The Public Sector Superannuation Scheme (PSS) is designed for eligible Australian Government employees.
Opened on 1 July 1990
Closed to new members on 30 June 2005
A Defined Benefit super fund, which means the final benefit is determined by a formula, and in some circumstances may include an additional accumulation component made up of any transfer amounts, government contributions and investment earnings.
How it works
As a contributing PSS member, your benefit is calculated using the formula:
Final benefit accrual = FAS x ABM
FAS = your Final Average Salary
Your FAS is typically the average of your last three reported super salaries. If you’re employed on a part-time basis, your super salary will be the full-time equivalent. If you’re employed on a casual basis, a notional salary is used.
ABM = your Accrued Benefit Multiple
This accrues fortnightly depending on your nominated contribution rate, length of service and work hours.
How the ABM grows*
|Rate||Annual ABM accrual*||Annual ABM accrual* (ten-year rule^ satisfied)|
Fortnightly ABM accrual can be calculated as:
*assuming 26 fortnights in the year with no change in contribution rate or any leave without pay.
^The ‘ten-year rule’ restricts the rate at which the ABM grows. For 10 years or 260 Contribution Due Days (CDDs)*, the permitted ABM accrues as if the member had contributed at up to 5%. Once a member has contributed for more than 260 CDDs, the ABM accrual will reflect the actual rate of member contributions up to 10%. This rule therefore only affects members who elect a contribution rate of more than 5%.
The 260 CDDs or 10 years do not have to be a continuous period, nor do they have to be the first 10 years of membership. The actual calculation of the ’10 year rule’ is performed at the time a member claims their benefit or a benefit multiple is calculated.
You and your employer make contributions
As a contributing PSS member, you are required to make member contributions each fortnight from your after-tax salary.
These contributions will be a percentage of your fortnightly super salary, and may be pro-rated if you are a part-time employee.
Your contribution rate can be 0% or any whole percent between 2% and 10%.
Whichever rate you nominate will affect both your member contributions and your ABM accrual (see How it works).
If you don’t nominate a contribution rate, you will be defaulted to 5%.
Your employer contributes 2-3% of your super salary each fortnight you are employed by that designated employer into your PSS account (known as productivity contributions).
Boost your savings
As a PSS member, you can access PSSap Ancillary Membership*. A PSSap ancillary account can accept contributions that are not permitted to be paid into PSS, such as salary sacrifice, additional personal contributions and spouse contributions. You can add extra money to your super by making before-tax and after-tax contributions to a PSSap ancillary account, or consolidate your super by transferring in money from other super funds. *Subject to eligibility requirementsPSSap Ancillary
Leaving eligible employment?
If you leave eligible employment, your benefit will usually remain preserved in PSS. If you permanently cease membership while remaining in eligible employment (often referred to as opting out), your benefit will also remain preserved unless you’ve met a condition of release such as reaching age 65. If you are entitled to a Preserved Benefit, this will continue to grow with fund earnings and the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
We invest your money
All contributions paid to your PSS account are invested, but as a contributor, your final benefit is calculated using the formula FAS x ABM (see How it works). The tax components of your benefit may vary depending on the amount of contributions paid and the net returns from their investment over time, minus fees and costs.
PSS offers two investment options to preserved members—Default Fund and Cash Option. As a contributor, you’re required to be in the default fund, but if you preserve your benefit, you’ll have a choice with the investment option for your funded amounts.
Total Defined Benefit
Your member and productivity components will reflect the amount of contributions made and the investment returns. Your Employer Component makes up the difference, and is paid from consolidated revenue. Your Employer Component is calculated as:
Employer Component = Total Defined Benefit (Member component + Productivity component)
Fees and costs
As a PSS member, you do not pay any administration, switching or other ongoing fees, as these costs are covered by your employer (or former employer, if you’re a Preserved Benefit member). We do not charge any fees for managing your account. However, fees and costs that relate to the investment performance of your contributions are deducted from investment returns.
Built in Death and Invalidity Cover
As a contributing PSS member you’ll receive automatic Death and Invalidity Cover at no cost.
Generally, you are covered for a benefit based on your entitlement had you worked to age 60. However, if you are a Limited Benefits member, your entitlements do not take into account any prospective service—that is, your benefit is calculated up to your date of retirement or death.
Contributing members can increase the amount they are covered for by purchasing Additional Death and Invalidity Cover (ADIC). Premiums are typically subsidised by your employer.
You can also access flexible Death, Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) and income protection as a PSSap Ancillary Member.
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’ll be able to claim your benefit as a lifetime fortnightly indexed pension, a lump sum or a combination of both.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
Live webinar: Building your benefit
Understand how your PSS benefit grows as a contributing member and ways you can make the most of it.Attend our webinar
Live webinar: About PSS preserved benefit
A look at how your PSS benefit grows as a preserved member and your options at retirement.Attend our webinar
Live webinar: Retirement options for contributing members
A look at your PSS benefit options at retirement, and taxation on benefits.Attend our webinar
Download more information
PSSap Ancillary Membership
This factsheet is for contributing CSS or PSS members who want to make super contributions in addition to the member contributions required by their scheme.
Fees and other costs
This document outlines the fees and costs that you may be charged. It forms part of the PSS Product Disclosure statement.