The Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Scheme (DFRDB) is available for eligible serving members of the Australian Defence Force.
Opened on 1 October 1972
Closed to new members on 30 September 1991
DFRDB is a Defined Benefit scheme. This means your benefit is calculated based on a formula.
How it works
As a DFRDB member, your benefit depends on your completed years of service and super salary at retirement. If you’ve completed more than 20 years of effective service, you’ll be entitled to a lifetime fortnightly pension, also referred to as ‘retirement pay’.
You and your employer make contributions
Unless you’ve reached 40 years of effective service, you’re required to make member contributions each fortnight from your after-tax salary.
These contributions are paid at 5.5% of your super salary, and you can’t vary this contribution rate.
Employer productivity contributions are 3% of your super salary, and are paid by the ADF on your behalf.
Both member and productivity contributions are paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
Boost your savings
As a contributing DFRDB member, you also have access to a MilitarySuper Ancillary Membership. A MilitarySuper ancillary account may be able to accept contributions that aren’t permitted to be paid into DFRDB, such as salary sacrifice and spouse contributions. You can add extra money to your super by making before and after-tax contributions, or consolidating your super by transferring money from other super funds, to a MilitarySuper ancillary account.Ancillary membership
Leaving the ADF?
If you retire or transition to civilian life, you may be eligible for retirement pay (pension) plus an optional commutation (lump sum) benefit of up to five times your annual rate of retirement pay (pension), and a lump sum of your Productivity Benefit (which is subject to cashing restrictions).
We invest your money
While your member and productivity contributions are paid to the Consolidated Revenue Fund and aren’t invested, any contributions paid into a MilitarySuper ancillary account are invested. You can choose from four investment strategies – Cash, Balanced (default), Income Focused and Aggressive. You can choose to invest your ancillary contributions in one investment strategy or a combination of these options. Your MilitarySuper Ancillary Benefit will reflect the amount of contributions made and the investment returns.Investment
Fees and costs
As a DFRDB member, you do not pay any administration or other ongoing fees. We do not charge any investment fees directly to your account. However, fees and costs that relate to the investment of your ancillary contributions are deducted from investment returns.
Built in Death and Invalidity Cover
As a contributing DFRDB member, you’re eligible for automatic Death and Invalidity Cover at no cost.
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 Benefits are generally payable to eligible dependants or your estate, in the event of your death. The benefits payable will depend on who is receiving them.
The amount we pay varies depending on whether you die in service or after you retire.
We're your guide
As a DFRDB member, you can access free education material to help you make the most of your super through webinars, videos and seminars. We also have in-house CSC financial planners* who can help guide you through your retirement journey, for a fee.
Live webinar: About DFRDB
Understand your DFRDB benefit with our experienced member educators.Attend our webinar
Download more information
This booklet has been designed to provide you with information on the main features of DFRDB. This booklet covers how your benefits are calculated when you leave the Australian Defence Force (ADF). You should use this booklet to help gain an understanding of your entitlements under DFRDB.
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.