In service

Please read our Death benefit in service quick guide [JPG 127 KB].

Spouse benefits

If you die in service, your spouse’s benefit will be five-eighths of 76.5% (or 47.8125%) of your salary for superannuation purposes at the time of your death.

If survived by more than one eligible spouse, your death benefit will be apportioned at a rate of a minimum 37.5% of the total benefit to each spouse, with the remaining portion allocated at the discretion of Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (trustee of DFRDB) – taking into account the financial needs of each spouse.

Your spouse can elect to commute (ie, exchange) part of their future pension to a lump sum amount. Their maximum amount to commute is twice the amount of your annual salary for super purposes received at your death.

If your spouse elects to commute, their initial rate of pension is determined by dividing the commutation lump sum by 25 and deducting the resultant amount from the annual pension that would have been received if no commutation was taken.

Please note it is a common misconception that spouses will lose their benefit eligibility if their circumstances change such as re-marrying or beginning a new relationship. However, rest assured that once Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation determines your spouse is eligible to receive a DFRDB benefit your spouse will receive that benefit for life.

Children and orphan benefit

Child benefit

A child’s benefit is paid as a base rate per annum, plus an amount equal to one-sixth of your spouse’s entitlement. It is based on your spouse’s original un-commuted pension, regardless of your spouse choosing to or not to commute. The base amount increases on the first pension payday in January and July each year.

Orphan’s benefit

An orphan’s benefit is calculated as a base amount per annum, plus an amount equal to one-eighth of your spouse’s entitlement prior to any commutation. The base amount increases on the first pension payday in January and July each year. If the number of eligible orphans entitled to receive a pension exceeds the benefit, each orphan’s pension is calculated by dividing the number of orphans into that rate.