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Restore Defence Force superannuation ( DFRDB ) payments to their rightful amounts.

This petition had 21,997 supporters


A NATIONAL DISGRACE

This couple is struggling to make ends meet. He is a retired member of the Australian Armed Services who served in the defence of our country for more than 20 years.  Over the past 25 years successive Governments have systematically reduced his superannuation payments and those of more than 50,000 other men and women like him.

How is this possible?

Governments have achieved this by stealth, through the use of the inappropriate Consumer Price Index for the Cost of Living adjustments of their benefits.  The net effect has been that most of these men and women, or the widows of those who are already deceased, have now effectively had their superannuation payments reduced by almost one third.

But it does not stop there.  The legislation which governs their superannuation scheme was drafted in such a way that it can be exploited by the administrator of the scheme, the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, to further deny these men and women their full benefits.

Individuals who opted to take an advance, typically 4 years of their initial annual entitlement which was made available to them to help them resettle into civilian life, have their superannuation payments reduced permanently.  So individuals who live to a reasonable age will have to repay the advance, not just once, but typically two to three times over.

For the most vulnerable beneficiaries under the scheme, the widows and dependent children of the members who are deceased, the adjustment of their proportional benefits are manipulated with an arbitrary indexation formula which further denies them their full benefits.

And there is more.  Those, of these men and women who served in a theatre of war and are also entitled to a Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) benefit, are further disadvantaged because their DVA benefits are adjusted in a manner which further reduces the effect of the Cost of Living adjustments to their superannuation payments.

Apart from knowing that their superannuation payments have been buying less and less, the majority of these men and women do not know the extent to which their rightful benefits are being denied.  Those who do know have been protesting, since 1973 to; the administrating Authority, the Ministers responsible, Price Ministers and in fact every Member of Parliament.  But they have either received completely irrelevant responses from Canberra bureaucrats or simply been ignored.

For the duration of their service, these men and women were conditioned to obey orders, regardless of the consequences.  They are not used to protesting and they do not have a Union to fight for their rights.  They do not have a voice and that makes them soft targets for unscrupulous exploitation.

These men and women placed their trust in our Government to look after them and their families, as they were promised when they enlisted in our Armed Services.

But that trust has been betrayed.



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