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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How do I know if I’m a member of the APSS?

If you were a permanent or non-permanent employee of Australia Post or an Associated Employer before 30 June 2012, you are likely to be an APSS Member.
If you are unsure, please call SuperPhone on 1300 360 373 or (if you are still employed) contact your HR representative.

Q: What kind of super do I have in the APSS?

If you were employed by Australia Post or an Associated Employer before 1 July 2012, you are likely to have ‘defined benefit’ entitlements in the APSS. Australia Post and Associated Employers satisfy their Superannuation Guarantee (SG) obligation through the provision of APSS Defined Benefits to eligible employees.

Q: What is a defined benefit?

Generally speaking, defined benefit super is where the benefits payable to members are based on a formula which may take into account such things as length of service, contribution rates and salary amounts. APSS Defined Benefits are calculated using a formula that is usually based on your Final Average Salary (FAS) at the time the benefit becomes payable and how long you have been employed by Australia Post or an Associated Employer.

As an example, for 14.3% Defined Benefit Members, the formula used to calculate their APSS Defined Benefit is usually:
14.3% x FAS x years of full-time service.
A defined benefit is not influenced by the performance of investment markets and is therefore not affected by investment market instability.
Defined Benefits do not apply to APSS Spouse, Rollover and Pension members.

You can find a detailed explanation of how the APSS Defined Benefits are calculated in the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for 14.3% or SG Defined Benefit members, available in the Product disclosure section of the website.

If you are a member of the CSS Defined Benefit membership category, please refer to the CSS website for details about your super in that scheme.

Q: Can I make voluntary contributions into the APSS?

Yes. Any voluntary contributions made into the APSS go into a ‘Member Savings’ accumulation account. If you are an Employee Member, refer to Your Defined Benefit & Member Savings PDS. If you are a Spouse or Rollover Member, you should read Your Member Savings PDS, plus the accompanying Guide to Your Member Savings.

Q: Are there different investment strategies in the APSS?

Although there is no investment choice for Defined Benefits, if you have an Employee, Spouse, Rollover or Pension Account in the APSS, you have a choice of investment options for your Member Savings account.

Q: What is an accumulation account?

In general, accumulation accounts are super accounts where the benefit is determined by what the member, their spouse and (if applicable) their employer contribute to that account, the investment returns (positive or negative) applied to the account balance, less the fees and taxes deducted from the account and any rollovers made to or from another superannuation fund and benefit payments (upon retirement or otherwise as permitted under preservation rules).

An accumulation account works much like a regular bank account but with super rather than regular money, so unlike a bank account, you generally don’t have ready access to your super because it is intended that this money will be available for you to use in your retirement.

APSS Member Savings accounts (Employee, Spouse and Rollover) are accumulation accounts. APSS Pension Accounts are also accumulation-style accounts, although no additional amounts can be contributed to these accounts once the pension has commenced and the balance will decrease over time as a result of pension payments and lump sum withdrawals (if permitted).

Q: What are APSS Member Savings?

This is the money that you and your spouse save in accumulation accounts in the APSS. These include contributions made by you or your spouse to an Employee Account, Spouse Account or Rollover Account.

Member Savings may also include super co-contributions and money you transfer from another super fund.

You have a choice of investment options for your Member Savings account between the Market Return Member Savings or Cash Return Member Savings or a combination of both. Crediting Rates are used to allocate investment returns (positive or negative) to these accounts. Each investment option has different Crediting Rates.

Q: How is my Superannuation Salary calculated?

This is relevant for members who are employee members. Superannuation Salary is generally your full-time equivalent salary, before tax, including recognised allowances, as at your last birthday.

Salary sacrificing does not affect your Superannuation Salary. Your Superannuation Salary is based on payroll information provided by your employer. In the case of a part-time employee, full-time equivalent salary means the salary that would have applied had the employee worked in full-time service.

Q: What are before-tax and after-tax contributions?

Before-tax contributions (also called pre-tax or concessional contributions) are contributions made to a superannuation fund that are taxed in the superannuation fund and for which a tax deduction has been claimed by the contributor. Before-tax contributions include employer contributions plus any salary sacrifice contributions, and contributions by self-employed persons for which a tax deduction is claimed.

For defined benefit members, the notional amount your employer contributes to provide your APSS Defined Benefit counts towards your before-tax contribution limit (this limit is explained on the Contribution limits section), along with any employer salary sacrifice contributions to your Member Savings.

For self-employed members who have a Spouse or Rollover Account in the APSS, these contributions include contributions for which the member claims a tax deduction.

After-tax contributions (also called post tax or non-concessional contributions) are contributions that are not taxed in the superannuation fund and for which a tax deduction has not been claimed by the contributor. These contributions include contributions made from after-tax salary or savings on which income tax has already been paid, including personal voluntary contributions and spouse contributions.

Q: I’ve previously opted out of the APSS to another super scheme. Can I come back to the APSS?

If you have chosen to opt out of the APSS Defined Benefit arrangements, you are not able to opt back in to these arrangements in future.

If you decide to exercise your 'choice of fund' rights and opt out of the APSS Defined Benefit arrangements, then the APSS Defined Benefit you have accrued up to the time you exercise choice of fund will remain in the APSS until you cease employment.

Although you still have benefit entitlements in the APSS, your Defined Benefit will only grow in line with Final Average Salary increases, not with years of service. No additional APSS benefits will be payable in the event of your total and permanent disablement (TPD) or death.

Q: What is a super co-contribution?

This is a contribution by the Federal Government to a member’s super. If you are a low or middle-income earner, you may be eligible to take advantage of the super co-contribution by making personal contributions from after-tax income into a complying super fund such as the APSS. The co-contribution payable depends on the income year in which you made your eligible personal super contributions and whether your total income falls between the co-contribution income thresholds for that year. For current thresholds and limits or for more information on the Government's super co-contributions, contact the ATO on 13 10 20 or visit their website at ato.gov.au/super.

Q: Can I access my super in the APSS before I retire?

As super is a long term investment, the Federal Government has placed restrictions on when you can access your benefits. Generally, you can only withdraw your preserved benefit when you permanently retire from the workforce after you reach your preservation age.
The table below sets out the preservation age based on when you were born:

Date of Birth Your Preservation Age
Before 1 July 1960 55
From 1 July 1960 until 30 June 1961 56
From 1 July 1961 until 30 June 1962 57
From 1 July 1962 until 30 June 1963 58
From 1 July 1963 until 30 June 1964 59
On or after 1 July 1964 60

In addition, other 'conditions of release' under superannuation law that may allow you to access some or all of the preserved and non-preserved components of your benefit include:

If you have reached your preservation age, you may be able to commence an APSS Pre-Retirement Pension using preserved and non-preserved components of your superannuation benefit. You may also be able to commence an APSS Allocated Pension using unrestricted non-preserved components of your superannuation benefit only (if any). Refer to the APSS Pensions PDS for more information including the APSS requirements that need to be satisfied.

For employee members, even if you have met one of these conditions of release, your APSS Defined Benefit generally cannot be paid to you in cash while you are employed by Australia Post or an Associated Employer. Exceptions may apply (including if you meet the severe financial hardship or compassionate grounds conditions of release). However, any unrestricted non-preserved benefits in your Member Savings account (if any) can be accessed at any time.

Q: What happens to my super if I resign or my role is made redundant?

If you have ceased employment with Australia Post or an Associated Employer, you can choose to remain in the APSS by transferring your benefit to an APSS Rollover Account (which is an accumulation account).

For employee members, your benefit will be paid automatically as soon as practicable to an Eligible Rollover Fund (ERF) if, after leaving Australia Post or Associated Employer, you do not tell the APSS what you want to do with your benefit within 60 days of us writing to you with details of your benefit estimate and accompanying Benefit Payment Direction form. You should note that your benefit may be transferred to the ERF without your prior consent (unless we are prevented from doing so by law).
If your benefits are transferred to the ERF, you will cease to be a member of the APSS and the Trustee will cease to have a responsibility to administer your benefits or to pay benefits to you. In this event, you will need to contact the ERF in order to access your benefits.

The contact details for the nominated ERF are:
AMP* Eligible Rollover Fund
Locked Bag 300, Parramatta, NSW, 2124
Phone: 131267 Fax: 1300 301267
Online: amp.com.au/erf
*Registered trademark of AMP Limited ABN 49 079 354 519.

Q: I’d like to understand more about APSS’ Death and Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) benefit.

See the 'Life Changes' section on disability or death.

Q: What happens to my super when I die?

This depends on the instructions that you've left the Trustee regarding your beneficiary nominations. There are different ways you can nominate beneficiaries.

1) Binding, 2) Non-binding (or preferred), or 3) Reversionary option for APSS Pension accounts.

If you die, the APSS Trustee can only pay your benefit to one or more of the following:

  • your spouse (including de facto and same-sex)
  • your child/ren (including step, adopted or ex-nupital). To qualify as a reversionary, your child/ren must be aged under 18 or between 18 and 25 and be financially dependent on you.
  • any person who is financially dependent on you.
  • a person who has an interdependent relationship with you.
  • Your legal personal representative (the executor of your estate as stated in your Will) - this person can't be chosen as reversionary beneficiary.

Q: What happens to my super when I retire?

If you have reached your preservation age (between age 55 and 60 depending on your date of birth), and have permanently retired from the workforce, you can take your entire benefit as a lump sum, but there will generally be tax payable on the benefit.
If you cease employment or retire after age 60, you can take your entire benefit as a lump sum tax free.

You may also be eligible to commence an APSS Pension (either an Allocated Pension or Pre-Retirement Pension, depending on your age and whether you have retired). See your pension options for further information on what we can offer you in the APSS.

Q: Does the APSS offer salary continuance/income protection insurance?

The APSS does not currently offer salary continuance/income protection insurance.

Q: I’m thinking of retiring or I have reached my preservation age. What can I do with my super now?

Have a discussion with a licensed financial planner, who can help develop a plan to identify and achieve your specific lifestyle goals. Retirement planning is a complex issue, where rules and regulations are constantly changing.

You also have the decision of whether to take your retirement benefit as a lump sum or as an income stream (e.g. a pension). See your pension options for further information on what we can offer you in the APSS.