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Government sits on military superannuation report.



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ALAN GRIFFIN MP Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Shadow Minister for Defence Science and Personnel

6 September 2007

GOVERNMENT SITS ON MILITARY SUPERANNUATION REPORT

Labor today called on the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence to release the report of the Military Superannuation Review.

The independent review, announced in February 2007, was to examine the suitability of current military superannuation arrangements in the DFRDB and MSBS schemes in light of recent changes in the area of superannuation and in the Australian Defence Force.

It is understood that Minister Billson has had the report since July 2007. He has since ignored calls from the ex-service community and Labor to release the report for public consideration.

“This review will provide vital information for former and current defence personnel regarding the operation of the military superannuation system, and how it can be improved. They are entitled to know what the review says and what the Government will do about it. Instead, the Government is sitting on the report,” Mr Griffin said.

There are a number of outstanding issues relating to military superannuation, including:

• The indexation method for defence superannuation pensions; • The appropriateness of the 10 percent tax offset in lieu of tax free treatment upon reaching 60 years old under the Better Super reforms; • The taxation treatment of non-super income for defence superannuants

over 60; • Salary sacrifice arrangements for defence personnel; • Portability or “Super Choice” for defence personnel; • Outdated life tables used to calculate superannuation benefits; • Tax arrangements including for those medically discharged who are in

receipt of Class A invalidity pensions and for those who fall under the compassionate or hardship provisions; and • Alignment between the preservation age for ADF members and the normal ADF compulsory retirement age.

This review will provide crucial data regarding how these issues should be addressed. The proper consideration of these issues demands that the review be released immediately.

“There are no excuses for this delay. There’s still much to be done on defence superannuation. With an election due to be called at any time, the Government must stop stalling and act now,” Mr Griffin said.

Media contact: Janice Lee 0414 526 533