Defence retention bonus proves a big hit

7 Jan 2024

Minister for Defence Personnel Matt Keogh has confirmed that the Albanese government’s program of retention bonuses for Australian Defence Force personnel is working to help retain skilled personnel.

Approximately 85 per cent of eligible personnel have accepted the offer of this continuation bonus, an incentive for junior ranks to continue in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) beyond their initial service obligation.

As part of this, eligible personnel are able to receive a one-off $50,000 payment in exchange for an additional three years of service, following findings of the Defence Strategic Review which revealed concerning retention data.

Minister for Defence Personnel Matt Keogh welcomed the success of the program, saying, “The Albanese government is committed to growing our Defence workforce but there’s no doubt that in this current low unemployment environment, it is more difficult than ever to recruit and retain staff.”

The program helps to retain people in the early to middle ranks, providing more opportunities for personnel to undertake future career and training activities.

“This initiative will help ensure Defence retains its greatest capability – its people. It’s no secret that we need to recruit more people to join our Defence Force. But critically, we need to keep those people that we have invested so much in training, who have gained such great skills in our Defence Force to continue to contribute to our capability,” Minister Keogh said.

While the first payments will flow from today and throughout January and February, offers will continue to be processed as personnel become eligible for this bonus.

Minister Keogh added, “We have listened to the needs of ADF personnel and are implementing a range of initiatives to encourage the continued service of our highly skilled, trained, and capable people.”