Long wait on superannuation entitlements

Rod Brown
Deputy Branch Secretary

Delay due to uncertainty and administrative process

State Superannuation Scheme and State Authorities Superannuation Scheme members might have to wait until April 2016 to be credited with some employer contributions to their State Authorities Non-contributory Superannuation accounts, due since July 1, 2013.

For members of State Superannuation Scheme (SSS) and State Authorities Superannuation Scheme (SASS), the State Authorities Non-contributory Superannuation (SANCS) benefit appears on their annual superannuation statement as the “Basic Benefit” but is calculated separately from SSS and SASS benefits and is paid as a lump sum on retirement.

The outstanding contributions are 0.25 per cent of their teacher salary for the 2013/2014 financial year and 0.5 per cent of their salary for the 2014/2015 and later financial years. This payment is to compensate State Superannuation Scheme (SSS) and State Authorities Superannuation Scheme (SASS) members for the discounting of salary increases arising from increases in the Commonwealth’s Superannuation Guarantee from 9 per cent to 9.5 per cent.

State Super advises in a fact sheet: “The new superannuation benefit interacts with the New South Wales Wages Policy which, broadly, ensures that employee-related costs, including superannuation, do not increase by more than 2.5 per cent per annum. Without the new benefit, members in the SSS, SASS and [Police Superannuation Scheme] defined benefit schemes would have the [Superannuation Guarantee] rate increase included in the 2.5 per cent wages limitation, without receiving the benefit of the increase going into their superannuation account.”

State Super advises the delay has been due to uncertainty about the treatment of the Superannuation Guarantee rate increase in relation to the 2.5 per cent per annum wages cap (the matter was only settled in late 2014 following extended legal action by the Federation and other public sector unions) and uncertainty and “the administrative work that now needs to be done to set up a process for collecting employer contributions and allocating them to new member accounts”.

All SSS and SASS members who have left the fund since July 1, 2013, who were eligible for the new benefit at any time after July 1, 2013, will be paid their entitlement. The procedures for calculation and payment of this benefit are still being developed. Members should be aware that the preservation requirements that apply to the existing SANCS benefit will also apply to the additional employer contribution. Preservation means retirement benefits are locked away until retirement or other condition of release is satisfied, such as permanent departure from Australia.

Further information is available from the State Super website.