The Coalition Government will introduce legislation this week that will deliver fair indexation to Defence Forces Retirement Benefits scheme (DFRB) and Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits scheme (DFRDB) military superannuants, aged 55 and over, from July 1.
Federal member for Page Kevin Hogan said the legislation would honour the Government’s pre-election commitment to fair indexation.
“In the lead up to Anzac Day, it’s important to remember the service these men and women have given to our country and ensure that we look after them in their retirement,” he said.
This legislation means that from July 1 this year military superannuants aged 55 and over will have their pensions indexed in the same way as age and service pensions.
Assistant Minister for Defence, the Hon Stuart Robert MP, said military superannuants would benefit from increased pensions that better reflect cost of living pressures.
“If passed by Parliament, 57,000 DFRB and DFRDB military superannuants and their families will get what they have long fought for. They will get the fair go they deserve after being denied for so long.”
Mr Hogan said as part the Government’s commitment to our servicepeople there would be no change to the eligibility under the Veteran’s Children Education Scheme (VCES) and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme (MRCAETS).
Under these schemes, eligible secondary students aged between 16 and 25 – and still living at home will continue to receive non-means tested education allowances up to $13,312 per annum, (from $230.70 to $512.00 per fortnight).
A Special Financial Assistance payment of up to $4000 per annum is also payable, and up to $2000 in additional tuition fees can also be funded. In addition, students who are eligible under the VCES and MRCAETS schemes are entitled to guidance and counselling through state-based VCES and the VVCS. Some are also entitled to a Repatriation Health Card for all conditions (Gold Card) to cover medical expenses.
The Income Support Bonus of $211 per annum has only been paid once. Ceasing this bonus will not affect any other payments or benefits available to students that receive a DVA education allowance.
DVA clients can contact 133 254 or 1800 555 254 from regional Australia for more information.