Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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Issued by the authority of the Minister for Finance

Superannuation Act 1976

Superannuation (Eligible Employees) Regulations (Amendment)

The Superannuation Act 1976 (the Act) makes provision for and in relation to an occupational superannuation scheme for certain Commonwealth employees and other persons.

Section 168 of the Act provides that the Governor-General may make regulations for the purposes of the Act.

A person eligible to contribute under the Act is referred to as an "eligible employee". The term "eligible employee" is defined in subsection 3(1) of the Act. In accordance with paragraph (j) of the definition, the term does not include a person included in a prescribed class of persons. Thus, certain classes of persons may be excluded by regulation from becoming, or remaining, contributors. The classes of persons so excluded are prescribed in the Superannuation (Eligible Employees) Regulations (the Regulations).

Where a person becomes an unattached Secretary, in practice, under current arrangements he or she continues to receive full salary and is able to continue membership of his or her superannuation scheme until retiring age.

On 25 September 1992 the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Public Service Matters, Senator Cook, announced new arrangements to apply to unattached Secretaries which will enable them to take leave to take up outside employment and to receive a "mobility allowance" during that employment. However, such persons would be subject to recall to Commonwealth employment at any time during the period of entitlement to the mobility allowance.

Under the new arrangement, it is currently proposed:

(a)       the mobility allowance would be payable at the maximum rate of pay applicable to an office of Senior Executive Band 3 (Deputy Secretary level) but the amount would be reduced for earnings from private sector employment;

(b)       the mobility allowance would be payable until the earliest of.

(i)       the date five years after commencement of payment of the allowance, provided that the officer is not recalled to Commonwealth employment during that period;

(ii)       attaining age 60; or

(iii)       resigning or retiring from Commonwealth employment: and

(c)       the person would be able to continue contributions to the relevant Commonwealth superannuation scheme while entitled to the mobility allowance on the basis of the updated salary of his or her former position.

It is intended that amendments to the Public Service Act 1922 and determinations under section 82D of that Act will be made in order to reflect, and to provide, for the necessary arrangements for the payment of the mobility allowance.

Special superannuation arrangements are required in order to ensure that persons who are entitled to receive the allowance continue to have membership of the superannuation scheme provided for by the Act.

The Regulations provide that certain classes of persons will cease to be eligible employees if they join another superannuation scheme connected with their employment. As it is intended that persons who are eligible to be paid a mobility allowance should be permitted to join a separate superannuation scheme in connection with their employment without ceasing to be eligible employees, it is proposed to amend the Regulations to ensure that the exclusions do not affect them.

It is also proposed to amend the Regulations to clarify earlier amendments in response to a request from the Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances.

The amendments contained in the proposed regulations are explained in the Attachment. The opportunity has also been taken to make some housekeeping amendments which are also explained in the Attachment.

The amending Regulations have effect from the date of gazettal.


Paragraph 4(o) of the Regulations describes a class of persons who are members of a superannuation scheme where the Commonwealth, or other body by which they are employed, contributes towards the employer cost on their behalf. The amendment provides that persons who are not eligible for mobility allowance are included in this class. Persons who are eligible for the allowance are therefore not included in the class and are able to continue to contribute under the Act.


This substitutes a new version of paragraph 4(zj) of the Regulations to clarify the meaning along the lines suggested by the Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances. The substitution does not alter the effect of the original provision.

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