Amendments to the RBF regulations take effect from 31 March 2022. These amendments improve and enhance the operation of the regulations.
The new regulations have been published here.Further information is available below and relevant factsheets and forms have been updated to reflect these changes.Please contact the RBF Enquiry Line if you have any further questions.
- the governing rules for the Tasmanian Ambulance Service Superannuation Scheme (TASSS) and the State Fire Commission Superannuation Scheme (SFCSS) are now in the regulations, removing the Scheme Trust Deeds;
- Life Pension members who hold a reversionary pension can make a declaration that they are in a significant relationship and that the declared person currently meets the definition of a surviving partner;
- A Provisional Surviving Partner Pension may be paid which will streamline the transfer of pensions where a person has been declared to be a surviving partner;
- Monies that were required to be transferred to an Eligible Rollover Fund are now required to be transferred to the ATO;
- A separate Terminal Illness benefit has been introduced; and
- Increased flexibility around the ability to receive a lump sum as part of the Total and Permanent Incapacity benefit, instead of a pension.
Incorporation of the Tasmanian Ambulance Service Superannuation Scheme (TASSS) and the State Fire Commission Superannuation Scheme (SFCSS) Trust Deeds
Scheme Trust Deeds have been incorporated in the PSSR Reform Amendment Regulations 2022. This brings the governing rules for all of the schemes under the one piece of legislation. The schemes are still separate (Contributory Scheme, SFCSS and TASSS) and there are no changes to the entitlements of SFCSS and TASSS members.
Surviving Partner Declarations on Reversionary Life Pensions
Reversionary Life Pensioners are able to make a declaration of a potential surviving partner for consideration by the Superannuation Commission (Commission) in the event of their death. Here is the form to make a surviving partner declaration:
RBF Form - Reversionary RBF Life Pensioner Partner Declaration Form (PDF 392Kb)
The Commission will advise you in writing once your partner declaration has been applied to your pension records.
The Commission will seek to determine, at the time of your death, whether your declared partner is 'reasonably likely' to be determined the Surviving Partner and is eligible to receive a Provisional Surviving Partner Pension.
Provisional surviving partner pension
A Provisional Surviving Partner Pension may be paid for a period up to 6 months while the formal determination of a surviving partner is being made in accordance with RBF's governing rules. This pension is calculated as two-thirds of the pension value paid immediately to the reversionary pensioner immediately prior to their death.
The surviving partner definition is explained below.
Surviving Partner Definition
Under RBF regulations, a surviving partner means the spouse of an RBF member (and includes a person with whom the member was in a significant relationship within the meaning of the Relationships Act 2003), and who was, in the opinion of the Commission, at the time of the RBF member's death:
(a) was living with the member on a genuine domestic basis and is receiving significant financial support from the member; or
(b) does not meet the definition in (a) but is living with the member on a genuine domestic basis; or
(c) does not meet the definition in (a) and (b), but for a medical reason or because of the care needed to be provided to the person, would have been living with the member; or
(d) does not meet the definition in (a), (b) or (c) but is receiving significant financial support from the member.
This same criteria applies when the Commission is determining whether someone is entitled to a provisional surviving partner pension however it is done on a reasonably likely basis using the information available to the Commission at the time of death.
If the Commission is not satisfied that, at the time of your death, your declared partner is likely to meet the surviving partner criteria, then a provisional surviving partner pension will not be paid.
Any potential surviving partner, whether or not they have been previously declared or determined as the provisional surviving partner, is able to make application to the Commission for formal assessment as the surviving partner.
Please refer to the Fact Sheet - Reversionary Life Pension Surviving Partner Application checklist for more information on what will be required when making this application.
If formally determined as the Surviving Partner, then the provisional pension will cease and the ongoing Surviving Partner pension will commence.
Transfer of benefits to the ATO
New provisions under the Treasury Laws Amendment (Protecting Your Superannuation Package) Act 2019 came into effect on 30 June 2021, and from this date Eligible Rollover Funds (ERF) ceased to exist.
Funds will instead be transferred to the ATO under the Superannuation (Unclaimed Money and Lost Members) Act 1999 where valid election for payment has not been received from a member within the required timeframe.
Terminal illness is now included as a specific benefit type. Members must complete the ill health application process and provide relevant certification. Members may be required to see a Commission Doctor in some cases.
Total and Permanent Incapacity benefit changes
Prior to 31 March 2022, members could choose to take $50,000 of their pension as a lump sum and also had the option to take a further $30,000 upon request. With the amended regulations, eligible members will have an additional option to apply in writing for the release of a further lump sum on compassionate grounds for the following purposes:
(i) to pay for medical treatment, or medical transport, for a medical condition;
(ii) to modify the principal place of residence, or vehicle, to accommodate the special needs of the member's physical or mental capacities;
(iii) to pay for palliative care requirements;
(iv) to meet expenses for any other purpose that the Commission determines is consistent with the needs specifically associated with the member retiring on the grounds of ill health.
The gross (before tax) amount the Commission may approve for release will be determined on an individual basis according to specific needs. If such an additional lump sum is released, the gross annual Contributory Scheme Life Pension benefit will be reduced.