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Wednesday, 27 November 1985
Page: 2349


Senator PETER RAE —My question is directed to the Minister representing the Treasurer and the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations. I refer to the answer which the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations gave in the House of Representatives yesterday when he said that the public sector would be included in the superannuation deal made by the Government with the Australian Council of Trade Unions which will give productivity gains through superannuation. I ask: Can the Minister give an indication of how the agreement on superannuation will be applied to the Commonwealth Public Service; and further, will these arrangements improve the benefits which already arise from a scheme which is acknowledged as being much more generous than private sector superannuation arrangements?


Senator WALSH —In response to the final part of Senator Rae's question, while it is probably generally true to say what he did, I am certainly aware of private sector superannuation schemes which are more generous than the Commonwealth superannuation scheme, particularly when one takes into account the fact that lump sum payments are the norm and therefore people can get benefits from a private sector superannuation scheme and still conceivably qualify for the social security pension.


Senator Peter Rae —But generally, though.


Senator WALSH —Yes, generally; but it is important to note that there are more generous private sector schemes. I do not know of the answer that Mr Willis gave and therefore I can only speculate on precisely what he meant. But in that context it is possible that he was referring to Commonwealth employees currently outside the Commonwealth superannuation scheme. A high proportion-as I recall, the majority-of blue collar Commonwealth employees, for example, are not in the Commonwealth superannuation scheme and consideration has been given for some time by me and by Mr Willis to what might be done about this. So it is possible that he was referring to those principally blue collar employees of the Commonwealth not in the CSS, but I will ask him whether that is so and whether he has anything to add to it.