, in support of our future growth aspirations, we’ve made seven appointments across our digital, and operations teams.
In our operations team, we’ve made two appointments, Romeo Kouchoo & Georgia Sillorequez.
Alex Βeliavski joins NEOS as the Head of Artificial Intelligence. He’s an Atlassian alumni with over 10 years’ experience in quant trading and data science. He built out the core data science solution for oOh! Media, and has helped build the data foundations for multiple companies. Most recently, Αlex headed up the AI team at BizPay to deliver a novel approach to systematically assessing credit risk and fraud within the BNPL space.
Βen Christopher is a data scientist with over 20 years of data science and engineering experience. He’s built out the core solutions at the last nine companies he’s worked at, including Qantas, Optus, and NBN Co.
David Vuong joined the team as Software Architect. David has over 10 years’ experience in modern technology stack, infrastructure as code, cutting edge software development and blockchain technology.
Harley Bailey is a senior software engineer and has been a programmer for 14 years in various industries, primarily building browser-based solutions backed with APIs.
Mounika Polawar has joined NEOS as a Quality Assurance Engineer. Mounika brings three years’ experience in QA for web and mobile applications, including experience in automation testing through Selenium and Java.
Romeo Kouchoo has joined our underwriting team, bringing over eight years of underwriting experience from CommInsure, TAL and AIA.
Georgia Sillorequez joins our customer services team, bringing with her four years of life insurance service experience from ClearView.
NEOS COLOURING COMPETITION IN FULL SWING!
The NEOS colouring competition kicked off just in time for the school holidays. We hope that your kids (or yourselves) are having fun creating masterpieces or hopefully giving you some quiet time as a result.
If you haven’t gotten involved yet, there’s still time! The competition will be open for one more week, with winners announced on Wednesday, 19 October. The competition terms and conditions can be found here.
LET US KNOW HOW WE'RE DOING
NEOS is a business focused solely on the advised channel. This means that our success is dependent on your success. If there’s anything you feel we could be doing better or if you have any suggestions on how we can improve the NEOS Experience, please let us know.
While this edition of our newsletter has highlighted some of the great successes we’ve recently had, we’re not too proud to think that we can’t be better.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me as your State Manager or alternatively your BDM. We’d love to hear from you! And of course, positive feedback is also appreciated.