Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits (DFRDB)

Overview

We are undertaking an own motion investigation into the administration of the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits (DFRDB) scheme, specifically the issue of commutation.

The investigation is focused on the accuracy of information about commutation provided to scheme members by the Department of Defence and/or the Australian Defence Force and scheme administrators (including the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC)).

What we are investigating

We are only investigating the information scheme members were given about commuting a portion of their pension.

Notewe will not be considering issues relating to indexation of the DFRDB, or any other aspects of the scheme as it was established by Parliament.

Submissions

Submissions for this investigation closed on 30 June 2019, although we continued to accept submissions and review information received after that date.

Since the investigation commenced on 21 April 2019 we received 3,430 submissions in various forms, from former members of the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Army and the Royal Australian Air Force.

Thank you to all of the DFRDB members who shared their circumstances with us.

Although we provided a template to guide input, we accepted submissions in any format and have carefully considered all material provided.

Update on progress – 29 October 2019

What’s been happening?

In our September update, we advised our team of investigators had completed a first stage analysis of all submissions and agency responses.

The second stage of our investigation is now also complete. Financial modelling results from both the Australian Government Actuary and KPMG are in. The Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) and the Department of Defence (Defence) have also responded to our request for further clarification on some issues.

We have also conducted interviews with more than 30 people who were able to provide further information of interest, which we believed would assist in our investigation. We thank these individuals for taking the time to answer our questions and share their circumstances with us.

What happens next?

We are using all of the information we have received to inform our conclusions and our final report. As is required by our legislation, we will also seek a formal comment from Defence and CSC prior to publication.

We are on track to publish the report in early December.

For further information about the investigation please contact us via DFRDB.investigation@ombudsman.gov.au or by calling 1300 362 072.