25 March 2019

The Government will commission an independent inquiry to examine the information provided by scheme administrators and relevant departments to members of the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits (DFRDB) superannuation scheme.

The DFRDB scheme, which was established in 1972 and closed to new members in 1991, allowed members to commute (exchange) part of their pension for a lump sum.

There are different views among some in the veteran community about certain areas of the scheme and the appropriateness of information provided to members at the time.

The Government recognises the importance of open and transparent discussion around veteran concerns and we will consult with the ex-service community about the terms of reference for the inquiry, as well as panel membership.

Ex-Service Organisations and scheme members will have the opportunity to make submissions to the inquiry and raise any other concerns relevant to the scheme.

The inquiry is on the agenda for the next Ex-Service Organisation Round Table, to be held on 2 April 2019.


Rachel Tharratt: 02 6277 7820
DVA Media: 02 6289 6466
Office of the Hon. Darren Chester MP, Canberra.Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling, provides support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Free and confidential help is available 24/7. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 1800 011 046 or +61 8 8241 4546) or visit


  1. john Doman says

    Why is DFRDB taxed at the full marginal rate. We are told it was unfunded, yet fortnightly DFRDB deductions were made from our pay before we received it. Why does it continue to lose its real value every year? Why do we still live by a notional death age that no longer bears any resemblance to average life expectancy? Why is our pension rate not restored when the commutation amount has been repaid?

  2. Brad Cross says

    I was in this scheme but I cannot remember what happened when I left the ARA.
    We were never properly advised about any financial affairs…

  3. Peter Perry says

    What a welcome start. Maybe some justice? When I served in Canberra the Defence Public Servants were pushing to have our benefits reduced. It seems that they won.

  4. Desley King says

    An enquiry should be made into why this is taking so long, how many Vietnam veterans have died since this enquiry started?

  5. Maurie Young says

    Well, well, well, Mr Chester; you must be feeling pinch with the election coming up.

  6. Nick Sanders says

    In 1972 the them government took over DFRB and made it into DFRDB
    I may wrong but PM Gough was in charge and he call all the troops home from SVN and put all our super money into government coffers and DFRDB was a lesser scheme. So do we trust an independent inquiry β€œ do not ask the question unless you already know the answer”
    Nick S (4RAR at the time)