DFRDB Pension update - January 2015

Pension update
In this Issue
2 Why is tax taken
from your pension?
2 Accessing Pensioner
Services Online
3 What happens to your
pension when you die?
3 Do you need to change your
address or bank details?
4 Give us your feedback
4 Useful contacts
January 2015 / Issue 25
January 2015 pension increase
Your pension is indexed twice a year on the first payday in January
and July. There are two methods for indexing pensions and the
method that applies to your pension depends on your age at the
pension indexation date (either 1 January or 1 July).
If you are under age 55 at the pension indexation date, your pension
will continue to be indexed in line with upward movements in the
Consumer Price Index (CPI).
If you are 55 or over at the pension indexation date, your pension
will be indexed in the same way as age and service pensions are
indexed. Age and service pensions are indexed by the greater of
the CPI and the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (LCI)
measured against a floor percentage of Male Total Average Weekly
Earnings (MTAWE).
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) determines CPI and LCI
and also measures and reports on MTAWE.
If you were under age 55 at 1 July 2014, your gross pension will
increase by 0.9%. If you were age 55 or over at the pension
indexation date, your gross pension will increase by 0.9%.
For more information about how your pension increase was
calculated, including examples, please visit dfrdb.gov.au
Why is tax taken
from your pension?
Accessing Pensioner
Services Online
DFRDB pensions are considered income by the
Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and therefore we’re
required to deduct tax from your pension according to
the relevant Pay As You Go (PAYG) taxation schedules.
While you can call or email us for assistance, you may
also choose to manage some of your requests online.
Pensioner Services Online is available 24 hours a day
from the comfort of your home.
Through Pensioner Services Online you can:
>> view your CPI letters and payment summaries –
current and previous financial years are available
>> view and change your contact details
>> view and change your banking details
>> view your fortnightly pension payments,
including historical information.
Any tax offsets you are eligible for will be taken
into account each fortnight when calculating the
amount of PAYG deductions from your pension
payments, unless you have advised us that you
wish to claim these offsets on an annual basis
through your income tax return.
The applicable tax offsets are based on the tax
components that make up your pension and your
age, these factors are outlined below:
>> a tax free component consisting of member
contributions paid to the scheme after
1 July 1983, may also include pre-1 July 1983
contributions. The tax free component of your
pension will be taxed at 0%.
>> a taxable untaxed component consisting
of the employer financed component
(employer contributions).
If you are aged 55 to 59, the taxable untaxed
component of your pension will be taxed at the
Marginal Tax Rate.
If you are over 60 the taxable untaxed component
of your pension will be taxed at the Marginal Tax
Rate, less a 10% tax offset.
Note: A DFRDB entitlement may include a taxable taxed
component if you are over 60 and this is taxed at 0%.
If you think you should not be paying tax on your
pension you will need to apply to the ATO for an
assessment. You can do this by completing a PAYG
income tax withholding variation (ITWV) form
available at ato.gov.au and submitting it to the ATO.
Once the ATO has provided you with an assessment,
you can forward this information to us and we will apply
any changes to your tax on the next available payday.
Do you need Family
Law information?
If you are a pensioner who is in the process of divorce
or separation, you can find some helpful information
in the Family Law and splitting super booklet.
If you would like to use Pensioner Services Online,
simply call 1300 001 877 to receive an Access
Number, once we have verified your identity.
Thinking of getting back
into the ADF?
If you return to the Australian Defence
Force (ADF) for a second or subsequent period
of service, you must advise us before doing so.
When you return to the ADF you are required to
make an election about which superannuation
scheme you wish to remain in, or join, for the
period of service before you re-enter.
There are various consequences depending
on the election you make which are likely to
impact you financially.
If we do not receive your election before
you re‑enter, you will automatically join
MilitarySuper by default. Membership in
MilitarySuper will then apply to all future
re‑engagements and is final and irreversible.
More information about your options can
be found in the Resuming ADF full-time
service (DF09B) factsheet which is available
from the DFRDB website.
Make your election online
You can make your election quickly and easily
using the online D100 form. Once you have
submitted your election online, you will receive
an email confirmation, confirming receipt.
If you require information about your superannuation
for Family Law purposes, you will need to complete
the form Application for Superannuation
Information (Form 6).
Visit dfrdb.gov.au for more information.
The booklet and the form are available at dfrdb.gov.au
Cover photo: courtesy of the Department of Defence.
What happens to your pension when you die?
Although it’s not a topic that is easy to discuss, it may assist your family if you are aware of what happens to
your pension after you die, like finding out what benefits may be available to them. The following diagram
shows you how you can prepare and what may happen to your pension. You may wish to show it to your
family and discuss it with them.
Your pension
Your pension is only payable to you during your lifetime. Following your death,
a reversionary benefit may be payable to your spouse and/or children.*
What can you do now?
What happens when you die?
Talk to your family
Spouse benefits
It can be very helpful to your relatives if you
discuss your pension and provide them with
information to help them in the event of your
death. You should also leave these instructions
with your important documents.
Your spouse may be eligible to receive a portion
of your pension after your death.
Your family should contact us
as soon as possible
Please let your family know they must contact
us following your death so we can cease
your pension and avoid any overpayments.
By contacting us as soon as possible your family
can also assist us to organise any spouse, child or
orphan benefits that might be payable to them.
Child or orphan benefits
If you are survived by a child or orphan they may
be eligible to receive a portion of your pension.
Estate benefits
Depending on the number of years your
pension has been paid prior to your death and
if there are no eligible dependants, a lump sum
benefit may be payable to your estate.
* Further information about eligible dependants can be
obtained from the Dependant’s benefits (DB01) factsheet
available at dfrdb.gov.au
Family checklist
When the time comes, the following checklist may help your family finalise your affairs:
>> ensure DFRDB is notified of the death at the earliest opportunity
>> gather important documents such as a Will, birth and marriage certificates and death certificate (when it
becomes available)
>> gather identity documents outlined in the benefit application form, noting that you can choose to have
them verified electronically via the Document Verification System
>> complete and submit the benefit application form relevant to your circumstances. Forms are available from
the DFRDB website.
Do you need to change your address or bank details?
You can change your address or banking details through Pensioner Services Online or by contacting us
via the contact details below.
When changing your bank details please:
>> quote your old bank details so we can verify your information
>> do not close your existing bank account until your payments start going into your new account.
Please ensure your address is up to date by 10 June 2015 in order to receive the July 2015 CPI package.
Department of Veterans’
Affairs information
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) has
asked CSC to let pensioners know that DVA
is responsible for providing compensation,
rehabilitation, health and support services
to veterans and their families.
DVA has said that if you have served with the
Australian Defence Force and have any injury
or illness that may be related to your service,
you should contact DVA as soon as possible.
Lodging a claim early will allow for faster
access to rehabilitation, health services,
medical treatment, compensation, and other
DVA support services.
It is also important to note that DVA has advised
it will pay for treatment for eligible veterans
with diagnosed PTSD, anxiety or depression
without the need to establish that his or her
mental health condition is related to service.
For more information about any aspect of
this message, visit dva.gov.au or call 133 254
or 1800 555 254 from regional Australia.
Give us your feedback
We are committed to providing excellent customer
service and value your feedback. We would like to
know if you are happy with our service and if there
is anything we can improve. You can provide your
feedback by email at [email protected] or by
phone on 1300 001 877.
If you are not satisfied with the service provided,
please contact us. A Customer Information
Representative will be happy to discuss how
we can best resolve your concerns.
Useful contacts
Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
Personal tax
13 28 61
13 10 20
Defence Force Welfare
Association (DFWA)
02 6265 9530
Department of Human Services (DHS)
Older Australians
13 23 00
Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA)
13 32 54
Legacy Australia
1800 LEGACY (534 229)
Returned Services League
of Australia (RSL)
Web Phone
02 6248 7199
Superannuated Commonwealth
Officers’ Association (SCOA)
02 6286 7977
If you would like to make a formal complaint in
regard to the service provided please contact our
complaints officer on 1300 033 732 or via email
at [email protected]
Contact details
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1300 001 877
Web: dfrdb.gov.au
Fax: Overseas callers: Post: 02 6272 9616
+61 2 6272 9626
GPO Box 2252
Canberra ACT 2601
Any financial product advice in this document is general advice only and has been prepared without taking account of your personal objectives,
financial situation or needs. Before acting on any such general advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your
own objectives, financial situation or needs. You may wish to consult a licensed financial advisor.
Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) ABN: 48 882 817 243 AFSL: 238069 RSEL: L0001397
Trustee of the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Scheme (DFRDB Scheme) ABN: 39 798 362 763