Member contributions

Personal contributions

You can contribute between 2% and 10% (in whole percentage amounts) of your super salary, or at a 0% rate (meaning you are not contributing to your defined benefit). These are known as your personal fortnightly contributions or your member contributions. Your contribution rate is based on your gross fortnightly salary and is deducted from your after-tax pay.

For example, John’s super salary on his last birthday was $100,000. He elects to contribute at 10%. His personal fortnightly contributions are calculated as:

$100,000 divided by 26 = $3,846.15 gross per fortnight

$3,846.15 x 10% = $384.62

Therefore, John contributes $384.62 from his after-tax pay each fortnight.

Your Benefit Multiple (part of the set formula to determine your PSS benefit) accrues according to your rate of contribution. It actually grows each fortnight with each contribution you are due to make. 

Member contributions are classed as non-concessional contributions for tax purposes.

To contribute into your PSS account, you must be employed by a PSS participating employer such as an Australian Government department or agency.

Preserved benefit members cannot contribute to PSS.

Government contributions

Government contributions and other transfers amounts include:

  • co-contribution amounts (part of the co-contribution scheme)
  • Low Income Super Contributions (LISC)
  • Low Income Super Tax Offsets (LISTO) and
  • Superannuation Guarantee (SG) transfers.

These amounts are generally paid on behalf of eligible low to middle income earners.

They do not affect your defined benefit and are preserved until you claim your benefit.

Any amounts you hold are shown on your Member Statement.

More information

How does my contribution rate affect the growth of my benefit?

Your contribution rate is generally the best way you can increase your defined benefit. The higher your rate, and the longer you contribute, the more your final benefit is likely to be.

The opposite is also true: the lower your rate, the lower your defined benefit is likely to be.

That’s because your member contributions grow your Benefit Multiple (part of the set formula that determines your final defined benefit). Keep in mind your employer notionally matches your contribution rate, subject to the 10-year rule and your Maximum Benefit Limit (MBL).

Employer matching contributions also grow your Benefit Multiple. These notional matching contributions can make a big difference to your final defined benefit.

What if I want to grow extra super?

You can generally salary sacrifice and/or make personal (after tax) contributions into another fund of your choice. Those would be in addition to your PSS member contributions.

  • See the PSSap website if you want to grow extra super in the Australian Government super environment by opening a PSSap Ancillary account (you would then be a member of two government schemes—PSS and PSSap).
  • Read the Tax and your PSS super [PDF 403 KB]to learn how much you can add to super each year, including your PSS fortnightly member contributions, at tax-effective rates.

How do I change my contribution rate?

Simply contact your personnel section. Your new rate will take effect from your next pay day.

If you are thinking about making a change, you should understand how your new rate will affect the growth of your defined benefit (subject to the 10-year rule and your MBL). Simply view the Benefit Multiple table or use i-Estimator in Member Services Online

What if I never selected my contribution rate?

If you never chose a specific rate, the default rate is 5% of your super salary.

What if I fall behind in my contributions?

You must pay any shortfall as soon as possible. Any unpaid arrears (a contribution shortfall) may mean you pay more tax in retirement. 

How does a salary increase affect my contributions?

If you do nothing, the amount of your member contributions will increase, but only on your next birthday. That’s when your contributions are adjusted, based on the highest qualifying salary you received in the past 12 months and your selected contribution rate.

Remember, you can change your rate any time by contacting your personnel section.

If you cannot afford or do not wish to pay your current contribution rate, you should contact your personnel section to reduce your rate. Your take-home pay will increase, however contributing less each fortnight will generally slow the growth of your Accrued Benefit Multiple.

How does a salary decrease affect my contributions?

If you do nothing, the amount of your member contributions will generally not change. Your contribution rate will remain based on the higher salary (because your super salary will never reduce from a previously set amount). The exception is a salary reduction for medical reasons.

Remember, you can change your rate at any time by contacting your personnel section.

Your salary may reduce voluntarily, such as if you changed to part-time work, or involuntarily, such as if you lose an allowance, are redeployed at a lower classification level, or get transferred to a new agency on a lower salary. However, your salary for super purposes will never reduce.

You can apply to the trustee of PSS, Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, to defer or postpone paying your contributions during periods of reduced pay. In this situation, you must repay any shortfall in contributions as soon as possible when you return to full pay.

How does working part time affect my contributions?

Your rate of personal fortnightly contributions remains at your full-time rate until your next birthday. Your rate will only reset automatically if you are part-time on your next birthday.

Your contributions will reduce pro-rata to the number of hours you are approved to work (you can no longer contribute at your full-time rate). Your employer handles all changes.

Remember, you can change your contribution rate at any time by contacting your personnel section.

However, in the case of a partial invalidity pension, your benefit will continue to accrue at your full-time rate, but fortnightly contributions will be paid at your part-time rate.

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You can choose to provide us your tax file number (TFN) to help avoid paying extra tax on your contributions, benefit payments and rollovers and more.

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