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Government not to be trusted on Military super review.

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SENATOR NICK SHERRY Labor Senator for Tasmania Shadow Minister for Superannuation,

Intergenerational Finance: Banking & Financial Services


Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Shadow Minister for Defence Science and Personnel

*** MEDIA RELEASE *** 27 February 2007


The Howard Government today announced a review of military superannuation.

Any move to improve the conditions of the men and women of the ADF is welcome.

Unfortunately the Government has a track record in failing to protect future superannuation benefits of it's public servants and military personnel.

The comment that stands out from today's announcement is “Serving and former ADF members can be assured that there will be no detriment to their accrued superannuation entitlements no matter what the outcome of the review.”

This is the same language used only last October when the government forced Telstra employees who were members of the CSS super scheme to transfer to another inferior fund when they sold Telstra.

In October last year, during the sale of Telstra, Senator Minchin representing the government stated "…… I want to assure those employees that, once this sale has occurred, their benefits will be protected. The accrued benefits are guaranteed under legislation and will be paid in full by the government. ….. ".

The CSS pension promise was reduced, many lost 10's of $1,000's in superannuation benefits.

Guaranteeing accrued benefits is not enough.

The Minister should categorically rule out any change to future accrued benefits for serving ADF members.

Senator Sherry said "The last thing any serving ADF member needs at a time when the government attempts to address recruitment and retention problems is uncertainty with their superannuation entitlements".

The Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Defence Science and Personnel Alan Griffin said "Given recent complaints about military superannuation, it would appear

that the Howard Government is hoping this review will divert criticism and try and put a hold on things while they cool off politically".

Under the terms of reference the review team is due to report to the Minister on 27 September 2007. Minister Billson is notorious for the time he takes to consider reviews so it is possible that there will be no announcement of the Government’s position prior to the next election.

The Minister must guarantee that all current and former ADF members will not be left worse off after this review. He should also give an assurance that the future invalidity and death benefits for serving ADF members will not be reduced.

Media Contact: Nick Sherry 0418 482 807 or Rod Hilton (Alan Griffin) 0403831179