DFRDB e-Petition to the Government – Commutation Anomaly

This petition goes directly to the Parliament.  All servicemen,servicewomen, their spouses widows/widowers, who contributed to the DFRDB scheme are affected by this anomaly, Even our partners will be paying this impost until they die if we predecease them.

 This  is an opportunity for you and your partner to have your say and help correct this anomaly. And if it doesn’t affect you then please help those who are affected by signing the petition


Defence Veterans of Australia, as Commutation recipients of the DFRDB Scheme administered by Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, petition the House of Representatives to  instate the National Life Expectancy data  point of each affected veteran as the point where full reinstatement of their Commutation obligation is fulfilled: and, to reimburse to each DFRDB veteran, all over-subscribed payments forfeited by direct debit by them, once their original lump sum was repaid in full.

The DFRDB Authority failed to disclose to veterans the whole-of-life impost of a Lump Sum Commutation   on superannuation payments reduced by a factor, based on redundant Notional Life Expectancy  data and an individual’s Service data. Limited disclosure of the whole-of-life deductions was made by DFRDB,  37 years after the Scheme was launched, but never to members so affected.
Direct debit by DFRDB has been incremented and escalated over time, to a level where the original lump sum has been reimbursed multiple times. This effectively means that veterans are subsidising their own benefits.
There was no definition of the term ‘commutation’ within the legislation or in any document provided by DFRDB to superannuants, until its disclosure advised above. The direct debits were shown in the legislation and the DFRDB’s Administrative Manual to be a finite amount, not an escalating continuum .
On advice from DFRDB Administration all superannuants understood Commutation as an advance of Benefits to be reimbursed to DFRDB by fortnightly debits over a finite period and at a finite rate. How deluded Veterans were through DFRDB’s failure to disclose their interpretation of the Legislation, before the fact, thereby committing Veterans to an ever increasing, spiraling, life-term DEBT-SENTENCE.



  1. Was told that I would have to pay untill I was 72 the average age for males,would not have commuted had I known I would pay for ever

  2. Fix this travesty!

  3. Bronwyn Self says

    I am a CSC member (who is fortune to be part of CSS / on a defined benefit pension but only by chance and lucky timing) and am appalled at the inequity of issues covered by this petition. I have friends who can not afford basics, holidays are luxuries, they struggle to provide for their chikdren. They are also worried about their spouse/partner if the veterans pre-deceases them. My background is in Army Reserve so my petitioning is to help my friends and their mates. Until this is fixed I will continue to contribute all my spare pension money to help prevent unemployment and homelessness among veteran community.

  4. I agree with the petition

    • Gladys LORRAINE White says

      So do I !!** My late husband was under DFRDB and I am receiving a pension because I was a Public Servant under CSS!!

  5. Matthew Hirst says

    For the sacrifice we give it is time to give back

  6. Ross Macdonald says

    I don’t agree that there should be any ‘deductions’ to what was essentially set up as a pension fund.

  7. Greg Shinners says

    Yes it affected me big time,l have payed back hundreds of thousands of dollars,above the lump sum l received and was then Lied To about once l had payed the lump sum back my pension would reverts back to normal , bloody lying bastard

  8. Michael Busby says

    This is nothing less than government sanctioned theft.

  9. Sydney Ellis says

    I support this.

  10. Ronald Germain says

    didn’t know that

  11. Anthony Dickinson says

    This is so unfair!
    Why were we not informed originally?
    Details of commutation were NEVER explained to us fully!

  12. Kelvin Bryant says

    I would like to be kept up to date with all information on this matter please.

  13. Please act on this promptly, or are you pollies waiting for us all to die?

  14. Sandra Robken says

    This should be corrected

  15. Sonia McCarthy says

    Play fair!

  16. Those in parliament since the Whitlam government have continued to show their hatred towards members of or ex members of the defence forces of Australia. Devoid of morals and or ethics they take what is rightfully mine so they can have a very substantial pension. The time has come to rid themselves of this lie they live with.

  17. kaye stapleton says

    Servicemen,servicewomen, their spouses widows/widowers, who contributed to the DFRDB scheme are affected by this anomaly,

  18. Lloyd Edward Turner says


  19. Alex Dalco says

    Government sends them away to fight for Australia. but, Australia dosn’t fight for them when they get back. Any Service man or woman from Defence, police, fire or ambulance should be given the same retirement package as politicians get. Sad sad place Australia….

  20. Ian Gilmore says

    I have been on DFRDB pension after commutation from 1986, still on reduced pension and I am 76 years old.

  21. Sean Robinson says

    This needs to be addressed ASAP…..too many times have military personnel had their benefits stripped away leaving them struggling financially…….

  22. Brad Hampton says

    About time this is addressed.

  23. Scott Batina says

    I agree with the petition.

  24. WE Harrison says

    I support this petition.

  25. Laurie Batt says

    The Government should pay us because when they needed us we where there for them now we need them to act for us so do the right thing pay

  26. Walter Bellamy says

    I support the petition

  27. J haywardjohn says


  28. Clifford SMITH CAJ says

    A fair go.

  29. Barry Lansdown says

    The claim is completely correct. In 1985 I attended several discharges seminars where we were told that on discharge we could commute 4 years of our DFRDB pension to assist us in reestablishing our selves in civilian life. It was also stated that the commutation component was to be paid back at a fortnightly rate until the member reached their average life expectancy (I believe at that time it was 68 years). There WAS NEVER , I MEAN NEVER any information provided that the commutation payment/loan repayment was for the whole of life of the Service person. AND certainly no information that the spouse of the service person would continue to pay that commutation if she precedes her service partner. I fully support the petition.
    The politicians rave on how they value our service Well if they do, then lets see some action from them regarding this unjust screwing of past service persons pensions and correct the anomaly.

  30. Time for ADSO to support this DFRDB-COMMUTATION CAMPAIGN by encouraging all member organisations to sign this petition and increase the pressure on Government to resolve this matter

  31. Clive de Ridder says

    I strongly agree with this petition. I retired in 1983 after twenty years of service. We were told about commutation, be never told that the deductions would be for the life of the pension. To continue to take money out of a widows pension is beyond belief. I know this fight has been going on for years and has been resisted at all stages. Time to RIGHT THIS WRONG.

  32. Michael J Mummery says

    I retired in 1984 and like others wonder when this will end.

  33. Linden Miller says

    I support this petition

  34. David Catterall says

    Like many others, commuted part of my Pension way back in 1985 and am still paying; 32 years later!
    It is unfair that this will continue forever; my ‘loan’ has been ‘well & truly’ paid back!
    Fix it now!

  35. Heather Mau says

    My hubby retired in 1993 and passed away in 2006 I receive 5/8 of his superannuation pension that he paid into for 20 years so not fair this needs fixing now

  36. Wayne Salisbury says

    I strongly agree with this partition. I retired in 2000 after 28 Yrs of service. When will it end!

  37. I fully support this petition

  38. I served from 1957 to 1978. On discharge we were informed that we had to wait until we collected our first pension, (usually took one month) and then we could commute four years lump sum. This was to assist us into civilian life, er buying a house etc. This reduced my pension by an amount that would see me repay the commuted amount when i reached my life expectancy date. From memory this date was my mid sixties. I am still paying it at age 79.

  39. Brian McKenzie says

    This situation should have been included in the Banks Royal Commission, so why wasn’t it?

  40. Appalling. I was not aware, until now, that the lump sum benefit was in fact a life sentence of debt. So, without full disclosure how could we be expected to make an informed decision. Beggars belief.

  41. Gary Lock CSC says

    Not happy, like most was not given information on on paying back any commutation.

  42. Douglas Roy Clark says

    I support this petition after 20 years of service and leaving in 1981 I don’t recall any advice or documents in regards to commutation and associated repayments.

  43. John C BENNETT says

    I support this petition.

  44. george bury says

    Retired in91 ,commuted , and discriminated against by those who didn’t . The life tables weren’t updated , not our fault . parliamentary pensions regularly updated obscenely so. Totally a lack of responsibility by polititions. If we did get an increase centerlink will grab it off us fsgt gb

  45. Ron Worthington says

    I agree wholeheartly with the submission. In my case I joined the RAAF in 1963 and was discharged in 1983. I opted to comute 4 years pension. The repayments were calculated using final salary and life expectancy tables. I attended tne retirement seminas and it was NEVER stated that we would have to repay the calculated amount for the rest of my life. We were led to believe we had to repay the comuted amount, which is as it should be. I am now 78 and i was lead to believe the debt would have expired at 72. No so, as I am still paying a debt that ceased to exist 6 years ago and am required to keep paying until I die.
    This unjust and morally currupt. In fact I would say its fraud
    Please explain why the DFRDB superannuation system has not been investigated in the Banks and superannuation Royal Commission
    In fact on top of the commutation debacle the losses have additionally been multiplied by the fact reduced commuted is modified by cost of living adjustments i.e. CPI. Since modified to CPI or average male weekly earnings which ever is the greatest

  46. Brad Astill says


  47. Geoff Hodge says

    Whole of life means whole of life

  48. Stanley Robinson says

    Not once was I informed that my commutation was for whole of life. It was always based on your notional life expectancy. However that’s a bit hard to prove now after being out of the ADF for over 20 years now specially after being through a divorce and the ex throwing everything out. Hoping for a good outcome through this though.

  49. Neil Moloney says

    Why are we still being the victims of government sanctioned theft?

  50. Col simmons says

    I support this petition

  51. Ken Duffy says

    I support this I started on DFRTB but swapped to MSBS at around six years in service. Only planes on doing 10 years so made sense to change. Sux we can’t roll it into my existing pension fund!

  52. Edward Callander says

    I retired in 1985 after 22 years of service. Like many others I was told the commutation debt would be paid back until I reached my notional life expectancy, which for me was around 69 years. Also, like many others, I can only rely on memory of what we were told at the time as the relevant papers have been lost over the ensuing 34 years. I only became aware of this petition when watching the 7.30 report 29/3. Blissfully unaware as the DFRDB hoped I would be!

  53. Brian John meekings says

    I enlisted in the RAAF 1952 and finally retired in 1974. I am now 85. Please pay me my legal entitlement . Posthumously is not an attractive proposition to me obviously, however, better late than never.

  54. Mark Thomson says

    When I Joined the RAN in 1975 as a 15 year old Junior Recruit, I was told I had to join the DFRDB Scheme, was told that if I did 20 years I would get a pension for life, and I could take part of it as a lump sum, in my later years of service, and different things from the DFRDB Authority as it was then, but it was scrapped by government’s over time, they have played around with it, made new rules, etc. As there was a age based Schedule my thoughts were that once I had reached that age based number, the pension would revert to the full amount again. I discharged after 22 years, took the commutation, and reduced pension, but in 2001 I returned to service full time, to which I did a further 12 years, but this time I was Medically Discharged.
    Invalidity Benefit class A, No requirement to pay back the commutation nor would I have a right to take second commutation,
    I applied to DVA for incapacity for work payments under MRCA, and they are now reducing that payment (sorry offsetting my payment by the Invalidity Benefit that is fine, but they are also off setting the commutation amount from 97, (full amount) the offset amount is $53.86 per week. I was only paying 73 dollars a fortnight before.
    I have a case awaiting a hearing at the AAT, so if any one else is having this done please contact me.

  55. Geoff Shung 20Yrs.RAAF says

    Meanwhile at DFRDB in BELLCONNEN ACT
    Yes Minister . We are only taking the cream of the top of
    their DFRDB pensions !

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