Contributing members of PSS are generally eligible for a retirement benefit on leaving employment from the age of 55 onwards.

An early voluntary retirement benefit is payable between the ages of 55 and 60, and a normal retirement benefit is payable on retirement after reaching 60.

If you are aged 65 and over, you may choose to exit PSS while still working and receive payment of or defer your retirement benefits.

While PSS is basically a pension scheme, at certain times you have an option to commute all or part of a pension entitlement to a lump sum.

Benefits tax is not payable on superannuation benefits paid when you are over the age of 60. If you are under 60 when your pension is paid, you may have to pay tax. Please see STC Fact Sheet 3: Taxation for more details.

If you have any outstanding debts on your account, such as a contributions surcharge tax debt, no TFN tax debt, outstanding contributions or an early release debt, these must be settled before any benefits are paid.

It is important to note that your ability to access your Basic Benefit and if applicable Additional Employer Contributions (AEC), Commonwealth Government co-contributions and Low Income Superannuation Contribution amounts are governed by your preservation age.

If you voluntarily retire between 55 and 60 (except due to invalidity), you have the choice of taking your benefits as:

  • an indexed fortnightly pension
  • a lump sum payment
  • a combination of both.

The amount of your benefit depends on your length of service and age at retirement. The closer you are to age 60, the higher the benefit for each year of service. The maximum early voluntary retirement benefit is payable after 30 years of service.

Pension 

The pension benefit payable is a percentage of your salary of office (superable salary) at retirement, with the amount depending on your age and the length of your PSS membership. In the case of members working part time, the superable salary is the equivalent full-time (or attributed) salary.

The pension rates above are reduced to offset the 15% tax payable on your employer's contributions for your benefits. Refer to the Contributions tax section for further information.

Lump sum payment

You may elect to commute all or part of your pension to a lump sum. If you elect to receive all of your early retirement benefit as a lump sum instead of a pension, the lump sum payable is equal to your superable salary at the time of retirement, multiplied by a factor (number) which depends on your age at retirement and length of service. To find this amount, refer to Table 2 of PSS Fact Sheet 4: Benefits on early voluntary retirement. If you elect to receive part of your benefit as a lump sum and the rest as a pension, the lump sum is calculated proportionately.

An election to take a lump sum must be made no later than six months after your retirement date. Commuting a pension to a lump sum takes effect from your retirement date, and any pension paid to you between your date of retirement and the day the lump sum is paid to you is deducted from the lump sum. If you do not elect to take a lump sum within six months of your last day of service, you will have another opportunity to commute when you turn 60.

Benefit payable on the death of a retired PSS member 

On the death of a retired PSS member, a spouse pension is payable only to an eligible person (which includes a de facto partner and may include a same sex partner) and only where the scheme member elected to receive a pension. The partial commutation of a member's pension reduces a spouse's pension entitlement on a proportional basis. A spouse or de facto partner's pension is not payable where the member exchanged the whole of their pension entitlement for a lump sum.

Please refer to PSS Fact Sheet 4: Benefits on early voluntary retirement for more information.

If you retire at 60 or later, you have the choice of taking your benefit as:

  • an indexed fortnightly pension
  • a lump sum payment
  • a combination of both.

Pension

The pension benefit is a percentage of your annual salary of office (superable salary) at the time you retire. If you work part time, your superable salary is the equivalent full-time (or attributed) salary. If you have completed 30 years of service or more, the pension is equal to 72.75% of your superable salary. The approximate percentages for periods of service less than 30 years are outlined in Table 1 of PSS Fact Sheet 3: Benefits on normal retirement.

The pension rates above are reduced to offset a 15% tax payable on your employer's contribution. Refer to the contributions tax section for further information.

Lump sum payment 

You may elect to commute all or part of your pension to a lump sum. If you elect to receive all of your retirement benefit as a lump sum instead of a pension, the lump sum payable is your superable salary at the time of your retirement, multiplied by the relevant factor in Table 2 of PSS Fact Sheet 3: Benefits on normal retirement. If you elect to receive part of your benefit as a lump sum and the rest as a pension, the lump sum is calculated proportionately.

An election to take a lump sum must be made no later than six months after you retire. Commuting a pension to a lump sum takes effect from your retirement date, and any pension that may be paid to you between your retirement date and the day the lump sum is paid to you is deducted from the lump sum. If you do not elect to take a lump sum within six months of your last day of service, your benefit will be paid as a pension only.

Benefits payable on the death of a retired PSS member 

On the death of a retired PSS member, a spouse pension is payable only to an eligible person (which includes a de facto partner and may include a same sex partner) and only where the scheme member elected to receive a pension. The partial commutation of a member's pension reduces a spouse's pension entitlement on a proportional basis. A spouse or de facto partner's pension is not payable where the member exchanged the whole of their pension entitlement for a lump sum.

Please refer to PSS Fact Sheet 3: Benefits on normal retirement for more information.