New Super Scheme for Defence Personnel

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Statement to Parliament by the Assistant Minister for Defence, Stuart Robert MP, putting forward a Bill for a new superannuation scheme for Defence personnel, to be known as ‘ADF Super’:

“The Australian government is resolutely committed to supporting Australian Defence Force (ADF) members throughout their service and in their retirement.

“The Australian Defence Force Superannuation Bill 2015 (the bill) gives effect to the government’s intent to introduce new, modern and flexible superannuation arrangements for people joining the ADF on and after 1 July 2016. The bill establishes a new superannuation scheme to be known as ADF Super.

“The bill fixes some of the longest running grievances of the veteran and ex-service community, namely a lack of flexibility in the current military superannuation scheme and the lack of portability of a member’s superannuation benefit when they leave the ADF.

“At the outset, I thank the Defence Force Welfare Association, the RSL and the Australian Defence Association for their feedback and for supporting this legislation. I also acknowledge the opposition for their support for this important set of changes.

“ADF Super forms a significant part of the government’s plan to provide flexible service arrangements for all ADF members. Importantly, as part of this plan current serving personnel who are members of the Military Superannuation and Benefits Scheme (MSBS) may opt to join ADF Super, but they will not be compelled to do so.

ADF Super will be a modern, fully funded accumulation superannuation scheme.

“ADF Super will, for the first time, allowADF members to choose the superannuation fund they belong to. It will provide superannuation choice and enable ADF members to select any complying superannuation fund to invest their superannuation benefit.

“A default military superannuation fund will be established and managed by the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, which is the trustee for the major Commonwealth superannuation schemes, including the current and past military superannuation schemes.

“In recognising the unique nature of military service, the government has agreed to a single employer contribution rate of 16.4 per cent, which is a generous rate well above community standards.

“ADF Super will apply to:

“Contributing DFRDB members do not have the option to transfer to ADF Super. The current MSBS will be closed to new members from 1 July 2016.

“Unlike previous military schemes, such as the MSBS which requires a minimum employee contribution of five per cent of salary, there will be no requirement for ADF Super members to make employee contributions to their superannuation.

“As a result, contributing MSBS members who choose to become ADF Super memb ers will immediately receive a five per cent increase to their take home pay as they are no longer required to make com pulsory employee contributions.

“Accompanying ADF Super will be a new statutory death and invalidity scheme, known as ADF Cover. ADF Cover will be consistent with the death and invalidity arrangements ADF personnel currently receive as MSBS members. It will ensure that ADF members are properly looked after, for the rest of their life if required, in the event they are injured during their ADF service.

“ADF Super recognises the unique nature of military service, and importantly, provides greater flexibility for individuals in how they manage their finances at various stages of their working life.

I commend the bill to the House.”

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