We represent the full range of income earners who chose to join and contribute to a GSF or NPF scheme and we seek to maintain the provisions of these schemes and to engage with the Government to have anomalies corrected. Members of these schemes are current or retired government employees (and their surviving spouses) have a superannuation contract with the Crown.
1. 100% COLA
[Update June 2021 - After all the hard work from the GSA Board and some extremely knowledgeable GSA members, we are disappointed to report that the 2021 Government budget does not include an allocation to address the problem that pre 1985 annuitants do not receive 100% of cost of living adjustments. This has been an issue on our radar for some time and we have had meetings and communication with the Finance Minister on this issue, but unfortunately we did not get the result that we wanted. The Minister’s office were good enough to come back to us with an explanation, which reinforced that this 100% CoLA issue is still under consideration, but that the Government had to spread it’s spending across the three budgets of it’s term. They realised this was a disappointing result for the GSA but that it was not the end of the road for this issue, but did reflect the pressure on the Government’s budget allowances. The GSA Board will discuss where to next at the next Board meeting at the end of June.]
We have been attempting to address the application of cost of living adjustments in a fair and equitable manner to all GSF and NPF annuitants. We believe that the present situation seriously affects a small group of annuitants, many of whom are elderly women who can least afford to be disadvantaged.
We made significant progress on this issue in 2018. On 3 July, Janice Campbell, GSA President, presented the GSA petition on behalf of 3783 GSA signatories to Greg O'Connor on 3 July 2018.
In November 2018, representatives of the GSA met with the Finance & Expenditure Select Committee and discussed the petition and we now await the decision of the Select Committee.
For a full explanation of the 100% COLA issue and how we have progressed it through a number of years, please take this link GSA Advocacy - 100% COLA.
2. Tax and Your Annuity
The main outstanding anomaly in the schemes is the fixed annuity reduction imposed in 1990 in substitution for tax, taking full effect in 1999.
For a full explanation and background of this issue please take this link GSA Advocacy - Tax & Your Annuity.
3. Superable Remuneration
In August 2016, the GSA successfully won a case on behalf of a pre-annuitant member at the Government Superannuation Appeals Board who was challenging the GSFA on their interpretation of what elements of his salary package were eligible for superannuation. Please take this link to read the background of the case and how we successfully helped this pre-annuitant member - GSA Advocacy - Superable remuneration.
4. Employers' Contribution
In January 2015 we canvassed members on the subject of the GSF Employer’s Contribution and how this was handled by current employers. The evidence that we gathered showed us that the matter of the employer’s contribution and how it is dealt with depends very much on the employer. We have noticed a growing tendency for employees to be on "total remuneration" packages and to have all or part of the employer’s contribution included in their remuneration package. This can mean that any movement in the employer’s contribution has a net effect on take home salary. This practice appears commonplace, but by no means universal. There are a number of employers who are quite happy to continue as in the past, and there are still many employees protected from this practice by collective employment agreements.
Given that the GSA is not in a position to take individual cases to court where we cannot establish a principle and apply it to others, the Board has decided that unless there is a significant change in circumstances, we will not pursue this issue any further. While we appreciate that this will be disappointing to many members, we believe that this is the appropriate course of action for our Association.
To find out more about this issue, please click this link GSA Advocacy - Employer's Contribution.
Help protect your annuity and Join the GSA