Welcome to DFWA

Welcome to the
Defence Force Welfare Association (DFWA)

OUR PURPOSE

Our purpose is to foster the best interests and wellbeing of all members of the Australian Defence Force and their families in any matter likely to affect them during or after their period of service.

Read more about us at BACKGROUND

We are also a member of the Alliance of Defence Service Organisations (ADSO), which comprises many of Australia's major military ex service organisations (ESO). The ADSO's aim is to promote and protect the conditions and well-being of the Defence Family, which embraces over three million people.  It involves itself in national advocacy and the taking up of issues with the Australian Parliament and all political parties.

OUR POLICY OBJECTIVES

Our policy objectives are regularly reviewed, taking into accout current issues and resources available.  Read our current (and past) objectives here.

CURRENT NEWS

as a CURRENT NEWS item becomes stale, it is transferred either to ARCHIVED CURRENT NEWS or into one of the CURRENT ISSUES (see list at left of page)

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14 July 2020 - TAXATION OF DFRDB/MSBS CLASS A/B INVALIDITY BENEFITS PAID BY CSC

In March 2020, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) in Brisbane upheld the objections of the three Veterans against the Australian Tax Office (ATO) treatment of their DFRDB and MSBS Class A and B Invalidity Benefits paid by the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC). This effectively meant that the Invalidity Benefits paid by CSC should be treated as lump sum payment and not as superannuation income stream benefit, i.e., less tax to be paid.

In handing down his decision in the Douglas case, Justice Logan stated his concern about the whole process and treatment of these veterans:

“.. if the encounter in this case is any guide, to the prospect of being “broken by age and war” there must now be added for members and former members of the ADF the prospect of encounter with how we as a Nation State have come to regulate and tax the bargain struck on enlistment.”

In April, the Commissioner of Taxation lodged three separate appeals to the Federal Court against the AAT decisions and has advised Veterans the ATO will continue taxing as in the past, until the appeal process is finalised. It also encourages Veterans not to lodge objections, “promising” their rights will be protected.  

DFWA disagrees with the ATO advice and advises Veterans to complete their Tax Returns in accordance with the decision of the AAT and to exercise their right to lodge objections in line with the AAT decision.

For general advice for this Financial Year for affected Veterans and their professional tax advisor, click here.

For the detailed account of the progress of the legal proceedings with the ATO, go to Veterans Invalidity Payments and the ATO.

13 July 2020.  ADF SALARIES - THE WRA.  As previously advised, the current ADF pay arrangement is about to expire, and a new Workplace Remuneration Arrangement (WRA) for a three-year term is scheduled to commence towards the end of this year. The DFWA will again be involved in the WRA process, and will provide an independent voice to ensure the interests of members of the ADF and their families are properly represented as the WRA is considered. 

DFWA notes that the ADF has just released a CDF signal and DEGRAM to alert ADF members of progress on the WRA and outlined a proposition for a two per cent per annum salary increase for a three year period, with no loss of Conditions of service, to be submitted to the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal for consideration in August 2020.

The DFWA intends to broadly support this proposition but would welcome any comments or views members may have, so that we are in a better position to put an objective, independent view to the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal when it considers the matter in August.  Should you have any comments you wish to make, drop the DFWA a note to wra@dfwa.org.au

There is much more information on this on our WRA homepage

22 June 2020 - HIGHER DFRDB SUPERANNUATION PENSION INCREASE.  DFWA advises that the latest DFRDB superannuation pension increase to take effect 2 July 2020, for those aged over 55, is 1.5%. This compares to the CPI rate of just 1.0% and which will be applied to other Government superannuation schemes such as PSS etc. This is a direct result of the campaign waged by DFWA over many years and which in 2014 saw the Government agree to applying the higher of CPI or wages growth to those DFRDB recipients aged over 55. The battle continues to extend this arrangement to ALL military superannuation schemes and without the age restriction. 

04 May 2020 - Letter from Major General Paul Brereton to RSL National President and Australian SAS Association National Chairman regarding concerns they raised about the welfare of members who may be affected by the IG-ADF's Afghanistan Inquiry. Read the letter here.

08 April 2020 - National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide.  DFWA welcomes the announcement detailing the policy work being undertaken by government to put in place the National Commissioner.  At this difficult time in the nation’s history the government is to be commended for pushing ahead with the establishment of the National Commissioner as an independent position with a clear brief.  The Attorney-General’s Department has published further information on the National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention on their website. You can access this information through the following link:  https://www.ag.gov.au/About/Pages/national-commissioner-defence-veteran-suicide-prevention.aspx

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