Features of the GSF (and NPF) annuity schemes
1. The GSF and the NPF Defined Benefit Plan are contributory ‘defined benefit’ superannuation schemes for government employees. The employee contributes a percentage of salary over his/her working life (in most cases at 6.5%) while the employer makes their contribution when the annuity is paid.
2. The schemes are funded by tax-paid contributions from the employee (taxed at the individual’s rates) and the employer (taxed at 33%) and income from investment of the Fund (taxed at 28%). The GSF comprises mainly the employees’ contributions.
3. As a member of one of these schemes, you have a contract with your employer, the Crown, in terms of the GSF Act, which guarantees to pay the annuity as prescribed in the Act.
4. The annuity is calculated from the period over which you made your contributions and your salary averaged over the five years before retirement.
5. On retirement, a contributor receives an annuity for life.
6. GSF contributory members may choose to assign part of their annuity to another person.
7. The annuity is tax-paid. The annuity paid to you is not assessable for income tax because tax has been paid on its funding (see 2 above).
8. The annuity is an annual sum paid four-weekly, on a Thursday. The four-weekly payment is calculated by dividing the annuity by 365 and multiplying by 28.
9. The annuity is adjusted annually in April to compensate for the increase in prices during the previous year to 31 December, as measured by the Consumers Price Index (CPI).
10. On the death of the annuitant, a surviving (married, civil union or de facto) partner receives half the contributor's annuity, for life. Other dependants may also be entitled to receive an allowance.
The GSA seeks to remedy anomalies in the schemes. Notably, the fixed nature of the annuity reduction factor (imposed in 1990 in substitution for tax); and the shortfall in the inflation adjustment for annuities commencing before 1985. Go to GSA advocacy for GSA objectives and strategies to resolve anomalies in the GSF and NPF schemes.
Further information about administration of the schemes can be obtained from Datacom: for GSF 0800 654 731 and for NPF 0800 628 776.
New Zealand Superannuation (NZS)
New Zealand Superannuation, an entitlement New Zealand citizens have from age 65, should not be confused with the GSF and NPF employment-based superannuation schemes to which government employees have contributed.