Superannuation Arrangements for Governors-General, Federal Judges and Judges of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia

Following the Government's decision in October 2008 to consolidate governance arrangements for Australian Government Superannuation Schemes, the Department of Finance (Finance) now holds responsibility for the policy and administration of the Governors-General Pension Scheme, the Judges' Pensions Scheme and the death and disability arrangements for Judges of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (formerly known as Federal Magistrates).

Governors-General Pension Scheme

  • Benefits under the Governors-General Pension Scheme are governed by the Governor-General Act 1974.
  • The Scheme is unfunded and no assets are held. Benefits are financed from Consolidated Revenue as they become due for payment. Current and former Governors-General do not contribute to the Scheme and the Commonwealth meets the costs of benefits.
  • The main benefit is a retirement pension of 60 per cent of the salary payable to the Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia.
  • A reversionary pension is payable to the surviving partner (including a same sex relationship) following the death of a serving or retired Governor-General.
  • Responsibility for policy and administration of the Scheme was transferred from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to Finance on 1 July 2009.

Judges' Pensions Scheme

  • Benefits under the Judges' Pensions Scheme are governed by the Judges' Pensions Act 1968.
  • The Judges' Pensions Scheme covers the following office holders:
    • presidential members of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal
    • presidential members of Fair Work Australia
    • Judges of the Family Court of Australia (including the Family Court of Western Australia)
    • Judges of the Federal Court of Australia
    • Judges of the High Court of Australia
    • Solicitors-General appointed before 31 December 1997
    • Judges of the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court appointed before self-government

Note: The Judges' Pensions Scheme does not cover Judges of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. The superannuation arrangements for these Judges are outlined below.

  • The Scheme is unfunded and no assets are held. Benefits are financed from Consolidated Revenue as they become due for payment. Judges and retired Judges do not contribute to the Scheme and the Commonwealth meets the costs of benefits.
  • The main benefit is a retirement pension of 60 per cent of the salary payable to the equivalent level judge, provided the judge has 10 years of service and the judge is 60 years of age or older.
  • Judges have a compulsory retirement age of 70, except for presidential members of Fair Work Australia where the compulsory retirement age is 65.
  • A reversionary pension is payable to the surviving partner (including a same sex relationship) following the death of a serving or retired Judge.
  • A pension of 60 per cent of the salary payable to the equivalent level judge is payable to a Judge who retires on the grounds of permanent disability or infirmity (following certification by the Finance Minister). Applications will be subject to the general process outlined in the Disability Arrangements under the Judges’ Pensions Act 1968 (JP Act) and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia Act 1999 (FCCA Act)
  • Responsibility for policy and administration of the Scheme was transferred from the Attorney-General's Department to Finance on 1 January 2010.

New Superannuation Splitting Arrangements for Federal Judges and Governors-General

The legislation for the Judges' Pensions Scheme and the Governors-General Pension Scheme has been amended to implement new superannuation splitting arrangements for Federal Judges and Governors-General. These amendments took effect on 15 March 2013.

Judges' Pensions Scheme Handbook

Judges' Pensions Scheme - Long Term Cost Reports

2014

2011

2008

2005

Superannuation Arrangements for Judges of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia

  • The superannuation arrangements for Judges of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (Federal Circuit Court) are governed by the Federal Circuit Court of Australia Act 1999.
  • Judges of the Federal Circuit Court holding office on a full time basis are entitled to a Commonwealth contribution to his or her choice of a complying superannuation fund or a retirement savings account. The Commonwealth contribution is:
    • until the end of 30 June 2011 - an amount equal to 13.1% of the Judge's annual salary; and
    • on or after 1 July 2011 - an amount equal to 15.4% of the Judge's annual salary.
  • Responsibility for superannuation policy and administration of death and disability arrangements for Judges of the Federal Circuit Court transferred from the Attorney-General's Department to Finance on 1 January 2010.

Death and Disability Arrangements 

  • Judges of the Federal Circuit Court who retire due to permanent disability or infirmity (following certification by the Finance Minister and the general process outlined in the Disability Arrangements under the Judges’ Pensions Act 1968 (JP Act) and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia Act 1999 (FCCA Act) are entitled to a pension until he or she attains the age of 70 years or he or she dies (whichever happens first).
  • The annual rate of the pension is 60% of the annual rate of salary the Judge would have been entitled to from time to time if he or she had not retired.
  • A death benefit is payable where a Judge of the Federal Circuit Court dies before age 65 leaving an eligible spouse or children. The benefit consists of a lump sum in the amount of the Commonwealth superannuation contributions that the Judge would have been entitled to if the Judge had not died, over the period from the Judge's death to age 65.

Long Term Cost Report for Judges of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (formerly known as Federal Magistrates)

2014

2011

All enquiries on the superannuation arrangements for former Governors-General and the Federal Judiciary can be directed to (02) 6215 2749 or JudicialSchemes@finance.gov.au.

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Contact for information on this page: JudicialSchemes@finance.gov.au

Last updated: 23 May 2017