Ken O’Dowd.
Ken O’Dowd.

RSL welcomes proposal

VETERANS and ex-service personnel could get an extra $28.40 a fortnight under a new Federal Opposition proposal.

The Opposition has committed to a new indexation arrangements for Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Scheme (DFRDB) members.

LNP-endorsed Federal candidate for Flynn Ken O’Dowd said the move would benefit veterans and ex-service personnel throughout Flynn.

Boyne Tannum RSL sub-branch president Jim Staats said the proposal would be welcomed by all servicemen and ex-servicemen.

“We’ve been fighting for this change for years,” Mr Staats said.

“We are now calling on the Labor Party government to meet it or do better.”

Mr O’Dowd said: “I’ve been a long-time supporter of veterans and have always believed they deserve better recognition of their service and improved entitlements.”

“There’s no doubt that better indexation arrangements are a vital part of a fair, equitable and fiscally responsible military superannuation system.”

If the LNP wins the Federal election, from 1 July 2011 those DFRDB members aged 55 years or older will have their military superannuation pensions indexed to the greater of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE) or the Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI).

This change brings the indexation of DFRDB superannuation into line with the aged pension. Currently DFRDB superannuation is indexed according to the CPI only.

“If the indexation rate had increased in line with the aged pension, military superannuants would have received an extra $28.40 per fortnight to their pension (if they received the full pension rate) in March this year.”

Mr O’Dowd said widows of DFRDB superannuants would also benefit.

He said the policy was fully costed and fully funded.

“Savings already identified by the LNP will be used to offset the $98 million cost over the forward estimates. A further $100 million will be invested into the Future Fund as a first step towards funding the new arrangements beyond the forward estimates.

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