For many years, Snedden Hall & Gallop has advised current and former public servants who were wrongly told at various times that they were not eligible to join Commonwealth superannuation.

We are also seeing that a possible emerging issue is government employees discovering that their “salary for superannuation purposes” may have been incorrectly calculated.

A person’s “superannuation salary” is based not only on their wages, but also may take into account various allowances to which the person is entitled. For example, a claimant may be entitled to allowances for being overseas for postings or deployments, or for allowances attached to performing special duties or obtaining additional qualifications.

The classification of what is, and is not, a qualifying allowance for superannuation purposes can be quite involved and complicated, and it may be that specialist advice is needed to determine whether a government employee’s superannuation salary has been correctly calculated. Care must also be taken to ensure that any eventual gains from a recalculation are not subsumed by legal and financial fees.

At present, this is an evolving area of law. There has to date been no specific court or tribunal decisions handed down in relation to the calculation of superannuation salary using public service allowances. In certain circumstances it may be possible to work with the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) informally to persuade them that a person’s superannuation salary should be recalculated.

How Can we Help?

We are available to assist clients by providing advice in circumstances where it appears that their superannuation salary appears to have been miscalculated.

Our Commonwealth Superannuation team can assist you with these enquiries, and can be contacted on 02 6285 8000 or by email.