At State Super, we are proud of our history, and the foresight of the NSW government back in the early 20th Century to consider the retirement needs of its workers. Since 1919, superannuation for public service and public sector workers has continued to grow and change, and the State Super Schemes are an important part of our country’s history. You can find out more about this history by watching the video below, or scrolling through our interactive timeline.

State Super History video

State Super History Timeline

Scroll and select a date, click on the date to view a summary and click on to read more information.

  1. NSW launches first age pension

    NSW becomes the first Australian government to introduce the Age Pension. Also in 1900, there is a major Bubonic Plague outbreak in Sydney, and Queen Victoria gives Royal assent to the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act, a key step in Australia becoming one nation.

    NSW launches first age pension -

    Circular Quay Sydney c. 1900

    iStock.com: ilbusca

  2. Federation

    The Commonwealth of Australia is created with Edmund Barton as the first Prime Minister. The new Parliament legislates about age and invalid pensions. Overseas, Italian engineer Guglielmo Marconi sends the first radio broadcast over the ocean from Signal Hill in Newfoundland.

    Federation -

    Cabot Tower radio station, Signal Hill, Newfoundland used by Marconi

    iStock.com: mmac72

  3. Police superannuation begins

    Public sector superannuation begins with the legislation for the Police Superannuation Scheme. This scheme included workers’ compensation entitlements and was administered inside the Police Department.

    Police superannuation begins -

    NSW police officers c. 1906

    Image source: State Library of NSW

  4. Commonwealth Pensions begin

    NSW Premier Charles Wade formally completes the transfer of State land to the Commonwealth, to create the Australian Capital Territory and the Commonwealth Government introduces pensions this year. This pension superseded all State age pension schemes…

    Commonwealth Pensions begin -

    The new Commonwealth pension was a modest means tested payment worth 10 shillings per week or £26 per year, which was around 12 per cent of the average male weekly earnings.

    You needed to be a continuous Australian resident for 25 years to qualify for the pension, but this was reduced to 20 years in 1910. Continuous residence meant you could have occasional absences, but these were not to exceed “one tenth of the total period of residence”.

    Elderly woman Sydney c. 1909

    Image source: State Library of NSW

  5. Ten and a Penny scheme begins

    The Ten and a Penny superannuation scheme began as part of the Government Railways Act 1912 for NSW government railways employees.

    The scheme had defined benefits paid in the form of a small indexed pension.

    There were many other developments in superannuation this year……

    Ten and a Penny scheme begins -

    In 1912, the NSW State government also began discussions on the need for superannuation benefits for other NSW Public Sector employees. This included nurses, who were paid wages, and whose employers were 'off budget'. This meant that the organisation generated their own revenue and did not get allocations from the State Budget.

    It was generally accepted that wages staff would not be fully self-funded for retirement but would rely on the age pension with a ‘top up’ from a superannuation lump sum.

    Other superannuation related developments this year included a change to the Commonwealth Invalid and Old-age Pensions Act, 1909, which was amended to remove the family home from the means test. The Commonwealth also introduced a maternity allowance, which was a lump sum cash grant payable to a mother on the birth of a child.

    NSW railway workers, Wagga Wagga

    Image source: State Library of NSW

  6. World War I

    In August 1914 following the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo, England declares war on Germany, and Australia subsequently enters the war. Prime Minister Joseph Cook states that "All of our resources in Australia are for the preservation and the security of the empire".

    World War I -

    Australian soldiers c. 1915 including N. Hutchins, winner of the King’s Cup (centre)

    Image source: State Library of NSW

  7. New State Superannuation Act

    The Superannuation Act 1916 was passed, which would lead to the creation of the State Superannuation Fund in 1919. Also in 1916, Sir Ernest Shackleton completes an historic 1,500km voyage in the Southern Ocean …

    New State Superannuation Act -

    Sir Ernest Shackleton and five others sail a life boat called the James Caird over 1,500 km from Elephant Island to South Georgia Island in the southern Atlantic Ocean. Shackleton sought to arrange the rescue of the remaining members of his expedition following the loss of its ship Endurance in Antarctica. This is considered the greatest small boat journey in history, and amazingly all members of his party survived.

    Launch of the James Caird from the shore of Elephant Island.

    Image source: Wikimedia Commons

  8. State Super begins

    In July 1919, The Treaty of Versailles was signed formally ending WWI, and in Australia the first members of the State Superannuation Scheme joined the fund. Benefits were based on units. The number of units a member was entitled to was based on their salary on their last day of service.

    State Super begins -

    NSW school teachers around the time of WWI

    Image source: State Library of NSW

  9. Wages staff super begins

    In the first serious attempt to provide benefits for public sector wages staff, the Local Government Insurance Fund was opened. Workers paid a monthly contribution used to purchase an Insurance Policy on their behalf. A second fund also opened…

    Wages staff super begins -

    The Local Government Provident Fund was also opened, and was predominantly aimed at female employees and those over age 55. It was recognised women were unlikely to stay employed continuously until retirement so their scheme was a dollar for dollar accumulation scheme.

    Also in 1928, Australia the Royal Flying Doctor Service began, Nellie Melba makes her last appearance in opera and Australian aviator Charles Kingsford Smith completes the first flight across the Pacific Ocean, from mainland USA to Australia, in the Fokker F.VII aircraft Southern Cross.

    Sydney council road workers, early 20th Century

    Image source: State Library of NSW

  10. Transport Gratuity Scheme

    The Transport Gratuity Scheme commences as part of the transport stream and provided for a modest lump sum at retirement. Also in 1930, the Great Depression is felt across Australia and state governments pay a dole and issue rations to many. Champion racehorse Phar Lap wins the Melbourne Cup.

    Transport Gratuity Scheme  -

    Image of Australian stamp commemorating Phar Lap’s win in the 1930 Melbourne Cup

    iStock.com: alexander zam

  11. World War II begins

    In April 1939, Robert Menzies becomes Prime Minister and in September, Hitler’s invasion of Poland drove Great Britain to declare war on Germany. Over the next six years, the conflict would take more lives and destroy more land and property than any previous war, with 60 million people killed.

    World War II begins -

    Australian soldiers at Circular Quay

    Image source: Wikipedia Commons

  12. World War II ends

    World War II ends in Europe on 8 May, and on 15 August, Japan surrenders to the Allies in the Pacific.

    In Australia, Prime Minister John Curtin dies in office, with Ben Chifley becoming the next Prime Minister.

    World War II ends -

    Famous image from film taken in Martin Place Sydney at the end of WWII

    Image source: Wikipedia

  13. Changes to state pensions

    The first partial commutation of State Superannuation Fund pensions is allowed. Also in 1948, the first ever Holden motor car rolls off the production line in Australia, and Don Bradman retires from Test cricket.

    Changes to state pensions -

    Two elderly men at the war veterans home, Narrabeen, NSW

    Image source: State Library of NSW

  14. Commonwealth takes control of super

    This year, the Income Tax and Social Services Contribution Assessment Act, 1961 is passed. This Act firmly establishes the Commonwealth’s control of superannuation funds through its taxation powers. Also in 1961, the Parkes radio telescope is officially opened by the Governor General.

    Commonwealth takes control of super -

    Sheep mustering near Parkes radio telescope

    Image source: Wikimedia Commons

  15. Ten and a Penny scheme closes

    This year, the Government Railways Account Ten and a Penny Scheme is closed to new members and the Beatles tour Australia and NZ. They perform 32 concerts in eight cities,  people go crazy, waiting outside hotels and lining streets, a sight never seen before in Australia.

    Ten and a Penny scheme closes -

    iStock.com: adam calatzis

  16. Local Government fund closure

    Apollo crew 11 landed on the moon. Major developments also happened at State Super with the Local Government Insurance Fund and the Local Government Provident Fund closed to new members. For new employees, the Local Government Pension Fund was opened, along with the Local Government Benefits Fund …

    Local Government fund closure -

    The Local Government Pension Fund provided for a reversionary pension at retirement. It was compulsory for employees under age 55 and membership ceased at age 65. The Local Government Benefits Fund provided for lump sum benefits at retirement.

    Both new schemes offered better retirement benefits for public sector employees.

    iStock.com: issaurinko

  17. Change to SSS legislation

    Following significant inflation, State Superannuation Scheme (SSS) legislation is passed to index pensions to the Sydney CPI All Groups Index. Also in 1972, Gough Whitlam becomes the first Labor Prime Minister since 1949, and 15-year-old swimmer Shane Gould wins five medals at the Munich Olympics.

    Change to SSS legislation -

    Teachers demonstrating late 1960’s

    Image source: State Library of NSW

  18. NSW Retirement Fund opens

    Transport Retirement Fund closes and the

    NSW Retirement Fund opens for those on wages. The fund provides reversionary pension at retirement. Also in 1973, Queen Elizabeth II opens the Sydney Opera House, and the Whitlam government abolishes the pension means test for age pensioners 75 years and over.

    NSW Retirement Fund opens -

    Queen Elizabeth opens the Sydney Opera House

    Image source: Wikimedia Commons

  19. ABS superannuation survey

    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) conducted the first national survey of superannuation coverage. Results showed that 36 per cent of male workers and 15 per cent of female workers are now covered by superannuation. Also in 1974 Cyclone Tracy destroys Darwin on Christmas day.

    ABS superannuation survey -

    Damaged houses after Cyclone Tracy

    Image source: Wikimedia Commons

  20. Reform of tax on super begins

    The May Economic Statement begins major reform of taxation of superannuation, including taxation on lump sums (initially raised to 15 per cent for amounts up to a threshold $50,000). Treasurer Paul Keating announces the Australian dollar will float on the international money market.

    Reform of tax on super begins -

    J Paye Secretary-General, OECD with Paul Keating

    Source: By Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Wikipedia Commons

  21. New legislation

    Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act 1984 comes into force. This influenced changes to NSW schemes enacted the following year. Age pension asset test is reintroduced this year but excludes the family home, and the $100 note and $1 coin are introduced.

    New legislation  -

    iStock.com: digunner

  22. New PASS scheme begins

    The Local Government Pension Fund, Transport Retirement Fund and NSW Retirement Fund closed and merged into a new scheme for wages staff called Public Authorities Superannuation Scheme (PASS). Also at State Super this year …

    New PASS scheme begins -

    The State Superannuation Scheme (SSS) is closed to new members and in response to the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act 1984, reversionary entitlements are extended to male spouses of female fund members.

    Deferred benefits are also introduced allowing members who resigned from the public service to retain their accrued benefits in the fund until retirement. This measure went some way towards addressing the issue of portability of benefits.

    Also in 1985, FM stereo radio broadcasting begins and The Live Aid concerts raising money for the famine in Ethiopia took place in July at Wembley Stadium in London, and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania plus other concerts around the globe. Estimated audience of 1.9 billion people watched the live broadcast.

    iStock.com: sdominick

  23. Pay rise discussions

    Halley’s Comet is visible over Western Australia this year and wages were due to increase. Paul Keating wanted to restrain inflation, but still give workers a pay rise, so Keating and the head of the Australian Council of Trade Unions agreed that employers would provide workers the increase …

    Pay rise discussions -

    The three percent increase was to be paid into the worker’s superannuation fund instead of their salary. The Superannuation Administration Act 1987 was created the following year.

    iStock.com: koo1980

  24. Major State Super changes

    Following the new Superannuation Administration Act 1987, the State Superannuation Board, Public Authorities Superannuation Board and Police Superannuation Board were abolished. In Canberra this year, the new Parliament House is opened by Queen Elizabeth II …

    Major State Super changes  -

    The State Superannuation Board, Public Authorities Superannuation Board and Police Superannuation Board were replaced by State Authorities Superannuation Board (SASB).

    Three Schemes were closed, State Public Service Superannuation Scheme, Public Authority Superannuation Scheme, and Police Superannuation Scheme. Administration for these three closed funds were taken over by the newly formed SASB.

    Following the three scheme closures, two new schemes were created.

    The State Authorities Superannuation Scheme (SASS) was opened, and now all new NSW public servants and public sector staff have access to the one scheme.

    The State Authorities Non-contributory Superannuation Scheme (SANCS) was also created. This was so that the compulsory three percent productivity benefit could be paid into the member’s superannuation to be accrued. This became known as ‘the basic benefit’.

    Parliament house, Canberra, Australia

    iStock.com: eddisonphotos

  25. State Super Financial Services

    This year, Treasurer Keating announces Australia is in recession. State Super became the first superannuation fund to set up its own financial planning service with the establishment of State Super Financial Services Limited.

    State Super Financial Services -

    iStock.com: ratpack223

  26. Superannuation Guarantee

    The Introduction of compulsory superannuation lead to structural changes in public service superannuation. The State Authorities Superannuation Scheme (SASS) is now closed to new members and the First State Superannuation Scheme is established …

    Superannuation Guarantee  -

    The State Authorities Superannuation Board became the trustee of the First State Superannuation Scheme which was administered by the State Superannuation Investment and Management Corporation.

    All non-contributory members who did not elect to contribute to SASS by 18 December, 1992 became the founding members of First State Super with an effective entry date of 1 July 1992.

    Universities became covered under Federal Industrial awards and were not eligible to join First State Super. Instead they were covered by Uni Super.

    A separate investment portfolio was set up for First Sate Super and it reported to a separate board, requiring a separate asset consultant.

    The State Authorities Superannuation Board was separated from the administration and became the trustee of:

    • First State Superannuation Scheme
    • Sate Superannuation Scheme (SSS)
    • State Authorities Superannuation Scheme (SASS)
    • Police Superannuation Scheme (PSS)
    • State Authorities Non-contributory Superannuation Scheme (SANCS).

    This was done so NSW Government superannuation could follow the process set up by the industry super schemes of outsourcing administration and investment services.

    Major developments in superannuation regulation this year. The Superannuation Guarantee was implemented by the Federal Government and extended retirement savings to 72 per cent of workers.

    Employers were required to make prescribed contributions on behalf of their employees to a complying superannuation fund.

    Super contributions were to be progressively increased between 1992-2002, from three per cent to nine percent.

    First State Super logo.

  27. Changes to age pension

    Eighty per cent of employed people in Australia are now covered by superannuation, and the age pension for women is increased to age 65 (same as men) over 20 years. Also this year, cricketer Shane Warne delivers the "Ball of the Century" to Mike Gatting, bowling the Englishman in The Ashes test.

    Changes to age pension -

    iStock.com: MousePotato

  28. Changes to Trustees

    The State Authorities Superannuation Board is replaced by SAS Trustee Corporation (STC), responsible for SSS, SASS, PSS and SANCS schemes, and the FSS Trustee Corporation (FTC), responsible for the accumulation schemes. Tamagotchi, a handheld digital pet, is released by Bandai in Japan.

    Changes to Trustees -

    iStock.com: gldburger

  29. Super guarantee changes

    Stuart Diver becomes the sole survivor of the Thredbo landslide, surviving 66 hours in near freezing temperatures. Also this year, the maximum age for making Superannuation Guarantee contributions is increased from age 65 to age 70. And at State Super …

    Super guarantee changes -

    The Local Government Superannuation Scheme and the Energy Industries Superannuation Scheme are set up with a shared secretariat and administration.

    State Super members who work for those government sectors are transferred to the two new schemes

    Thredbo, NSW

    iStock.com: kimlong-creations

  30. SMSF introduced

    This year is the 50th anniversary of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme.

    Self-managed super funds are introduced and will be regulated by the ATO. At State Super, full commutation of pensions is now allowed in the State Super Scheme (SSS) …

    SMSF introduced -

    Members of SSS are no longer required to keep $20 of their fortnightly pension if they are single and $34 if they are married.

    Pension members who had previously commuted the maximum were given the opportunity to fully commute the balance of their pension.

    Guthega Dam.

    iStock.com: zetter

  31. Family Law Act change

    The Family Law Act 1975 is amended to allow superannuation assets to be divided on marriage breakdown. The maximum age for super contributions is also increased from age 70 to age 75. In the USA, close to 3,000 people are killed in the 9/11 attacks at in New York City, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

    Family Law Act change -

    The aftermath of destruction on the World Trade Centre NY following September 11 attacks, 2001

    iStock.com: terraxplorer

  32. Super co-contributions begin

    This year, the superannuation co-contribution is introduced. Overseas the Human Genome Project is completed, sequencing the human gene to 99.99% accuracy. The project team involved scientists from 20 institutions in six countries, France, Germany, Japan, China, the UK and the USA.

    Super co-contributions begin -

    iStock.com: metamorworks

  33. Change to super beneficiary

    This year sees the introduction of tax-free payment of superannuation benefits to a surviving spouse or partner in a de facto relationship, including a same sex relationship. Overseas, Mary Donaldson from Hobart marries Frederick, Crown Prince of Denmark to become Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark.

    Change to super beneficiary  -

    iStock.com: rawf8

  34. Super choice begins

    For the first time, more employees can choose a superannuation fund rather than staying with their employer’s default fund under new superannuation laws. Overseas, Following the 2005 federal election, Angela Merkel is appointed Germany's first female chancellor.

    Super choice begins -

    German flags at Reichstag, Berlin, Germany

    iStock.com: bluejayphoto

  35. First State Super now public

    First State Super becomes a public offer fund so now anyone with superannuation can become a member. The Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania collapsed on 25 April. Fourteen miners escaped, one was killed and two others were found alive after 6 days, and finally rescued on May 9.

    First State Super now public -

    Beaconsfield gold mine, Tasmania

    iStock.com: flashgordonphotog

  36. Super guarantee raise proposed

    The Federal Government makes a proposal to raise the Superannuation Guarantee from nine per cent to twelve per cent between 2013 and 2020 and to increase the Superannuation Guarantee age limit to 75 from July 2013. Also this year, Mary MacKillop is declared the first Australian saint.

    Super guarantee raise proposed -

    St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, statue of Saint Mary MacKillop

    iStock.com: kokkai

  37. State Super changes

    Eligible State Super members are now entitled to additional Employer Contributions (AEC). This is in addition, to the three per cent basic benefit. In sport this year, Black Caviar retires on unbeaten record of 25 wins, one of the greatest mares in world racing history.

    State Super changes -

    iStock.com: winhorse

  38. NSW Treasury Corporation

    State Super appoints NSW Treasury Corporation (TCorp) as the master investment manager for the trustee selection portfolio. In sport this year, millions watch live as Australian surfer Mick Fanning escapes a shark attack during a competition at Jeffrey Bay, South Africa.

    NSW Treasury Corporation -

  39. Major super changes announced

    This year, people in the United Kingdom vote to leave the European Union, in an event known as ‘Brexit’. At State Super, the final implementation of the State Authorities Non-contributory Scheme (SANCS) additional employer contribution (AEC) is completed…

    Major super changes announced -

    Eligible members now see the new AEC benefit, backdated to 1 July 2013, for the first time when they receive their statement.

    Also at State Super, the financial planning business StatePlus (previously State Super Financial Services Australia Ltd) is sold to First State Super. There were major developments at the federal level in superannuation legislation. The Treasury Laws Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Superannuation) Act 2016 was introduced and would come into effect 1 July 2017.

    The changes are intended to improve the fairness, sustainability, flexibility and integrity of the superannuation system. Key changes include:

    1. Introduction of a $1.6 million transfer balance cap on the total amount of accumulated superannuation an individual can transfer into the tax–free retirement phase.
    2. The threshold at which high income earners pay additional contributions tax (Division 293) is lowered from $300,000 to $250,000.
    3. Annual non–concessional contributions cap is lowered to $100,000 and a new constraint introduced such that individuals with a balance of $1.6 million or more are no longer eligible to make non–concessional contributions.
    4. The annual cap on concessional (before–tax) superannuation contributions is lowered to $25,000.

    iStock.com: duncan1980

  40. State Super turns 100 on 1 July

    State Super reaches 100 years on 1 July this year. We are one of Australia’s first and largest superannuation schemes, with nearly 100,000 members across our four schemes.

    State Super turns 100 on 1 July -