The NZPFU is thrilled to be able to finally announce that from June 2024 FENZ will be paying the NZPFU Protect Income Protection Insurance premiums direct. 

As part of the bargaining settlement FENZ agreed to reimburse members covered by the collective employment agreement up to $2600 per annum retrospectively from July every year for life and/or income protection insurance policies.   

From July 2023 all NZPFU members have been eligible to be covered by the NZPFU Protect Income Protection Insurance policy paying $50 a week premium direct to the NZPFU Income Protection Insurance account and we pass on the premiums to the insurer.  All NZPFU members can join the NZPFU Protect Income Protection Insurance scheme but only members whose substantive positions are covered by the collective employment agreement were eligible for the $2600 per annum reimbursement process.

The NZPFU has continued to work with FENZ to change that system as the weekly payments can be a barrier for many in these tough financial times.  Recently FENZ agreed to alleviate that problem, and streamline the payment/reimbursement process,  by agreeing to pay the insurance premium direct to the insurer for each member who is covered by the NZPFU Protect Income Protection Insurance policy and whose substantive positions are covered by the collective employment agreement.  

The NZPFU will continue to be the policy holder, the policy does not change and the claims process does not change. This is only a change in the way the premiums are paid.

This notice is just informing members of the pending change which will require members signing new authorisation forms.   The new forms referred to below will be sent to current NZPFU Income Protection Insurance members next week, and new members only wanting to sign up from the date FENZ pays direct can sign a different new from the 13th June 2024.

What this means FOR CURRENT MEMBERS OF THE NZPFU PROTECT INCOME PROTECTION INSURANCE

  • From 3 June 2024 FENZ will take over paying the NZPFU Protect income protection insurance premiums by paying direct to Protect for members of the income protection scheme and whose substantive positions are covered by the collective employment agreement. This will NOT be a deduction from wages as it is a bulk billing arrangement between FENZ and Protect.
  • Those substantive positions are Trainee Firefighter, Firefighter, Qualified Firefighter, Senior Firefighter, Station Officer Senior Station Officer, Dispatcher, Senior Dispatcher, Shift Manager, Volunteer Support Officer, Trainer, Senior Trainer, Advisor Community Readiness and Recovery, Advisor Risk Reduction, Senior Advisor Community Readiness and Recovery and Senior Advisor Risk Reduction. 
  • Current NZPFU Protect Income Protection members will need to sign a new authorisation form confirming they understand that from the date FENZ takes over the payment of the premium they will not be able to claim reimbursement for the premiums they have not paid themselves.  That form will be sent to all current income protection insurance members whose substantive positions are covered by the collective agreement next week. That form must be completed and received in order for FENZ to take over the payment of premiums from 3 June 2024.
  • Once the NEW authorisation form has been signed and received, the NZPFU will cancel the direct debit payments for that member so that the member will no longer be paying the $50 a week premium to the NZPFU insurance account.
  • Members will need to ensure their $50 a week premiums are fully paid up to 3 June 2024 otherwise their insurance cover could  be affected.  You are responsible for paying by direct debit to the NZPFU Insurance Account all weekly premiums due up to the week of 3 June 2024.
  • In July 2024 the NZPFU will provide FENZ with a spreadsheet of all NZPFU Protect Income Protection Insurance members and the premiums they paid by direct debit between July 2023 and June 2024  for reimbursement into the members’ bank account.  FENZ has confirmed that the full $50 weekly premium will be reimbursed.

What this means FOR NZPFU MEMBERS THAT HAVE NOT YET SIGNED UP BUT NOW WANT TO SIGN UP BECAUSE FENZ IS PAYING THE PREMIUMS DIRECT TO THE INSURER

  • From 3 June 2024  FENZ will take over paying the NZPFU Protect income protection insurance premiums direct to Protect for members of the income protection scheme whose substantive positions are covered by the collective employment agreement. This will NOT be a deduction from wages as it is a bulk billing arrangement with FENZ paying direct to Protect.
  • Those substantive positions are Trainee Firefighter, Firefighter, Qualified Firefighter, Senior Firefighter, Station Officer Senior Station Officer, Dispatcher, Senior Dispatcher, Shift Manager, Volunteer Support Officer, Trainer, Senior Trainer, Advisor Community Readiness and Recovery, Advisor Risk Reduction, Senior Advisor Community Readiness and Recovery and Senior Advisor Risk Reduction. 
  • New members to the NZPFU Protect Insurance scheme will need to sign a new authorisation form that will be made available to all members on the website and via national notice from 13th May 2024. 
  • If members sign up to be covered by the NZPFU Protect Income Protection Insurance to be covered from 3 June 2024 they will not be able to claim any reimbursement for that insurance as they will not have paid any premiums as all premiums would have been paid direct by FENZ.  You will also not be able to claim reimbursement for any other life and/or income protection insurance for the period from 3 June 2024 as the maximum $2600 reimbursement for the 2024-2025 year will have been paid by FENZ direct.

What this means FOR NZPFU PROTECT INCOME PROTECITON INSURANCE MEMBERS WHOSE SUBSTANTIVE POSITIONS ARE NOT COVERED BY THE COLLECTIVE EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT

  • There is no change and no new forms to fill out.
  • You will have to continue to pay your income protection insurance premiums of $50 a week to the NZPFU Income Protection Insurance account and we will continue to pass on your premium to the insurer.
  • The reason FENZ is not paying your premiums direct is because the agreement for FENZ to reimburse the premiums only applied to those covered by the collective employment agreement.

What this means for NZPFU MEMBERS COVERED BY THE COLLECTIVE EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT WHO HAVE OTHER LIFE AND/OR INCOME PROTECTION INSURANCE FROM OTHER PROVIDERS

  • If you have both the NZPFU Protect Income Protection Insurance and other insurance you will NOT be able to claim any reimbursement for the period from 3 June 2024 as the agreement is for a maximum $2600 per annum.  For the period from 1 July 2023 – 30 June 2024  the NZPFU will provide FENZ with a spreadsheet of all NZPFU Protect Income Protection Insurance members and the premiums paid by direct debit between July 2023 and June 2024 for reimbursement into the members’ bank account.  FENZ has confirmed that the full $50 premium for every NZPFU Protect Income Protection insurance premium paid since 1 July 2023 will be reimbursed.
  • If you only had NZPFU Protect Income Protection Insurance for part of that 1 July 2023 -30 June 2024 year but also had other life/income protection insurance,  you can claim other eligible insurance in that year provided the total amount for all insurance claimed for reimbursed does not exceed $2600.
  • If you have not joined the NZPFU Protect Income Protection Insurance but have other life and/or income protection insurance you can claim a reimbursement up to $2600 per annum every July for the previous 1 July-30 June period.  
  • For those members that have issues with the way in which FENZ has calculating the reimbursements for policies that are not solely life and/or income protection we have advised that they should get their insurer to  provide a breakdown of the premium on the following basis:
    - Death (including associated benefits)
    - Income Protection (including associated benefits)
    - GST
    - Administration fees

In unity,
Wattie Watson
National Secretary

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