Your benefit

Your primary retirement benefit in DFRDB is a combination of retirement pay (an indexed pension) and a lump sum payment, known as a commutation. DFRDB members are also entitled to a productivity benefit.

Your annual rate of pay and length of service are the key factors in determining your final DFRDB benefit. If you retire from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) on non-medical grounds, you receive retirement pay (a pension) based on a percentage of your annual pay for DFRDB retirement purposes if you have 20 years or more effective service (or 15 years or more service and reached compulsory retirement age for your rank).

You can commute a portion of your retirement pay to a lump sum. If you served for less than 20 years or did not reach your compulsory retirement age, you are entitled to a refund of contributions based on your fortnightly contribution rate, as well as the potential for an unfunded gratuity based on your completed years of service.

You may also preserve your benefit in DFRDB if ineligible for retirement or invalidity pay.

Other options include transferring to an eligible fund and deferring your benefit.

Your retirement pay is paid to you the day after your discharge.

It is paid fortnightly for the rest of your life, unless your re-enter the ADF in the reserve forces for a period over 12 months or in the permanent forces and elect to return to DFRDB.

Potential benefit summary

In-service benefits

Payable on either:

  • retirement due to physical or mental incapacity to perform your duties
  • death, leaving eligible dependants
  • death, leaving no eligible dependants

Termination benefits

Payable on voluntary or compulsory exit or preservation of your rights.

Post-service benefits

Payable to eligible spouse and/or children, providing you receive a DFRDB benefit at the time of your death.

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