TV ABC Q & A – the PM

3 Sep 2013

ADSO through four Q & A invited guest submitted these questions. None were selected to ask the PM

Question 1

My question is on behalf of some 207,000 members of Australia’s military superannuation schemes, and 30,000 of our most seriously injured Diggers.

Prime Minister,
You have repeatedly stated that you believe in a “FAIR GO FOR ALL AUSTRALIANS, NOT JUST SOME, BUT ALL AUSTRALIANS.”

There are thousands of members of Australia’s Defence family who are excluded from Labor’s recent announcement on Defence pension indexation. They include military widows, those forced into early retirement, and even current members of the ADF who have been on battlefields for the past 10 years. All of these Australians either rely, or will rely, on an income stream from their military super that Governments had promised would not erode though cost of living increases, but that doesn’t happen.

It gets worse; our most disabled troops were denied a major pension increase provided to age pensioners in 2009, causing financial distress for many families.

What can you say or do for members of our Defence family who feel disenfranchised by Labor’s lack of a “FAIR GO FOR ALL AUSTRALIANS?”

Question 2

I am one of 63,000 retired Defence Force members who rely on my military super retirement income for my family to survive. I paid for this super during my x years in the defence force. I had no choice – it was compulsory.
I was promised that my retirement income would be adjusted regularly to ensure my living standard did not decline over the years.

One 6 monthly adjustment last year added 42? cents a week to my income, not enough to buy half a loaf of bread.

Labor’s recent policy announcement to improve indexation for some military retirees still leaves many thousands out in the cold and doesn’t stop the erosion in value of their incomes.

If elected, will you undertake to go further and provide military retirees the promised benefits of long service as originally intended by Parliament?


 Question 3

I am the wife of a retired military serviceman. When planning for his retirement we were assured from his superannuation contract that his retirement payment (pension) would retain its value because it was indexed to keep pace with the cost of living. It hasn’t.

When I become a military widow I will receive 5/8ths of my husband’s superannuation pension 62.5% to survive on. Yet I believe that the percentage applying to a parliamentarian’s widow is 84%.

Can you explain the fairness in that?


Question 4

The only reason to index any tax payer funded welfare payment or commonwealth employee superannuation pension is to protect the purchasing power of those payments.

Successive governments have recognised this principle and applied it to the Age, Service and welfare income support recipients only but NOT to its military employees superannuation payments whose members are contracted to make compulsory contributions to their schemes.

 By not maintaining their superannuation’s purchasing power isn’t the Government (THE EMPLOYER) in breach of its superannuation contract with military superannuates (THE EMPLOYEES)?


Peter Thornton (an independent researcher) submitted this video question