PSS provides an invalidity benefit if a PSS member must retire because of an injury sustained while on duty. This section covers:
The payment of a HOD invalidity benefit is conditional on:
- STC being satisfied on medical advice that a PSS member has become incapable, due to a certified infirmity of body or mind, of personally exercising the functions of a police officer, including those of a constable, and
- the PSS member having been discharged as medically unfit from the NSW Police Force.
Before STC can accept a claim for a HOD benefit, STC must determine the nature of the infirmity and the Commissioner of Police must certify that the infirmity was sustained as a result of the member having been HOD.
If you are retired due to a disability caused by being HOD, you will receive an indexed fortnightly pension based on a percentage of your superable salary at the time of your retirement. These benefits are not available to members employed by the Police Association of NSW – only the general not HOD invalidity benefit is available to these members.
The basic HOD pension is 72.75% of your superable salary. However, this may be increased at STC's discretion to a maximum of:
- 85% — with the percentage of additional pension above 72.75% determined by the STC in proportion to your incapacity to undertake alternative employment outside the NSW Police Force, or
- 100% — if you are totally incapacitated for any work and STC is of the opinion that the injury was caused by risks to which you were exposed which are special to Police work. If so, the amount of additional pension above 85% is determined by the Trustee in proportion to the extent of those risks.
The benefit payable is reduced for any periods of part-time employment, unless your total period of equivalent full-time service is at least 30 years.
A maximum benefit of 72.75% of superable salary applies if the injury in question occurred before 21 November 1979.
A PSS member receiving an HOD pension has two types of commutation options: the standard commutation options, and special provisions for the redemption of the prescribed part of a HOD pension.
Standard commutation option
A member who is eligible for an invalidity pension can commute all or part of their pension to a lump sum. An election to commute the pension cannot be processed prior to the member turning age 55. Members can only make one election to commute any part of their pension, and there is a time limit for making elections.
It should be noted that when a HOD pension has been commuted in full a member cannot apply for a HOD pension increase. It should also be noted that spouse and de facto partner entitlements are affected when a member commutes all or part of their HOD invalidity pension. The entitlement decreases in the same proportion as the member commutes the pension, e.g. if 50% of the pension is commuted, the spouse is entitled to 50% of the spouse pension. If a member commutes the entire invalidity pension, the spouse is not entitled to any pension.
Redemption of the prescribed part of a pension
Members on a HOD pension have additional commutation options. These are based on the prescribed part of their pension, which is an amount calculated on an annual basis that is, in the opinion of the STC, the amount that would have been payable to the member in weekly payments of compensation under the Workers Compensation Act 1987 if the disabled worker had been entitled to payments under that Act.
This amount is calculated at the date of the member's discharge from the NSW Police Force. Members can apply to commute the prescribed part of their pension, but STC must approve their application.
Please refer to PSS Fact Sheet 13 Partial Commutation (redemption) of Hurt on Duty (HOD) Invalidity Pension under section 10C for more information.
For additional information please refer to:
PSS Fact Sheet 5 Invalidity retirement (medical discharge)
PSS Fact Sheet 11 Medical discharge benefit for members of the Police Force (s8/s10B(1))
PSS provides incapacity benefits for members who have already resigned or retired from the Police Force but who were not in fact capable of personally exercising the functions of a police officer, including those of a constable, at the time of resignation or retirement due to a medical condition arising from a Hurt on Duty (HOD) injury.
If the former member resigned or retired before 30 June 2006, the test is whether at the time of exit the person would have been incapable of discharging the duties of his or her office.
A medical condition is an infirmity of the body or mind.
An HOD injury is an injury that occurred after 21 November 1979 in connection with work as a police officer.
Please refer to PSS Fact Sheet 12: Medical discharge benefit for a former member of the Police Force (s10B(2)) for more information.
When a member of PSS retires as a result of being hurt on duty (HOD) a pension equal to 72.75% of the member's salary of office at the date of exit is payable.
A member who retires HOD and is receiving an HOD pension may be entitled to an increase in pension if they satisfy certain conditions.
You can apply for an increase in the rate of your HOD pension if:
- you are currently receiving an HOD pension, and
- you have not commuted the whole of any PSS pension to a lump sum.
Please refer to PSS Fact Sheet 14: Increase for a Hurt on Duty pension (s10(1A)) for more information.
PSS provides a number of benefits for members arising out of the occurrence of a work-related injury. The type of benefit depends on whether the injury occurred before 21 November 1979, or it occurred on or after that date.
For more information about the benefits payable where a work-related injury occurred before 21 November 1979, please refer to PSS Fact Sheet 15: Pre–21 November 1979 benefits arising from work-related injuries.
Under section 10C of the Police Regulation (Superannuation) Act 1906, an HOD invalidity pension member can apply to commute part of their pension to a lump sum.
If the pension member is under 55, the amount they may commute is limited to the prescribed part of the HOD pension.
If the pension member is over the age of 55, the amount that may be permitted to be commuted is limited to 40% of the 'prescribed part' of the HOD pension payable for a period of five years. The 'prescribed part' is related to the weekly workers' compensation rate that applied at the date the member was discharged from the NSW Police Force.
You can apply if your HOD injury occurred on or after 21 November 1979 and you are under age 66.
Please refer to PSS Fact Sheet 13: Partial commutation (redemption) of Hurt on Duty (HOD) invalidity pension under section 10C for more information.
PSS pension members are only entitled to a PSS HOD pension of 85% if they are totally incapacitated for work outside the Police Force at the time the 85% is approved. STC has an obligation to ensure that the PSS pension member remains entitled to a pension of 85%. This means that the pension member must at all times continue to be totally incapacitated for work outside the Police Force.
A pension will be subject to a review of the percentage rate of pension at any time if STC has reason to believe that the pension member is no longer totally incapacitated or, if the increase to 85% was granted on or after 28 August 2008, at five yearly intervals until the pension member reaches age 60.
Please refer to PSS Fact Sheet 20: Review of PSS HOD pensions for more information.
If the Commissioner of Police determines that the death of a PSS scheme member is related to the member being HOD, the following benefits are payable:
- A fortnightly pension, paid to the deceased member's spouse or de facto partner or the member's mother, father, children or any relatives who, within the meaning of the Workers Compensation Act 1987, were wholly or partly dependent on the deceased.
- An indexed pension for each dependent child, until the child reaches 18 years of age, or up to age 21 if the child continues to be a full-time student in an approved course of study.
- A gratuity in the form of a lump sum paid to the deceased's dependants, up to the amount payable under Division 1 of Part 3 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987.
Similar benefits may also be paid to the spouse or de facto partner and/or dependants on the death of a scheme member after retirement or resignation if the Commissioner of Police determines that the former member's death was caused by the former member having been HOD while a member of the Police Force.
Please refer to PSS Fact Sheet 6: Death Benefits for more information.