The Voice of the Alliance of Defence Service Organisations (ADSO) in the fight for a FAIR GO for Australian Defence Personnel, Veterans & Families
Update 20 – Carpe Diem
12 Jul 2012
Issue # 20 Dated: 11 July 2012
UPDATE 20 – CARPE DIEM … SEIZE THE DAY
Welcome to all our new supporters. You join with thousands in the Defence family who want to protect your best interests, as well as with many more thousands in the wider community who want to help defend their protectors.
Military Superannuation Pension Indexation – A Reminder of the Issue
The core issue is the employment “contract”. Military superannuation, a condition of military employment, required a compulsory contribution from pre-tax pay. In return, military superannuation pensions would be indexed to maintain purchasing power. That condition has been breached for over two decades.
Indexation was updated in 1997 for Commonwealth income support pensions (Age and Service pensions etc) to a new method that helped maintain purchasing power, but ADF men and women were left on CPI. In 2009 that method was further updated but military superannuants were again left on CPI, adding to the injustice and unfairness.
We want restoration of our service condition and that will be achieved by receiving the same percentage increase given to the Age and Service pension. (Remember that the only rational reason to index any taxpayer-funded payment is to protect its purchasing power, which means that all should be indexed identically.)
CPI Inadequacy Exposed
As events move quickly we need to capture every opportunity to reinforce our claim. The latest opportunity came last week when we all received our increased CPI superannuation payment of 0.1%. What better practical display to all Australians of the inadequacy, unfairness and injustice of the Governments insistence that CPI is a fair measure of maintaining purchasing power to keep pace with the cost of living?
And the latest from the Treasurer who said that our superannuation scheme is “a generous one”. Mr Swan made that statement on 4 BC the same day as the announcement that Parliamentarians would receive another salary increase from a 3% CPI Tribunal decision (that is passed on to their superannuants by their wages based indexation method). Listen to the interview and hear Wayne Swan dodge the Is it Fair? question.
If the Treasurer regards our schemes increase as generous, how would he describe his increase?
If our indexation had been restored to the service condition of “maintaining its purchasing power” using the same formula as the Age and Service pension method, our CPI percentage increase would have been about 0.9%. So in dollar terms using the DFRDB average pension of $24,836, the payment would have increased from 93 cents to $8.37 per fortnight. Thats FAIR!
You can calculate the ravages that CPI only indexation has done to your military superannuation pensions here
Peter Criss sprang back in action on the radio airwaves last week to highlight the impact of the CPI increase on military superannuants and widows and make the comparison with the Age and Service pensions and the politicians increase. His interviews included • 2UE (Sydney) with Jason Morrison. • 4 BC (Brisbane) with Greg Carey. Petes interview here exposes Wayne Swans “spin” here on the previous day interview with Greg Carey: both interviews must be heard. • 6PR (Perth) with Howard Sattler.
Neil Mitchell 3 AW (Melbourne) also broadcast a request for information from military superannuants on their meagre CPI indexation amount: many responded but no pod cast was made.
In the public interest we encourage those radio stations to sponsor a live on air debate military superannuation indexation with Pete Criss (our David) and Wayne Swan (The Governments Goliath) or any other Government “champion”.
It is very difficult to give you early warning of radio interviews but well try by email if possible. Failing that how about you check the www.adso.org.au Home page each morning for future interviews or listen to the pod casts of ones you missed?
Have your say and enter the fray!
You can help us by listening to the interviews and responding immediately on air call back if offered or write a comment on the stations web sites. An effective way to be heard is to email the radio station and register your interest and availability to receive calls on that subject from the station. Howard Sattler firstname.lastname@example.org encourages that.
Today we protested the CPIs inadequacy nationally at selected ALP marginal seat Electoral Offices with small representative teams and by sending ADSO Protest Letters to all Parliamentarians. You can help by sending your own letter to your local MP and the PM, Treasurer, Finance Minister or DVA Minister. Or use our template located here. Please read the instructions on how to use the template here.
Rod Oakeshotts Motion in the House of Representatives – Progress Report
The motion was debated in the Federation Room on Monday 18th June and adjourned to the next Parliamentary sittings commencing 14 August
Speculation has it that if the motion has the Coalitions support and at least three Independents (Note that Rob Oakeshotts motion is seconded by Tony Windsor and a similar motion in May 2010 was seconded by Bob Katter) then it will be carried. If the vote is even then the Speaker has the deciding vote.
Op Aware 1. Thanks for your feed back. We learnt some valuable lessons to be applied in Op Aware 2.
Op Aware 2 is planned for the period 4-18 August in the lead up to Vietnam Veterans Day. Dual emphasis will be placed on the restoration of DVA TPI and disability pensions indexation AND military superannuation pension indexation.
What They Say on Significant Issues
Follow the correspondence between the Hon. Stephen Smith Minister for Defence and DFWA/ADSOs David Jamison and compare the positions on significant issues including: • military superannuation (indexation, access to employer benefits, commutation, maximum benefit limits, ADF Reserves access, taxation and single governance structure) • Veterans Disability Payments • ADF Workplace Remuneration Arrangements for current servicemen and women • Other matters
The Governments intransigence means that they will oppose any legislation to change the current CPI indexation formula for military superannuation pensions on the basis of the Matthews Report finding that CPI is the right index. And they use financial data analysis from that report to “prove” to the Parliament that it is too costly to implement the changes we propose.
We continue to produce evidence that challenges the financial data used by Matthews for its assumptions, accuracy, completeness and accounting treatment (the Dark Arts as stated by the previous Finance Minister, Lindsay Tanner, in his book “Sideshow – dumbing down democracy”, see page 108). Still the Government ignores our request for an independent review by a professional body.
The real issue is the denial or the erosion of our individual right to receive a vested condition of service related to our superannuation indexation. That condition requires a non discretionary payment.
The Coalition has pledged that in Government it will legislate in its first year to index the DFRDB pension, excluding persons under 55 years old, to the same percentage as the Age and Service pension. This is only part of our need to apply it to all military superannuation schemes
New MSBS Video Released
Unfair CPI Indexation doesnt only affect DFRDB pensioners. We have released a new video featuring AVM Peter Criss clearly explaining how MSBS pensioners are also disadvantaged by unfair indexation. Even if you are not an MSBS retiree, please support us by watching the video and leaving a comment, and passing the video link on to your contacts. It is important that current ADF members see this video and the only way this will happen is through viral distribution through your email and facebook contacts.
Changes in ADSO Leadership
At the RAAF Associations AGM in June, Air Vice-Marshal Brent Espeland AM (Retd) was elected President replacing AVM Roxley McLennan AM (Retd): welcome to Brent. Thanks Roxley for your support and guidance in both ADSOs formation and governance of the Fair Go Campaign.
Ray Gibson, my Fair Go Campaign Co-Director has reluctantly decided to retire from this role to the reserve bench for precautionary health reasons. Alf Jaugietis (DFWA) is Rays replacement until Les Bienkiewicz (DFWA) returns in late September. In the meantime, Ray will continue to assist us particularly in creative marketing and PR work with flyers and video clips etc.
Appeal to Campaign Subscribers.
As the Campaigns tempo increases and we move to scale up to more direct action, we invite you to upgrade your commitment by joining our Action Group in your Federal electorate. Look at our volunteer form to see the sort of tasks they perform. Or join any one of our Advisory Groups.
You are all a vital link in our communications chain so please relay our reports, appeals and messages to your own social media and other networks.
There has been an increasing number of family members, particularly spouses and mothers of current serving men and women joining the Campaign. They bring to us a broader family, operational and marketing perspective. Invite your family to join with us now.
Buy a Bumper Sticker and carry the message wherever your car goes.