Frequently asked questions

Here are the answers to some of our most commonly asked questions, including EOFY information, help logging into online services and many other questions we're regularly asked.

About CSC

What is your USI?

The Unique Superannuation Identifier (USI) for each of our schemes is listed below:

  • PSSap 65127917725001
  • ADF Super 90302247344001
  • MSBS 50925523120001
  • PSS 74172177893001
  • CSS 19415776361001
  • DFRDB 39798362763001
  • CSCri 65127917725002

The ATO superfundlookup.gov.au website can also help you find details about other super funds you may have. 

Where can I find your ABN?

Easy! Just scroll down. CSC's ABN and all of our scheme ABNs are listed at the bottom of our webpages. 

Where can I find information about CSC’s ethical investments? 

You can find information about CSC’s ethical investments in our product disclosure statements. You can also read more in our Stewardship Factsheet.

We believe that the most successful companies are those that consider the long-term sustainability of their business, not just the short-term drivers of current profitability.

We don’t automatically avoid companies associated with a negative theme (such as a high carbon footprint). Instead, we identify those companies at risk, work to understand the implications for their share price, and, where appropriate and practicable, support those companies to undertake activities that will reduce any undesirable outcome.

For example, we engage with companies identified as having large carbon footprints, and support them through a responsible transition of resources and processes towards reducing any undesirable climate consequences from the operation of their business.

Defined Benefits

What are the risks of a financial crisis impacting a defined benefit pension?

The Australian Government guarantees 100% of all CSC defined benefit pension payments for life (e.g. pensions from CSS, PSS and MSBS). The Future Fund was established specifically for this purpose.

Are PSS members able to move or contribute to their own super fund?

PSS scheme rules do not allow contributions otherwise than from eligible employers and members in eligible employment. Please get in touch if you wish to discuss options in relation to claiming the PSS benefit.

Find out about opening a PSSap account to compliment your PSS benefit.

The CSS has been closed to new contributors for many years now. How many contributing members remain?

As of 30 June 2020 there were 2,986 active contributors to the CSS scheme.

Why was the DFRDB scheme closed and replaced by an alternative compulsory scheme?

The DFRDB was closed to new members on 30 September 1991. From 1 October 1991 until 30 June 2016, former members who had deferred benefit rights or who were in receipt of DFRDB pensions were able to resume membership of the DFRDB under certain circumstances.

The Government introduced Military Superannuation and Benefits Scheme (MSBS) following a review of superannuation arrangements in place at that time, which considered whether the design of the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefit Superannuation Scheme (DFRDB) suited Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and reflected contemporary superannuation policy. The result was to close DFRDB for new entrants and introduce MSBS.

From 1 July 2016, former serving DFRDB members who were in receipt of DFRDB pensions were not able to join the DFRDB or MSBS if they returned to the Permanent Forces or became continuous full–time Reservists. Instead, they became eligible to join ADF Super and became eligible for ADF Cover.

What is CSC's intention to resolve the grievances of DFRDB recipients regarding commutation and indexation?  

In 2019, the Commonwealth Ombudsman published an extensive report on DFRDB Commutation, addressing the issues that have been raised by veterans. The Ombudsman’s report concluded that that neither CSC, nor its predecessors, provided incorrect information about commutation and that CSC is administering commutation in accordance with the law. The report made separate findings in relation to the administration of commutation by the Department of Defence, following which the Department of Defence issued a statement indicating that affected members could apply to the Department of Defence for compensation.

DFRDB customers are directed to the findings of the Ombudsman’s report and to the Department of Defence. The outcome of the Ombudsman’s investigation can be found on the Commonwealth Ombudsman's website.

How does the superannuation contribution increase impact on PSS or other scheme rates?

As the superannuation schemes administered by CSC are all legislated schemes, the increase of the superannuation guarantee rate will have no impact on our funds. CSC administers both defined benefit funds and accumulation funds, meaning there are varying rates of contributions depending on the scheme you are in. However, all of the schemes administered by CSC currently have higher contribution rates than what the super guarantee is increasing to, so there is no disadvantage with our schemes not changing.

What does 'preserved member' mean? 

A member who previously made contributions to a fund administered by CSC, such as CSS or PSS, but is now a non-contributing member who still has amounts held within that fund.

Will CSS and PSS be combined?

If you are a CSS member you will remain a CSS member for life. There are currently no plans for CSS and PSS to be combined.

What is 54/11? (CSS)

This answer is just for our customers in the CSS scheme

This commonly used term refers to the option of resigning prior to turning 55 (at least two days prior to your 55th birthday), preserving your benefit and claiming a deferred benefit after you reach age 55. If you choose this option, your deferred benefit will include an indexed pension (paid as your employer component). This pension is calculated based on 2.5 times your accumulated basic contributions, multiplied by a pension factor based on your age at claim. You will also be able to take your member and productivity components as a lump sum or additional non–indexed pension.

If you instead choose to continue working and retire at or after age 55, your indexed pension is calculated using a percentage of your final salary. This percentage is based on your age and years of contributory service. As the two calculation methods are very different, it is highly recommended you obtain benefit estimates for both scenarios well in advance of your 55th birthday.

Find out more about the 54/11 option

Statements

How will I receive my Annual Statement?

If you’ve opted to Go Digital, you’ll receive links to your Annual Statement and Digital Annual Statement Summary either by email or SMS.

To check where yours will be sent, log into online account to Go Digital and update your details. If you prefer to receive your Annual Statement through the post, we’ll mail it to your nominated postal address.

You can check your Annual Statement at any point after it’s been sent out by logging into your online account.

What’s included in my Annual Statement?

Your Annual Statement will include all the information specific to your CSC super account. This could include any contributions you’ve made, your investment performance, any insurance policies or cover attached to your superannuation, as well as what was deducted over the yearincluding withdrawals, tax and fees. Where possible, you will receive a projection of your balance and potential retirement income based on information available to us as at the date of the statement.

 

 

What should I do if I don't understand something on my Annual Statement?

If you're not sure, get in contact with us and we'll take you through it.

What should I do if I think my Annual Statement may be incorrect?

If you think there’s incorrect information on your Annual Statement, you should get in contact with us.

What should I do if I haven't received my Annual Statement?

If you haven't received your Annual Statement, you can log into your online account to access it. If you can’t access your online account, or you can’t find your Annual Statement online, contact us

Please note: We send paper Annual Statements in batches from the second week of September through to November 2022. If you haven’t received your paper Annual Statement, it may be because we haven’t sent it to you yet.

How do I change my contact details?

You can log into your online account to change your details.

For more information, visit Go Digital and update your details.

Where can I find more information?

Changes at work?

Find out how changes at work impact on your defined benefit. Changes at work

General questions

Is having money in super really different from keeping money in the bank? 

There are benefits and risks to having money in your super account, rather than in the bank.

One of the benefits of super is that tax rates on super are often lower than regular tax on income and normal investment earnings, and you pay no tax on investment earnings if you are taking your super benefit as a pension. 

Another benefit of money in your super account is the power of compounding returns. Thanks to the power of compounding, super can be wealth building! As each year goes by, any earnings that your super makes are reinvested—essentially giving you the potential to earn investment returns on investment returns.

However, like any other investment, super is subject to the risk of investment loss. There are also restrictions on when and how you can access funds held in super, where there generally aren’t those restrictions placed on the funds you hold in your bank account.

Find out more on How super works.

Before you make any big financial decisions, we recommend you seek professional advice from a licensed financial planner*.

How can I consolidate/combine/transfer my super to my CSC account?

There are different rules around consolidation for each of our schemes. Find out more about finding and combining your super.

Whether or not it is beneficial for you to consolidate your super depends on your personal objectives, financial situation and needs. Before making a decision you should consider the impact of consolidation on any existing insurance you hold through your existing funds, and you may want to seek professional advice from a licensed financial planner.

How can I update my contact details? 

You can update your contact details at any time using online services. Simply log in and update your details.

Alternatively, you can complete our Change of Personal Details form and send it to formsandapplicatons@csc.gov.au

If you’re currently a serving member of the ADF, your personal information, including your address, is regularly reported to us by the Department of Defence.  

Where can I find the i-estimator tool?

PSS members can use the i-Estimator to work out what your pension might look like and when you might be able to leave work, depending on your unique circumstances. CSS & DFRDB members can contact us for a benefit estimate.

i-Estimator

How can I make an appointment to see a financial planner?

About our financial planning Meet our planners

Call us at 1300 277 777, or email us at financial.advice@csc.gov.au. We’ll ask you a few questions to pinpoint exactly what kind of advice you need, and schedule a face-to-face or telephone appointment with one of our authorised financial planners.

How do I let you know I’ve changed my name? 

If your current employer is contributing super to your CSC account, they should be able to update your name on their payroll system and send the update through to us. Check with your HR department to see if this is possible.


If your HR department can’t update us with your change of name, or if your employer doesn’t contribute to your CSC Fund, you will need to let us know directly by sending in a change of details form.

For us to be able to change your name on our records, we need certified copies of your:

  • marriage certificate with your new name; OR
  • birth certificate if you have changed back to your maiden name; OR
  • change of name certificate if you have changed your name by deed poll.

Your identity documents must prove your original name (as held on our system), as well as how you transitioned from that name to your new name. All documents must be certified as true and correct copies by an appropriate person, such as a lawyer or Justice of the Peace. 

How can I vary the tax I pay on my pension?

If you want to start or stop claiming the tax free threshold on your CSC pension you need to complete an ATO Tax file number declaration form and indicate your preference at Q8. Once signed, this form can be emailed to pensions@csc.gov.au, or posted to GPO Box 2252, Canberra City, 2601.

If you want CSC to withhold additional tax, you can email  pensions@csc.gov.au and advise us of the additional amount to be deducted each fortnight, either as a percentage or as a dollar amount. Please make sure you include your name, pension reference number and date of birth in this email. 
 

How does super work?

Take a look at what superannuation is and how it works:

How super works

When will you submit tax information to the ATO?

CSC will submit your data to the ATO before 14 August 2023.

Responsible Investment

Does CSC have an ethical investment policy?

Yes, our aim is to invest all of our portfolios in ways that genuinely deliver positive and enduring change, aligned with our members’ interests. We believe that there is significant value in companies and organisations that operate responsibly and sustainably.

As a responsible asset owner, we actively work with the companies in which your superannuation savings are invested, to ensure our investments meet—or are capable of meeting—our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards. Our active ownership policy is summarised in our Stewardship Factsheet.

Find out more about investment quality and sustainability.

How are you dealing with climate risk?

CSC has a proud record of investing in assets, both public and private, that will make a positive impact on the climate. We manage climate investment risk in three key ways:

  • Renewable investments. Renewable energy is the most likely future of our global energy system, and CSC was an early investor in this opportunity set. Over the last five years, we have more than doubled our assets under management for renewable projects.
  • Supporting robust transitions from fossil fuels. As long-term investors, we believe we can support the transition away from fossil fuels in a responsible and sustainable way. We also divest of companies that derive 70% or more of their revenue from thermal coal production and generation, because they have little prospect of transitioning their operations to clean energy.
  • Focusing on the impact of the climate footprint over time. Our approach considers the carbon footprint of our investments, the market's appreciation of that and our ability to influence it, and we measure this at a net portfolio level. CSC considers all ESG issues to be fundamental, and we have consistently been a market leader, and in many cases a first mover, in this space. 

More information can be found at Investment quality and sustainability, and Your super and climate change (PDF).

Do you invest in renewables?

Yes, we do. As at 30 June 2022, CSC has with more than $1 billion invested in innovation, technology and development platforms focused on new renewable sources of energy, and the infrastructure required to make them firm and scalable. These investments are reducing emissions by 251,000 tonnes per annum.

Is CSC aligned to the Paris Agreement?

Our investment activities are expected to be aligned with the Paris Agreement.

We are progressing towards a net zero global economy. Ultimately our sole purpose is to protect and grow the retirement savings of our customers. This means any investment decisions we make must focus on the likelihood of a positive financial outcome for our customers.  

To date, we have constructed our customers’ portfolios in ways that put them in line with the Paris Agreement—that’s a 50% reduction in the public company carbon emissions from customers’ portfolios by 2030, and 100% by 2050. Going forward, we expect to achieve this if we can maintain the current pace, i.e. if these activities continue to provide financial benefits for our customers.

That is why we say we’re aligned with the Paris Agreement, but not targeting it.

Is CSC divested of thermal coal?

Since the 2020–21 Financial Year, we have divested of companies that derive 70% or more of their revenue from thermal coal production and generation, because they have little prospect of transitioning their operations to clean energy. We have not invested in new coal projects in our infrastructure portfolio since 2010.

Are there any plans to move away from the fossil fuels industry? 

We have not invested in new fossil fuel plants in our infrastructure portfolio since 2010. We have committed to help accelerate progress towards a net zero global economy to the extent and speed possible consistent with our fiduciary duty to all our members.

As long-term investors, we can support this transition in a way that respects the practical demands for energy in Australia and around the world.

We do this in three ways:

  1. Investment in renewables technology and innovations

    Investment in renewable projects and the technology and innovations that will enable a phase-out of fossil fuels is vital. Our members’ capital is working precisely to enable this innovation. As at 30 June 2022, CSC has more than $1 billion invested in innovation, technology and development platforms focused on new renewable sources of energy, and the infrastructure required to make them viable and scalable. For more information see Early adopter investments pay off for CSC customers

  2. Investment in ‘transition fuels’ to meet energy demand

    To keep up with today’s global energy demands, and to ensure access to energy is equitable (i.e. affordable), investment in oil and gas has an important and necessary role as transition fuels—for the time being.

    We currently remain invested in well-run Australian gas producers. As at 30 September 2022, our exposure to gas related businesses is 1.4%. Over time, we expect this to decline, but at a pace that allows countries around the world to continue to have reliable, uninterrupted and affordable energy until technology limits are overcome (e.g. when renewable energy generation, storage and transmission can achieve mass scale).

    We also support robust transitions away from fossil fuels by focusing our exposures in the relatively cleaner producers in Australia, those who are also self-investing in renewables, and operate with high human and community safety standards.

  3. Divestment as a last resort

    We have divested of companies that derive 70% or more of their revenue from thermal coal production and generation, because they have little prospect of transitioning their operations to clean energy. 

    However, we believe divestment is inherently ineffective and regressive because it focuses on the company supplying fossil fuels instead of focusing on demand. Demand for energy can't be shut off quickly, costlessly or easily because every company in the world (outside of nuclear jurisdictions) relies on fossil fuels to make the things that the world consumes. Moreover, supply constraints drive higher fossil fuel prices, resulting in higher fossil company or industry profits. Profits that investors and companies—encouraged by long term investors—could recycle into new renewable infrastructure.

Do you use dashboards to optimise ESG investment? 

Yes. The quality of ESG scores differs by region and industry around the world. To account for this wide and variable scope of ESG information, we use a very broad range of data inputs, processed and analysed directly through our internal risk systems and externally via our investment partners. This enables us to build dashboards using data derived from artificial intelligence (AI) processes and quantitative scores, which we use as one of many inputs to identify ESG risks and opportunities within our portfolio.

Our primary ESG scoring system rates companies on a ‘AAA’ to ‘CCC’ scale according to their exposure to industry-specific ESG risks and their ability to manage those risks relative to peers .The scores help efficient screening of the thousands of companies we gain exposure to through our passive equity investments.

Importantly, our fund managers around the world are responsible for analysing specific companies in which they have specialist knowledge with respect to the companies’ specific characteristics, management systems, and strategic priorities, as well as their advantages and disadvantages in the industries and communities in which they operate.

All of these activities form a rich tapestry of data and information from which we measure and analyse not just the ESG opportunities and risks in the portfolio, but the vulnerabilities of our material company and asset exposures. Our research has enabled us to:

  • understand and measure the climate-related exposures through the portfolio by seeking partnerships with experienced and complementary external research and data providers, incorporating exposures to physical, transition and liability risks as they relate to climate.
  • engage with a specialist in climate risk modelling, as well as other external research and data providers, to provide input into climate scenarios and their impacts on CSC portfolios.
  • consolidate the different metrics of climate change risk management into a master database which facilitates a holistic view of the portfolio exposure.
  • conduct preliminary scenario analysis using tools provided by the Transition Pathway Initiative, and 2-degree Scenario Analysis initiative.

Where can members find details of what assets and holdings are managed by CSC? 

Portfolio holdings information is updated every 6 months and available on our Investment Disclosure page.

What evidence can CSC provide to show active ownership makes an impact?

We're proud to invest where we can influence how the business is managed. As active owners of the companies we invest in on our members’ behalf, we proactively engage with the management and Boards of these companies. We do this to support decisions that are aligned with our members’ best long-term interests. Our engagements focus on our advantage to influence via:

1.      Assets we have majority interest in
Our influence is strongest where the link between CSC as financier and the activity being financed is direct, because we have control over these assets and can make active decisions about how they operate.

For example, our directly owned buildings use energy efficient technologies, electric chillers, LED lights, energy reduction management systems, and electrical alternatives to fossil fuel based plant and equipment. We also purchase 100% renewable power for all of our buildings. 

2.      Shareholder votes in listed assets
Poor governance, sometimes evident in poor environmental and social practices, can be a sign of poor corporate management and may lead to a decline in the value of our members’ investments. Because of this, we take a particular focus on ensuring that companies have appropriately skilled directors on their Boards.

On occasion, we have escalated concerns (where unaddressed after engagement) via voting that assertively communicates our concerns to the Board; and by voting for Board composition that adds the necessary skill, diligence and/or commitment to solid ESG outcomes.

For example, at a 2022 AGM, after many years of engagement, a majority of shareholders (including CSC) voted to elect new directors to a large Australian company’s board, to encourage a platform of more rapid investment in decarbonising the business than was previously planned.

Where a companies’ management and Board skills are inadequate, and engagement to improve this is unsuccessful, our investment managers may elect to divest of these companies and redeploy those funds to comparatively better opportunities. 

 

3.      Collaborative efforts with third party organisations
We partner with organisations like Investor Group on Climate Change and Climate Action 100+ to support robust transition plans and transparent reporting. These are large-scale, climate-focused investor initiatives where some of our investment partners are co-leaders. These coordinate, consolidate, and communicate investor expectations and concerns with greater effect than it would be possible for us to have if we acted alone.

4.      External investment management partners

We partner with external investment managers to establish active owner engagement strategies that align with the best interests of our members. 

For example, we established a partnership with a large active manager in the US—for whom we are their first Australian client—to develop a proactively managed, sustainable portfolio diversified across multiple assets and strategies, incorporating:

·        their proprietary portfolio management process; and

·        positive impact towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

We require our investment management partners to engage with the material investments in companies they hold on our behalf to ensure these investments align with our members’ best interests. If the quality and pace of the companies’ progress falls short of this requirement, our investment managers may elect to divest of these companies and redeploy those funds to comparatively better opportunities.

For example, our managers would divest if they believed that:

·        a company was investing at returns below their expectations or their own cost of capital (such as in an asset with high ‘stranded asset’ risk); and/or

·        a company refused to engage with their concerns regarding any ESG-related items.

Why don’t you invest in passive index funds?

Passive investment management aims to replicate benchmark returns without making any judgments about future market movements. The most common approach to passive investing is to buy into an index fund or ETF.

Active investment management seeks to attain returns above a set benchmark by utilising manager skills in asset allocation and stock selection, and by making active judgments about future market movements.

 

We use a combination of index and active management, because we believe this offers the best value for money, adjusted for risk.

Passive investment management generally attracts lower fees, because there is less work involved.

When we employ an active management approach, we only pay fees for active management where performance is expected to result in better outcomes for members, either by producing higher net real returns, or by reducing exposure to risks. 

Do you invest in social housing?

No, we don't have any exposure to social housing at this point in time, because to date it hasn't provided a compelling relative return.

However, we will continue to monitor and review opportunities as policies change regarding market structure, taxes, incentives etc.

Online services, communication, and education

Are you doing anything to improve the CSC website? 

We are undertaking a significant investment over the next three years to transform our digital services to customers to better meet their expectations. A key area of focus will be our online services to ensure all customers have a simple, easy ‘one-stop-shop’ for all their CSC accounts and services. We are also undertaking an extensive and ongoing process of updating our website content to make sure it is easier to understand.

Is it possible for customers to receive monthly updates instead of just once a year? 

We send regular investment and general information emails to all of our customers who wish to receive these emails.

You can also view your account through online services any time.

 

What are your support services for customers who live overseas?

CSC does not have any physical offices overseas, however all customers can access their CSC account online at any time. 

If you need assistance logging in to your account visit our ‘Contact us’ page to find the right email or phone number to call.

Our PSSap, ADF Super and CSCri contact centre is open between 8:30am and 6pm (AEST) and our CSS, PSS, MilitarySuper and DFRDB contact centre is open between 8am and 6pm (AEST).

When will you start workplace information seminars again?

We're hoping to get back into visiting more of our employer sites to deliver information sessions. Reach out to your HR/People team to express your interest. If you’re an employer interested in arranging an in-house seminar for staff, please contact us on 1300 338 240.

Where can I find glossary of superannuation terms?

Our easy-to-use glossary of superannuation terms can help simplify your learning process and make informed retirement decisions.

Forms and factsheets

How do I return a completed form?

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