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Friday, 2 August 1946

Mr Chambers s asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

1.   Is it a fact that under section 50a of the Superannuation Act, a retired public servant loses the government proportion of his superannuation payment if he is re-employed by the Commonwealthin any capacity, although he does not lose anythingif employed by a State or by a private employer?

2.   Is it a fact that at the urgent request of the Government during the war, many retired public servants took re-employment with the Commonwealth, usually in a position with status lower than that preciously held?

3.   Is it a fact that such retired public servants each lost from£80 to £100 a year, and that the Commonwealth funds gained to that extent at their expense?

4.   Is it a fact that Mr. T. B. Harris, formerly a suburban postmaster, performed the arduous work of telephone operator at the General Post Office, Adelaide?

5.   Will the Government as an act of grace either authorize the Superannuation Board to pay these officers the amounts of the government proportion of superannuation payment, or provide other funds so that the amounts can be paid?

6.   If not, what action is proposed to reimburse these retired public servants for their monetary loss?

Mr Chifley - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : -

1.   Under section 50a of tie Superannuation Act, the proportion of the superannuation pension payable by the Commonwealth is cancelled during any period of employment of the pensioner by the Commonwealth. The section does not apply to any other form of employment.

2.   Many officers retired from the Commonwealth Public Service took up temporary duties with Commonwealth departments during the war, but not. as suggested, at the urgent request of the Government.

3.   The proportion of the pension cancelled approximated £80 to £100 a year.

4.   Mr. T.B. Harris, a retired postmaster, is temporarily employed as a telegraphist at the General Post Office, Adelaide. 5 and6. All the retired officers employed have been re-employed at the full salary applicable to the positions occupied and in addition have been paid from the superannuation fund the proportion of pension represented by their contributions. The principle of section 50a of the Superannuation Act is that the Government should not be required to meet pension from Consolidated Revenue in addition to fall salary to employees who, after retirement, are re-employed by the Commonwealth in a temporary capacity. Any payment as an act of grace or otherwise would defeat the purpose of the section.

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