Palmer United Party Wants Better Deal for Retired Diggers

Media release

The federal leader of the Palmer United Party and Member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer, has called for legislation before parliament related to fair indexation of Defence Force pensions to be amended to include fairer indexation arrangements for all recipients, not just those aged 55 and older.

Mr Palmer said the Palmer United Party was committed to a fairer and more just approach to Veterans Affairs after more than two decades of neglect from both the Coalition and Labor.

He said the Defence Force Retirement Benefits Legislation Amendment Bill currently before parliament proposes a new indexation formula for military superannuants aged 55 and over.

“This legislation should be amended to include fair indexation arrangements for all defence force retirement and death benefits not just those 55 years and older,” Mr Palmer said.

Mr Palmer said while civilian aged pensions and politicians’ pensions have been regularly increased in line with the Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE), military pensions have been linked to the CPI.

“The CPI is by far the lower socio-economic indicator and in the last 20 years it has plummeted in comparison with MTAWE,” he said.

“This has resulted in an injustice for over 200,000 veterans and their families who have struggled under an inferior pension system.”

Mr Palmer said the amended legislation would make upward movements in the CPI, Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI) and the MTAWE floor a part of the indexation methodology for pensions paid to pensioners aged 55 or older on either 1 July or 1 January.

“The legislation should also ensure DFRB and DFRDB members with significant past service are not required to pay Division 293 tax on the value of that past service as a result of the benefit improvement brought about by this measure,” he said.

Please note: Andrew Willkie MP intends to move the appropriate amendment tonight in the House Representatives in the absence of Clive Palmer who will be attending a family dinner for his 60th birthday.