Return the Pension to the Australian Defence Force (ADF)

  Shacks Ghanzel

Location: Sir Big Lens of the Distant Upper Hunter
This topic has been approved by Brian Evans and maybe of intrest to current and former ADF personell and to the general public who support the work the ADF does.
Click the link below to sign the petition, when the page loads, go to the sign petition button at the bottom of the page.

Return the Pension to the Australian Defence Force (ADF)

Background (Preamble):
In October 1991 the Australian Federal Government axed the pension to persons serving the Australian Army, Navy and Air Force who have served 20 years or more. This was to bring Australian military Super into line with the rest of the country.

Since 1999, the ADF has endured an operational temp not seen since the Vietnam. Government Foreign policy has seen the ADF involved in worldwide conflict and peacekeeping missions on a ever increasing scale. They are working harder then ever before, with less equipment and even less people in uniform to get the job done.

The military wants their pension returned despite internal surveys stating otherwise. I call on the Australian Government to re-introduce the pension to the ADF who put their lives on the line for their country. Service people can spend 9 months or more away from families year in, year out. Doing one of the hardest jobs possible for 20 years deserves a modest pension.

Give service people an incentive to complete 20 years service, otherwise people will continue to leave early and the shortage of service personnel will continue.

If it's good enough for Politicians to get a pension after 12 years in the trenches of parliament, it's good enough for a digger in the trenches of Afghanistan. The military pension is a fraction of what the pension Australian Politicians receive.

I Propose that the military have the option to return to the DRFDB system as the MSBS system has changed significantly since its inception. We had no financial advice at the time, other than being told that it was a better system, which turned out to be false. Military superannuation is currently being reviewed, yet a pension is not on the cards. WHY?

UPDATE: The link to the petition have be sent to the Defence and shadow ministers. Lets see if there is a response. Also a letter has been written to be sent to major newspapers. We wait and see Ladies and Gentlemen.
We, the undersigned call on the Australian Government to return the 20 year pension to ADF. The military pension commenced in 1948 and was killed off in 1991.

In light of the world we live in today, the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen deserve to have their pension returned as a thank you for 20 years service in the defence of Australia.

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  574M White Guru

Location: Shepparton
  Oldfart Chief Commissioner

Location: Right base for BK 11R
Yeah DFRB was really great. My dad was on it from the time I was about 12 until the time he died when I was 21 and he was 59. We had to sell our house to stay afloat, my parents moved to QLD to get free hospital for his treatment and be near my sister's family who were in a position to provide some respite for my mother. I barely survived on apprentice wages. Thanks to DFRB we inherited nothing but bills.

He was a permanent grunt when there were almost none (Australian Instructional Corps pre-WW2), he worked his way from the ranks to be commissioned, trained AIF for the first half of the war, served as a Company commander in New Guinea, was Chief Instructor at the School of Infantry in the 50s and all up spent over 30 years in the Service. His only entitlements for medical treatment was for ear damage from a nearby bomb explosion, none of his other complaints (including the effects of chemical agents during tropical tests) were recognised as Service related.

In contrast, my sister's two boys (one ex-RAAF and one ex-Army) have complained about everything else, but not their super.

Are you sure you guys want to go back to that? At least with super systems you have some level of control over what you get and what you do with it.
  9034 Train Controller

DFRDB  had some major problems.  

The main one (for the members)  being that if you didn't do the twenty years all you received was your contributions back (with no interest or anything for CPI increases) and a small bonus of about $1000.  As very few personnel actually did twenty years, DFRDB did nothing for them.  

  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
In this day and age, I can't see a DFRDB pension actually giving people an incentive to stay in the military much beyond their ROSO.

The military today, is not seen as a good career. Why subject your family to being uprooted every 3 years, maybe 6 if you're lucky to stay in one place?

The pay is abysmal compared to civillian life, the equipment used, for the most part, is substandard, when it breaks you are frequently told you have no entitlement to have it repaired by the time you need it, you are not given the equipment you need to get the job done, yet are expected to successfully fulfil your orders nonetheless and you are expected to respect some bloke who's just out of RMC because he's an officer, with no experience in command, yet alone of an operational unit, just because he is an officer.

The ADF, to some extent is attempting to invest in new equipment, the ARH, Bushmaster, LR110 replacements, Mack Fleetliner, MRH90 to replace the Huey's, and the C17's to supplement the -J model Hercs are all nice, but they should have been introduced years ago.

Something else to be considered too. So long as you have civillians at CSIO, CSI, or whatever they call themselves this week, managing your pay and leave entitlements, and continually screwing them up, will you have disgruntled soldiers. It's one thing to owe the ADF money, it's another not being able to buy groceries because they've started docking your pay with no notice. This is something that happens now, not in 20 years time when you can look back, glad you've done your 20 years just to get your DFRDB pension. And the best part about all this, you've got no recourse because they're civillians. At least when you had / have military personnell there, their NCO can give them an smeg-kicking for the screwup.

Sure you get free medical and dental treatment, and depending on your OC/CO a good fitness routine, but does that really compensate for life in the service these days? And will a 20-year pension help bridge the gap? I don't think so.

For me, I'm happy I got out. 6 years service, and my pay on leaving was $46,000 a year. 3 and a bit years on the railway and I've matched that my first year, got 1.5x that my second, and this year more than doubled that, all the while being able to live where I wanted to live, when I wanted to live there.

What's more, I actually get paid for my overtime, I don't have to salute the Traincrew Supervisor, don't get my butt kicked for taking a shortcut across the grass and I'm not getting shot at, by my own people.  Very Happy

If the military is serious about retaining people, they need to change the culture to keep up with the times. By all means keep it as the military, but they've got to recognise that todays generation is not going to tolerate 20 years of service when they can do the same thing in civillian life, on better pay and conditions, without the grief that life in the Service brings.

Until they do that, they'll continue to experience a high turnover of people, pension or no pension.
  doridori Chief Commissioner

I agree that the military structure needs an overhaul, to suit the ever changing needs of the country and landscape of foreseeable issues and use, yet also to entice and encourage people to be retained.

I personally would like to see that it's mandatory until at least 23.
Give FULL training in whatever field the person aptitude and interests are and the military requirements are needed.
This WILL bring skills levels up significantly, both in technical and trade.

And for the naysayer complaints about elements like cost and morale objections...
1 in 8 (if I remember the statistics correctly) are front line (otherwise 7 in 8 are behind the lines providing some type of service/support, anything from brass band to chef and surgeon in between).
Unemployment will reduce, as will training costs to up skill the unemployed.
Health and fitness standards also will increase within the next generation onwards as well as discipline and morale issues.
They all combine to reduce expenditure required in other areas and make for a better standard for us all.

An option that may be worth consideration is first choice of DoH country wide for those that have served for a period of time, for their lifetime.
  slug48 Chief Train Controller

Location: Running around in ever decreasing circles!
MSBS started just after I got in and I switched over.  As I see it, DFRDB is only good if you do the 20 years, and even then you only get 50% of your final salary.  You still have to go out and get at least a part time job to support yourself.  50% of bugger all is still bugger all.  ADF salaries aren't as good as they claim.  I got back into my old field of work and immediately got 50% more than I left the RAAF on.  What's more, despite the claims, the experience you get isn't worth anything on the outside unless you were in one of a select few categories (something in the supply field or Air Traffic Control for example).

I got out after ten years because I had a gutful of the BS, and I'm still looking at some $$$ from MSBS once I retire (providing I'm at least 58).  It'll be a very low 5 figure sum (annually) and I'll need my superannuation/pension to live a reasonable life, but I'd have got nothing if I'd have stayed with DFRDB.

  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
I personally would like to see that it's mandatory until at least 23.
"dori dori"
I wouldn't... Having seen some recruits who wanted to be there handle a rifle and shoot was downright scary, I can imagine what would eventually happen to someone who didn't want to be there.

Besides, I am almost pathologically opposed to the draft, which is basically what it comes down to. If you are telling people to serve in the military, particularly in this day and age, there's a pretty damn good chance that sooner, rather than later, they will be in harms way in one way or another, you can't have one person who wants to be there, the other doesn't. To do that, without volunteers, is risking the welfare of people who did put up their hands, as they are more likely to tough it out than run away, scared.

Give FULL training in whatever field the person aptitude and interests are and the military requirements are needed.
This WILL bring skills levels up significantly, both in technical and trade.
"dori dori"
There is some merit in this argument, but, in saying that, it takes an inordinant amount of time to train someone, why should the military spend it on someone who will just punch out as soon as they can, but with a trade background behind them now, as opposed to someone who wants to stay and will provide value for money? There's also the risk of flooding the market with trade-qualified personnell, which is good for the economy when it's going well, but you then run the risk of a mortgage crunch when times get tough with people buying houses and the like on their "Times are good"-based salary.

The issue with the military's personnel issues today is about evenly split between retention and attraction. To keep people, particularly those with families, you need to make the job - and that's fundamentally what it is, a job - family friendly as much as you can. Split shifts, the married patch within reach of a halfway decent town (Oakey does not count as a decent town, thank you very much), decent housing - which is also available equally to single members as opposed to those with families, pay and entitlements comparable to civillian life, and not uprooting your family every 3 years, particularly with a working partner and schoolage children.

As an example, I served 6 years, in that time I was posted from Kapooka (recruit training) to Albury, to Pucka, back to Albury, to Oakey, to another unit at Oakey, to Richmond, to Amberley and back to Richmond. With a myriad of other courses and times away thrown in for good measure. Even if you take the time spent in operational units, that's one posting interstate every 1.5 years on average, and that's not fair on your wife and kids, nor your friends and family.

So now you've got the posting more or less stable, what else do you do to keep people? Howsabout paying them what they're worth? Yes, there are some very unskilled and military-specific jobs, the grunts, ADG's and many others, but, there are an awful lot of jobs that parallel those in civillian life, where the pay is anywhere from half, to a quarter of what you might expect to recieve as a civillian.

Aircrew is a good, if not specialised example, Avionics and electronics technicians, plumbers, sparkies, diesel fitters, ATCO's they can all earn big $$ in civillian life, and many, if not most, leave the service as soon as they're able to do just that. If you paid them as much, if not more than civillian employers, they'd be more inclined to stay, keeping their experience inhouse. One of the groundcrewman in my Squadron at Darwin left to do the same job at Perth airport. 4 days on, 4 days off, $80,000 a year. The ADF was paying $45,000 at the time.  Rolling Eyes

As I said initially, it's all well and good pushing for DFRDB nd the 20-year pension to be reinstated, but, you've actually gotta make it to 20 years to get it, and I don't think you'll find too many people these days that intend to, especially Gen-Y, and Gen-Z'ers. They're smart enough to see through what the Defence Force is, or more appropriately isn't offering in a career.

The Defence Force needs to address these issues before dangling a carrot that you can't eat until 20 years in the future.

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