If you hold NEOS Protection, you’re a member (Member) of the NEOS Benefit Fund (the Fund). From time to time, updates are made to the Rules of the NEOS Benefit Fund (the Rules), which govern the Fund. This summary is provided to keep you aware of some recent changes to the Rules which were approved by The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), on 19 July 2021 and 28 September 2021.
The changes to the Rules were considered carefully by NobleOak, as the issuer of NEOS Protection, and NEOS to ensure that they don’t disadvantage you. As noted in the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) applicable to your cover, you may request to view the Rules for the NEOS Benefit Fund at any time.
NobleOak’s new Constitution (22 July 2021)
At NobleOak’s Extraordinary General Meeting on 25 June 2021, a new Constitution was approved, to be effective at the time of NobleOak’s listing on the ASX which occurred on 22 July 2021. Certain provisions in the previous Constitution were transferred across into the Rules, as outlined below. The new Constitution can be viewed here.
In summary, the changes to the Rules include the following:
- Adding new definitions (“Benefit Fund Meeting”, “Board”, “Constitution”, “Corporations Act”, “effective date”), clarifying the definition of a “Member” of the Fund and replacing the “APRA Prudential Standards” definition with an updated “Prudential Standards” definition.
- Clarifying the provisions around varying the rights of Members.
- Moving the provisions concerning the interests of infants in the Fund, nominations, joint Members, the death of Members and meetings of Members from the Constitution into the Rules.
Product updates and regulatory changes (1 October 2021)
In response to APRA’s requirements for life companies to offer more sustainable income protection products, NEOS ceased offering Income Protection Cover and commenced offering Income Support Cover from 1 October 2021. The new guidelines don’t result in any change to the Income Protection Cover already held by Members prior to 1 October 2021.
Due to recent changes to the law, the Duty of Disclosure has been replaced by a Duty to Take Reasonable Care not to make a Misrepresentation (Duty), which is now reflected in the Rules. This means that when applying for insurance and answering the application questions, you must take care not to provide a false answer, an answer that is only partially true, or an answer which doesn’t fairly reflect the truth. The Duty also applies when extending or making changes to existing insurance, and reinstating insurance. Like the earlier Duty of Disclosure, if the duty isn’t met, then cover could be avoided (treated as if it never existed), terms may be changed, a claim may be declined, or a benefit may be reduced.
Finally, there are some updates to the Rules concerning the management of claims. This includes clarifying that the insurer may require an interview with you and, acting reasonably, may confirm the accuracy of information provided in your application for insurance or in applications to reinstate or vary cover. Where applicable, there is also a requirement for you to follow the reasonable advice of a medical practitioner to receive benefit payments. If a claim event occurs while you’re outside Australia, you may also need to return to Australia for medical assistance or assessment before the claim can be assessed and benefits paid.