Veterans disability and compensation entitlements are covered under various legislation and regulations. These are reviewed frequently by Government, mainly resulting from bureaucratic initiatives. On occasions, changes are made based on Ex-service organisations’ and veterans’ initiatives, but only after intense pressure from these groups or their local member. These reviews and other DVA reports, will be published as they are released.
We will also publish contentious issues where veterans and ex-service members entitlements and benefits are threatened by poorly considered government decisions – as displayed below.
FORMER POLITICIANS CRY POOR ON THEIR PENSIONS AND PERKS. IS THIS THE ULTIMATE HYPOCRISY?
Former Federal politicians are threatening legal action to retain their very generous pensions and taxpayer funded travel ‘entitlements’. From media reports, the Remuneration Tribunal proposes that free air travel and fully indexed pension increases should be limited – and so they should. Under the Gold Pass Scheme, former pollies and their spouses can take 25 air travel passes per year, presumably in Australia. But, there will be some in that number that apply to overseas travel (1st class?). Their Association claims that travel has community benefits – who would believe that? Most retired pollies are past their ‘use-by’ date and little evidence exists of their community benefits. Eligible former pollies can claim annual pensions of 50 to 75% of the base pay of a backbencher – all indexed at generous rates. Many military superannuants now ask where was their concern for retired members of the ADF when military superannuation indexation was being considered – and has been for many, many years. Read the Alliance of Defence Service Organisation’s media release of 22 February 2012.
DFRDB SUPERANNUATION FAIR INDEXATION BILL 2010 BY THE COALITION
Despite the recommendations of a number of Senate enquiries over 25 years to index military superannuations to an equitable index, the current Government refuses to consider giving veterans and superannuants a FAIRGO. DFWA keep an up-to-date web site on the whole issue; view their page The Fair Go Campaign on the issue.
Together with the ludicrous ‘carbon tax‘, members will be even worse off if the indexation is not equitable – many are slowly going BROKE and they will show the Government their feelings at the next election; it really is a ‘no-brainer’ for the Government – fix the indexation without using ‘smoke and mirrors’, or lose office. In its truest meaning, most are looking forward to a real ‘Swan Song’ – that is, the departure of the ‘intellectual pygmy’.
On 11 March 2011, the Minister for Veterans Affairs announced increases to the veteran pension rates. Whilst his statement, “This Government is committed to the support for our veterans and their families, and I welcome this increase and the assistance it will provide to those who need it most” is laudable and great news for those on service and war widows pensions, it does not include military superannuants who paid for their ‘retirement pay’ by compulsory contributions from their pre-tax pay during their 20-40 years service to Australia. Read the media release.
SENATE REJECTS DFRDB “FAIRGO FOR VETERANS” BILL
The Senate has shown little regard for the treatment of ex-service members’ military superannuation and living standards when, on 16 June 2011, they rejected a Bill which would start the process of removing the discrimination faced by ADF members in their superannuation schemes. Only last week, 6-10 June 2011, the House of Representatives expressed its support for a fair indexation of military superannuation schemes. Some Senate members appear to be removed from the real world in their ‘lofty positions’ and their lack of support for ex-service members seeking fairer indexation of military superannuation. However, ex-service members will exercise their voting rights at the next election, notwithstanding the excessive ‘green’ numbers in the Senate come July. Read the response from the Shadow Ministers, then Gary Humphries’. Finally, read the Alliance of Defence Service Organisations’
FAIR GO 4 VETERANS
The Government has made it plain that it stands by the report by Professor Mathews and not accept any variation to the way Public Service and Defence Force superannuants have their pensions indexed. The Finance Minister rejects recommendations to increase public service and military superannuation beyond rises in the consumer price index. The Government’s decision directly affects about 300,000 Australians, including more than 40,000 in the Canberra region. Over the past 20 years, Federal MP’s pensions have increased by 130%, the aged pension has risen by 110%, but public service and military pensions have increased by only 70%. Last year, local ACT politicians wrote to Finance Minister, saying that the Government had ‘abandoned the spirit of the election commitment to a review that would address the inadequacy and inequality of the indexation method’. Check to see what WE SAY at,
The Government don’t seem to acknowledge that Commonwealth and military superannuants have paid for their superannuation and they rely on it to live, just the same as the politicians rely on their generous superannuation to live. Responsibility for MilSuper has been moved to the Dept of Finance from where the Minister receives his advice. One wonders if the public servants who provide this advice realise that they, too, will suffer an eroding standard of living when they retire after years of paying for their superannuation. Read what their Association says about
If you are unhappy with this outcome, please let your local political representative know of your concern. In the Canberra area, contact: Senator Gary Humphries, Senator Kate Lundy or MPs Gai Brodtmann and Andrew Leigh.
The Government’s actions run contrary to the federal ALP pre-election promises in 2007 that Labor will work hard to achieve six goals for veterans, and to give veterans a strong leadership voice. It has announced on two occasions, via press releases, of its intention to merge the Boards of ARIA, MSBS and DFRDB, wihtout any consultation with any Ex-Service Organisations. Together with the Government’s refusal to index Military Superannuation at a fair level, following the Matthews Report, one wonders what other ‘poor deals’ will be handed out to veterans.
The Alliance of Defence Service Organisations (ADSO) has complied Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the military superannuation question – read it here
The RAAF Association submitted a paper to the Senate Committee recommending against the planned Government action – you can download it below. You can also view the Senate Committee’s report at
Information for Veterans
New Repatriation Health Cards
F111 Deseal/Reseal Parliamentary Enquiry & Associated Activities
- F111 Fuel Tank Deseal Reseal
- Defence Honours and Awards Inquiry – Medical Element Gulf War 1990-91 JUL10
- Defence Honours and Awards Tribunal Report
- Easier DVA claims process
- The Dunt Report into “mental health care in the ADF and transition through discharge”