Overview of the Parliamentary Superannuation Act 2004


  • The Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Scheme (PCSS) was closed to new members from 9 October 2004 and superannuation accumulation arrangements were established for Parliamentarians joining Parliament on or after that date.
  • The accumulation arrangements were established under the Parliamentary Superannuation Act 2004  (2004 Act) and involve a Government contribution of 15.4% which is calculated on total parliamentary salaries. The Government contribution is payable into a superannuation fund chosen by the Parliamentarian.
  • The 2004 Act arrangements apply only to Parliamentarians joining the Parliament who were not sitting Parliamentarians on 31 August 2004. They also apply to such Parliamentarians who return to the Parliament after a break in service.
  • Existing members of the PCSS may not transfer to the 2004 Act arrangements.

Choice of fund

  • Parliamentarians covered by the 2004 Act arrangements are able to choose a complying superannuation fund or Retirement Savings Account to receive their Government contribution. Since 14 April 2015 the fund can be a self managed superannuation fund.
  • The Minister for Finance has declared AustralianSuper to be the default fund to receive the contributions in the event the Parliamentarian does not make a choice.
  • Previously, the Australian Government Employees Superannuation Trust (AGEST) was the default fund. However, as a result of AGEST merging with AustralianSuper on 1 January 2013, it was necessary for a new default fund to be declared with effect from this date.

Returning Parliamentarians

  • Former Parliamentarians who return to the Parliament will join the 2004 Act arrangements and any pension being paid to a former Parliamentarian under the PCSS will be suspended. Payment of the suspended pension will recommence once the Parliamentarian leaves the Parliament again provided the Parliamentarian is not under age 55, in which case the payment will be deferred until the Parliamentarian reaches that age (or becomes an invalid or dies earlier than that age).

Salary sacrifice

  • Parliamentarians covered by the 2004 Act arrangements are able to salary sacrifice up to 50% of their total parliamentary salaries to superannuation. This is provided for in the Remuneration and Allowances Act 1990.
  • The 2004 Act arrangements satisfy the Superannuation Guarantee.


  • The 2004 Act arrangements are administered by the Departments of the Senate and the House of Representatives, as appropriate.

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