Governance Changes for the Australian Government Civilian and Military Superannuation Schemes
On 28 June 2011, a package of three superannuation Bills received the Royal Assent:
- Governance of Australian Government Superannuation Schemes Act 2011  (Governance Act)
- ComSuper Act 2011  (ComSuper Act)
- Superannuation Legislation (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Act 2011  (SLCATP Act).
The three Acts give effect to Government decisions in 2008 and 2009 to modernise Australian Government superannuation and establish governance arrangements for the Commonwealth superannuation schemes that are effective and more consistent with the broader superannuation industry.
The Governance Act gives effect to the Government's announcement in October 2008 to merge the Australian Reward Investment Alliance (ARIA), the Military Superannuation and Benefits Board (MSB Board) and the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Authority (DFRDB Authority) to form a single trustee body. The Governance Act establishes “Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation” (CSC)  as a body corporate with a separate legal identity from the Commonwealth, by continuing in existence, from 1 July 2011, the body corporate that was formerly called ARIA.
Following the merger of ARIA, the MSB Board and the DFRDB Authority, the single trustee is responsible for managing the main Commonwealth civilian and military superannuation schemes. These schemes are:
- the Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme
- the Public Sector Superannuation Scheme
- the Public Sector Superannuation Accumulation Plan
- the Military Superannuation and Benefits Scheme
- the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Scheme
- the Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Scheme
- the Defence Force (Superannuation) (Productivity Benefit) Scheme.
CSC is also be responsible for the superannuation scheme established by the Superannuation Act 1922 and the scheme provided for under regulations made by the Papua New Guinea (Staffing Assistance) Act 1973. These schemes were previously the responsibility of the Commissioner for Superannuation.
The consolidation of trustee arrangements was aimed at strengthening governance and providing opportunities for increased efficiencies in trustee operations and scale, consistent with trends in the broader superannuation industry.
The consolidation does not affect the nature of members' superannuation entitlements in any way. Each scheme retains its own legislative base and provisions.
The ComSuper Act makes changes to the governance framework for superannuation administration arrangements for the main civilian and military superannuation schemes.
The SLCATP Act contains the consequential and transitional provisions necessary to facilitate the merger, the changes to superannuation administration and the modernisation of specific aspects of Australian Government superannuation to better align with the broader superannuation industry.