Thursday, 22 October 2009

Released on behalf of acting Minister for Defence

Greg Combet, Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science, announced today that the Rudd Government will improve death and invalidity benefits for members of the Military Superannuation and Benefits Scheme (MSBS).

Mr Combet announced that the Rudd Government has decided that, backdated from 1 July 2007, benefits for death and invalidity payments will be calculated in line with recent changes to the compulsory retirement age for ADF members.

“For those eligible, this decision will result in an average increase in death or invalidity payments for eligible persons of approximately 20 per cent, depending on their circumstances,” Mr Combet said.

The previous Government changed the compulsory retirement age for the majority of ADF members from age 55 to age 60 from 1 July 2007. That change was not intended to impact on the Superannuation benefits of ADF members and no funding for any such changes was provided at that time.

The policy decision taken by the Rudd Government makes this intention clear and funds this decision.

“Benefit payments paid after 1 July 2007 that may have eligibility will be reviewed as a matter of priority and, where necessary, adjustments will be made,” Mr Combet said.

“Affected parties will be advised of any change in benefits as soon as the review has been completed and any increased benefit amount will be paid with interest.

I am also pleased that increasing prospective service to calculate death or invalidity benefits for the Military Superannuation Benefits scheme results in a positive outcome for ADF members and their families, especially in their time of need,” Mr Combet said.

Mr Combet said that death and invalidity benefits for members of the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Scheme are not affected because benefits in this scheme are based on a percentage of salary and not linked to age.

Media Contact::

Rod Hilton (Greg Combet): (02) 6277 7620 or 0458 276 619
Defence Public Affairs: (02) 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664