Starting salaries and contributions

When a new employee joins or rejoins one of our super schemes, you need to determine their super salary, employment status (full-time, part time or casual) and contribution rate. How you do this will depend on the fund they’re joining and whether or not they’re starting a new period of membership. 

If your employee joins PSSap and their contributions are based on Ordinary Time Earnings (OTE), their contributions will be based on their earnings in the previous pay period. If their contributions are based on Fortnightly Contribution Salary (FCS), you need to check whether continuous service applies when they start with you. 

ADF Super contributions are based on the employee’s OTE in the previous pay period. 

You can learn more about super salary here.

Continuous service

Continuous service is where a period of membership in CSS, PSS or PSSap continues from one employer to the next. This normally happens when an employee has arranged their new employment before they resign from their previous employer. It also happens when new employment starts the day after the previous employment ceases, or when there is a gap of only one day (or longer). 


If your employee arranged their employment with you before ceasing with their last contributing employer but has a gap of more than one month between jobs, or if you’re unsure about whether continuous service should apply, get in touch so we can investigate for you. 

If continuous service applies, your employee’s super will be the same with you as it was at their previous employer. This means that CSS and PSS members will keep using the AGS number from their previous employer and PSSap members will continue to use their PSSap membership number. 

Until their first salary review with you, your employee will have the same:

  • super salary as at their previous employer 
  • CSS or PSS contribution rate as at their previous employer (unless they elect a different contribution rate with you), and
  • full-time status or part-time hours as at their previous employer.

We can give you this information to start the membership, but you must get the full salary and super history from their previous employer to complete the next salary review.

Transferring between employers

When an employee temporarily moves from one employer to another2, they will always have continuous service. This means that their super salary and full-time status or part-time hours will generally remain the same as at their home employer until their next salary review. They’ll also continue at the same contribution rate unless they elect a different rate with you.

Acting at a higher level at the new employer

If your employee is acting in a higher position than at their substantive employer, it’s to be treated the same as a period of higher duties allowance. This means the higher salary won’t be recognised for super purposes until your employee has received it for more than 12 months continuously, or you sign a likelihood certificate. At their first salary review with you, your employee’s super salary will generally be the base salary plus recognised allowances in place at their home employer. You’ll need to contact their home employer to find out what this is. 

Transferring at the same level

If the transfer is at level, but your employee’s salary with you is higher than at their home employer, their super salary will stay the same until their next salary review. At the review their super salary will be updated to reflect the higher rate of pay. 

If the transfer is at level but the salary with you is lower than at their home employer, their super salary will stay the same until their next salary review. At the review, you’ll need to apply salary maintenance due to the reduction in salary when they transferred to you. 

New memberships

In CSS, PSS and PSSap (if using FCS), your employee will start a new period of membership if continuous service doesn’t apply. This means their starting salary will be their base salary plus any automatic allowances they’re receiving on their first day. Their hours for super will be their fortnightly contracted hours on their first day. 

In CSS and PSS, if your employee doesn’t elect a contribution rate they default to 5% contributions until they make an election. 

You always need to give a new AGS number to employees at the start of each new period of CSS or PSS membership.


There can never be continuous service if memberships are concurrent – if your employee is still contributing to CSS or PSS through another employer, you need to start a new period of membership for them. 

2For example, under section 26 of the Public Service Act 1999.

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