ADF plane and controller at work


The Military Superannuation and Benefits Scheme (MSBS) is designed for eligible Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel.

  • Opened on 1 October 1991

  • Closed to new members on 30 June 2016

  • MilitarySuper is a hybrid fund, providing both Accumulation and Defined Benefits. This means your Member Benefit and Ancillary Benefit (if applicable) is based on contributions into the fund, plus investment earnings, and your Employer Benefit is determined by a formula.

The following information outlines the general workings of the fund and is not intended for preserved members, pensioners or those with a spouse account or associate benefit.
ADF member directing cargo

How it works

Depending on your circumstances, as a MilitarySuper member your benefit may include these components:

  • Member benefit
  • Employer Benefit
  • Ancillary Benefit (if applicable)
  • Member Benefit

    • As a contributing member, you’re generally required to make contributions fortnightly to your super at a rate between 5% and 10% of your super salary. You must nominate a rate as a whole percentage, or you’ll default to 5%. These are known as ‘member contributions’.
    • Your super salary is your gross annual rate of pay for your rank, increment level and pay group. It includes the annual rate of any recognised allowances that are payable to you.
    • Member contributions will grow in line with investment performance.
    • Once you reach your pension maximum benefit limit (PMBL) you won’t be permitted to make any further member contributions unless you separate and re-enter service.
  • Employer Benefit

    Your Employer Benefit is a notional amount, determined by the following formula:


    Employer Benefit = FAS x EBM


    FAS = your Final Average Salary. This is calculated over the last 1095 days of service, or total service, if your current period of service is less than 1095 days. Your super salary is your gross annual rate of pay for your rank, increment level and pay group. It includes the annual rate of any recognised allowances that are payable to you.

    EBM = your Employer Benefit Multiple. While you’re contributing to MilitarySuper, your EBM grows with your total years of aggregated service.

    Years of service

    EBM growth per year of service

    Enlistment to 7 years


    7 years 1 day to 20 years


    20 years 1 day +


    • Your FAS is $100,000 and you have contributed 8 years of service.
    • Your EBM for the first seven years is 7 x 0.18 = 1.26.
    • Your EBM for the eighth year is 1 x 0.23 = 0.23.
    • Your total EBM is 1.26 + 0.23 = 1.49.
    • Your Employer Benefit is $100,000 x 1.49 = $149,000

    Productivity contributions

    The ADF will usually pay 3% of your super salary as productivity contributions, until you reach your pension MBL, unless you elect to stop contributing earlier. These contributions will grow in line with the default investment option, Balanced. Your accumulated productivity contributions form part of your Employer Benefit, with the balance of your Employer Benefit paid from consolidated revenue.

  • Ancillary Benefit

    You will have an Ancillary Benefit if MilitarySuper receives contributions or rollovers that cannot be paid into your Member or Employer Benefit. This includes any additional personal contributions, transfer amounts, salary sacrifice amounts, government contributions or contributions from ADF to meet Super Guarantee obligations.

    MilitarySuper Ancillary

Dad doing push-ups with twin daughters on his back

We invest your money

All contributions paid to your account are invested, but the final value of your Employer Benefit is calculated using the formula FAS X EBM. The tax components of your Employer Benefit depend on the amount of contributions paid, and the net returns from their investment in the default option over time, minus fees and costs. Your benefit is valued in units. When contributions are received by MilitarySuper, the money ‘buys’ a number of units and the value of each unit is known as the unit price. The value of your investment can change, depending on investment performance. The costs associated with the purchase or sale of units are reflected in the unit price for each investment option.

Learn more about We invest your money

Your investment options

You can choose from four investment options for your Member Benefit and Ancillary Benefit. You can invest your current balance and future contributions (excluding your Employer Benefit) in one or more of these options:


Income focused


Balanced – the default option

Built in Death and Invalidity Cover

Your MilitarySuper membership includes automatic Death and Invalidity Cover at no cost.

Invalidity benefits

Generally, you are covered for an Invalidity Benefit based on your degree of incapacity for civilian employment. You’ll be classified as either Class A (60% or more incapacity), Class B (30% or more but less than 60%) or Class C (less than 30%). If you’re classified as class A or B, benefits are generally payable.

ADF medical transition ADF member guide to invalidity 


Death benefit

How much is payable?

The benefit payable varies according to whether you die:

  • in service (i.e. as a contributing member); or
  • as a pensioner; or
  • after you leave the ADF but before you receive your employer benefit (i.e. as a Preserved Benefit member).

For more information, download our Death and Invalidity benefits booklet.

Who receives Death benefits?

Generally, death benefits are payable to an eligible spouse, eligible children or a legal personal representative such as the executor of your estate.

Retirement or transition

Leaving the ADF?

If you separate from the ADF, your access to benefits will depend on your exit type. Your benefit will otherwise remain preserved in MilitarySuper, until you meet a condition of release. Your Preserved Member Benefit and Ancillary Benefit will continue to grow in line with your chosen investment option. Your funded Employer Benefit will grow in line with the Balanced fund and your unfunded Employer Benefit will grow in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

When you’re ready to retire

There are a number of ways you can withdraw your super in retirement, and how you access your money will depend on your specific circumstances. Depending on these circumstances, you may be able to claim your Employer Benefit as a lifetime fortnightly pension, a lump sum or a combination of both. Your Member and Ancillary Benefits will only ever be payable as a lump sum.

Plan retirement

We're your guide

Access free education material to help you make the most of your super through member consultations, webinars, videos and seminars, as well as financial planning* to help guide you through your questions.

Upcoming live webinars

Download more information

About to leave the ADF?

This factsheet outlines how to apply for a superannuation benefit when you discharge from the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Investment options and risk

This document outlines the investment options available to MilitarySuper members. It forms part of the MilitarySuper Product Disclosure statement.

MilitarySuper Ancillary benefit

Some super contributions can’t be made to DFRDB or MilitarySuper. Instead, they can be paid to your MilitarySuper ancillary benefit, and claimed as an additional lump sum. This factsheet is for DFRDB and MilitarySuper members who have an ancillary benefit.