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Thursday, 26 November 1959

Mr Wight t asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

1.   What is the difference between the rates of superannuation pensions paid to officers of the

Commonwealth Bank who retired (a) prior to December, 1954, and (b) subsequent to that time?

2.   What is the present balance of the officers' superannuation fund?

3.   What is the minimum balance necessary to maintain solvency of the fund?

4.   Has his attention been drawn to the recent statement by the Governor of the Bank that a surplus in the fund was likely and that he was hopeful that it would now be possible to step up the pension payable within existing contributions?

5.   Has consideration been given to increasing the amount payable to those officers who retired prior to December, 1954?

6.   Would it be possible, without establishing a precedent, to increase the pensions of these former officers to the rates paid to officers who have retired subsequently?

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

1.   The rate of pension payable to a member of the Officers' Superannuation Fund of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia depends, inter alia, on the member's length of membership of the fund and his final salary on retirement. Other things being equal, the pension of a member who retired immediately prior to December, 1954, is at present the same as the pension of a member who retired subsequent to that date and had the same length of membership of the fund and the same final salary. However, marginal and other increases in salary scales granted in and after December, 1954, have operated to increase final salaries of members retiring after that date and have thus affected the rate of pensions payable to them.

2.   £22,093,434 as at 30th June, 1959.

3.   The balance necessary to maintain the solvency of the fund varies with a number of factors, including the number of members, their period of membership, the level of members' salaries, the rate of mortality, the age and marital status distribution of members and the rate of interest received on the fund's investments. The fund is managed in such a way as to maintain a proper balance of assets and estimated liabilities as actuarially calculated. To assist in this purpose actuarial investigations of the fund are made from time to time.

4.   No. 5 and 6. Matters such as these will be examined in the course of a review of the rules of the fund which I am informed the bank proposes to undertake.

Overseas Investments in Australia.

Mr Uren n asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

1.   Is it a fact that the new capital entering Australia from the United Kingdom in 1957-58 amounted to £41,300,000?

2.   Did the comparable figure during the last year of the Chifley Government's Administration amount to £42,000,000?

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

1.   The inflow from the United Kingdom of private overseas investment in companies in Australia during 1957-58 is estimated at £18,500,000 undistributed income and £41,300,000 inflow.

2.   Corresponding figures in respect of 1948-49 are £3,100,000 undistributed income and £31,800,00 other inflow.

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