In April 2009 the Federal Government commissioned a Review of Military Compensation Arrangements (the Campbell Review) to ensure appropriate support and compensation is being provided to Australias veterans and ex-service personnel.
Consultation with members and former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and their families, Ex-Service Organisations, key agencies and other stakeholders has been undertaken. Submissions closed on 30 June 2009.
The Review is examining the operation of the current military compensation schemes, with specific reference to the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004. It addresses long standing issues including disparities and perceived inequities between the three compensation Acts and difficulties encountered by those transitioning out of the services or making claims.
The aim of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) was to incorporate the best features of the other two existing military compensation Acts, the Veterans Entitlement Act 1986 (VEA) and the Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA). This has largely been achieved.
However, there are significant shortcomings and anomalies in the legislation and its application that need to be corrected. They have been highlighted in the ESOs submissions to the Review.
The report was released by the Minister for Veterans Affairs on 18 March 2011 and released for feedback from the defence and veteran communities up to 30 June 2011. The Government will consider the feedback provided before it formulates its response to the report.
Proposal: That the Government hasten the Reports release.
Only way pollys will understand will be thru a class action for discrimination and failure to abide by their own laws on employment and conditions.
I did not give them permission to change my super and make it an unfunded super.
I paid my contribution the Government has not contributed its part as per commonwealth employment laws.
My super is still being taxed after 60.
Is there not a law that states that you cannot have a perpetuity loan one that only finishes at death: I thought that all loans must have a definite time frame. Why then cant I get my full DFRDB pension payment after I have paid the commutation back?
Thomas, all great comments and questions.Some responses are:
Legal action is being explored.
The unfunded decision was a tax one but when we explained that our contributions were taxed (funded) while the Governments contributions were not taxed (unfunded) the Government allowed us a 10% rebate on the taxed amount. super Government contributions were unfunded and so tax
The commutation matter is a vexed one that we have told the Government we will challenge in the new Parliament.
I was interviewed by Peter Goers (ABC Radio) here in Adelaide today, 28 May 2012. My aim was to highlight the large and continually increasing gap between people who are paid under the SRCA with those paid under the MRCA. I am not sure if I managed to convey this as I was exceedingly nervous and the interview is all a bit of a blur.
As an ex Naval Supply Lieutenant I am quite used to using pay scales so was able to do a comparison between my current compensation and what I would have been paid if the SRCA was still linked to Military Pay Scales in lieu of CPI for its increases (2001 saw this change). The result was a whopping $17,762 per year less (as at April 2011 rates). Add to this the $7063 that is paid to MRCA recipients as remuneration loading and you will start to understand the enormity of the difference (again at April 2011 rates).
I have contacted various Veterans Affairs Ministers over the years including the present incumbent Minister Snowden. Minister Snowden sent me 2 letters noting in the first that the SRCA was the responsibility of the Minister for Employment Education and Workplace Relations and that the indexation of ADF salaries and the SRCA were similar between 2002 and 2011. In the second he noted that the 2006 ADF pay grade restructure meant it was no longer a simple matter of looking up your rank and pay grade at discharge and aligning this with the current salary rates and; that the Military Compensation Reviews had found that only a 2.4% difference existed between ADF and WPI increases. Also that consideration be given to using the WPI method within the MRCA (best MRCA recipients keep an eye on this one).
It was not very comforting to find that the Minister for Veterans Affairs held so little interest in what concerned SRCA recipients that he would bump us off to another Minister. I also highly contest the 2.4% difference especially noting the amount my compensation has fallen behind. I note that as the Military was able to transfer all its personnel from pre to post 2006 pay grades and DVA managed to do the same with MRCA recipientsit is hard to believe they would be unable to do so with SRCA recipients.
I have also received a reply from Senator Evans, Workplace Relations Minister who cited "administrative difficulty" and that the Military Compensation Review noted consideration should be given to extending the SRCA methods to apply to MRCA benefits also (agian watch out MRCA recipients).
"Administrative difficulty" was a real stretch as every ex-service person under the SRCA presently has to have their NWE calculated separately every year, with no way of checking these calculations against a set pay scale as was the case before the 2001 amendment. A concise NWE calculation check would now entail establishing the persons final Rank, Pay Grade and Increment level, locating that years Military Pay Scales, interpreting the legislation to find out when they would receive their first CPI increase and then adding CPI increases and increment increases up to the present date. The old method involved establishing the persons final Rank, Pay Grade and Increment level and then referencing this against the Military Pay Schedule. The present system leads to undetected errors, people being under and over paid and large administrative burdens when errors are found. In my case the error had to be taken to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and cost a great deal in time and legal costs to both myself and Veterans Affairs. It took DVA some 3 goes to come up with a "correct" figure and involved having consent order rewritten with legal costs of both sides borne by DVA, all because of the complexity of the process.
The 2001 amendment to the SRCA that I have been referring to was made under the auspices of allowing compensation increases to people whos original work classification/pay level no longer existed. This caused their compensation payments to be frozen from the time of their employment level being discontinued and was an area that needed to be rectified. This was not applicable to ex military personnel as we have a structured and continuing set of pay scales.
Well that was my 2 cents worth and I hope that my addled ramblings on radio may have garnered some interest in this rather important, at least to us, issue.
this does not include 10 yr plus reserve, compensation if due cuts out at 55yrs, and your on your own. also when waiting for acceptance money paid by centre link is paid back before DVA pays in, TPI get full pension plus some service pension which should be considered for all long service rreserves.
DVA fails to understand that Defence folk are skilled at scanning and collecting intelligence.
Any member at any level if availed of the last 10 years of DVA actions would see a clear set of themes that encompass internal DVA re-design that has and IS shifting its Structure, Systems, Performance and Style.
Also observable is, their schemes (Tactics) therein eg the construction of what appear to be, genuine reviews (Mil Comp Review) but in actual fact, further add to an already well established doctrine, whereby Building Additional Complexity is the goal.
Ive read above that "we" shouldnt name names or point the finger... I challenge this for the following reasons.
a, DVA is evolving along a pathway commonly
called a Strategy.
b, This strategy was designed by people, not
cattle, nor Kangaroos or some etherial being
from outer space... by real, flesh n blood
c, Those humans are the DVA Senior Executive
d, Their plan clearly has: 1, Objectives 2, Force
Ratio 3, Impetus 4, Momentum 5, Flexibility.
So far this Plan has:
1. Superannuation -
2. DVA denying compensation for current and former members who are injured in different wars, on different body parts - what DVA has twisted and re-labelled as Double Dipping where ostensibly DVA deny payment for an injury by off-setting it against a previously compensated injury sustained in a different theatre, year and body part.... no where else does this happen -- and certainly not within DVA.
3. DVA denying Incapacity Payments to Self-Employed former members disabled/incapacitated by Defence acquired-DVA accepted conditionss by twisting definitions and deeming that Gross Business Income of any member is equal to his/her actual/ability to earn thus providing DVA with a means to deny incap-payments to members who are hospitalised from their Defence service acquired injury/ies eg, if a member owns a Milkbar, buys a carton of Milk for $1.00 and sells that carton of Milk at retail for $2.00, then DVA (contrary to the ATO, the Income Tax Act, and every accounting/economic University text book) deems that the sale price i.e. Gross Business Income, is the personal income of the incapacited member.
. Sit Rep . as at Feb 2012, the above new DVA precedent that will affect EVERY former, current and future Defence member is being contested - DVA via its agent DLA Piper has stated that "if it loses [in its current battle] it will take its case to the Federal Court..." DVA has expended hundreds-of-thousands $$ to develop this new precedent... if left un-contested, every member who may become self-employed (eg Driver-Consultant-Franchisee-Book Writer-Blogger-Security Consultant-Government Advisor-Jims Mowing-Milkbar Owner) with an injury, will be without Incapacity Cover in the event that their injury puts them in hospital
DESIGNING SYSTEMIC ABUSE - THE DVA STORY
DVAs ongoing march to complicate various Military Compensation Acts, Policies and Practices has been steadily maintained over recent years - Many conclude DVA is developing a framwork, tools and instruments with a view to developing a greater capacity to subjectively interfere with claims by proxy-instruments i.e. VEA-MRCA-SRCA and DVA SoPs - In addition, the intangible aspects that serve to shift culture inside DVA in order to facilitate staff-compliance are occuring at pace - basically, new less-trained staff sustains and builds an environment of subjective decision making.
DVA: The Secretary of DVA and the Senior Executive have with resolute determination always blocked individuals, groups, and ex-service organisations who pursue fair and just dialogue on any of the above issues.
Considering DVA first maligned and contorted original definitions in favour of new precedents then does nothing when repeatedly engaged (over many years) by members and ESOs, reason dictates DVA i) Initiated the action ii) Ignores all reasonable arguments, iiiI) Does nothing to remedy clear perversions, leaving DVAs Senior Exec as the primary agent in the lead role to unravel the threads of 90 years of sacrifice.
DVA MINISTER: Warren Snowden recently threatened to walk out on an assembled group of Veterans and former/current Defence members in the Townsville RSL... they dared to raise their concerns regarding the Superannuation debacle... this Minister as with the previous (Griffin) have with their in-actions and dismissive attitudes at both a Federal level and to the faces of Veterans and members have clearly acted against their portfolio.
With alarming regularity a clear strategic intent to undo 90 years of sacrifice is emerging - It may have various component parts, but all come to rest with the same decision makers in one place and territory, with the same portfolio of shared responsibilitie s, seated together in one house under one flag --- Its time to vote.
All ADF serving and retired members along with our families are a formidable force, come election time we have the power to vote in those who favour our campaign. .
The caucus has resolved their infighting leadership issues and has “united” if that’s possible so with the forthcoming elections now is the time to increase pressure on them to review our super indexation.
As the elections draw near we shall see the pollies handing out lollies to bribe the population so as to regain power.
Now is a good time to keep plugging away to push our fair go campaign for military pensions indexation as the politicians will want the thousands of votes from our serving members /ex military pensioners and their family members.
Miss this opportunity and we shall spend another 30 years fighting the same old cause.
We need to increase the pressure and act as a united voice until we drive it into these politicians that we shall not fade away like good little soldiers.
I also fully agree in pursuing a class action suite as we need become more aggressive to bring this situation to a head,
The media publicity alone if threatened with a class action suite would generate enough publicity to draw light to the lousy deal we have to be content with.
Failing all that we need to consider forming our own political party to give us a voice in parliament.
The MRCA Review is a very important process. There are a number of issues that require the support of ESO, namely:
1. Revocation of the Service Differential for Peacetime Service in comparison to Warlike/Non-warlike service. The difference in compensation amount for Permanent Impairm can be up to 85%. That is a Peacetime Service person will be up to 85% worse off than someone on Warlike/Non-warlike service.
No matter what the spin that is placed on this, Peacetime injuries and illnesses are exactly the same Impairment as anyone - no matter where they served upon clinical onset/worsening.
The discrmination must be removed and the Peacetime service differentiation moved up to the levels of warlike/nonwarlike service Permanent Incapacity amounts.
2. Get rid of the 60% reduction of the Special Rate Disability Pension. This is another discriminatory precedent that has never been seen before. That is from the 100% of the General Rate to the top end of the Special Rate (TTI/TPI), that amount will be reduced by 60 cents in every COMSUPER dollar.
Whilst veterans under the VEA, are able to not have their TPI affected by COMSUPER, the situation for a Young Veteran on SRDP is most disadvantageous .
3. The addage of 10% for warlike service widows (ers) provides further disparity of a service differentiation . A service person who is killed on duty in Australia is no different to a service person killed on operations.
Why the continual discrimination against Peacetime service?
The MRCA was never to impede nor be less beneficial than previously provided entitlements.
The Pollies just voted themselves an enormous pay rise. They clearly demonstrated again that they have no integrity.
When I was joined the Army and was forced to contribute to DFRDBD I was told that the DFRDB would give me a CPI indexed income for the rest of my life
No one who worked towards getting their Military Superannuation would have had any inkling that the CPI was going to be so manipulated that it would be unusable to reflect cost of living.
You have to admit, It was a great con job?
(why)? am i still paying off my measly $1600 less $ 600 tax leaving $1200 compensation for pain & suffering, from injuries suffered whilst being in the navy, my wife and myself are still paying it off from our service pensions,we have allready paid it back twice over,but veteran affairs inform us that we have to pay it until my demise,( forever ) thats just how it goes, WHAT A LOT OF CROKE, WHO MAKES THESE RULES, THIS NEEDS LOOKING IN TO, THEY DIDNT TELL ME, THIS WHEN THEY MADE ME SIGHN THE COMPO PAPERS,how can you pay more than you receive. ???