The State Superannuation Scheme (SSS) was established by the NSW Government on 1 July 1919, under the Superannuation Act 1916 (the Act). Generally, salaried employees of the NSW public service and teaching service – and a number of statutory authorities scheduled in the Act – were eligible to join SSS.
SSS was closed to new members on 1 July 1985.
SSS is a defined benefit scheme, which means that benefits are based on a specified formula, and as such are not affected by investment returns. SSS members contribute towards units of fortnightly pension throughout their membership. The number of units that members are entitled to contribute for is determined by the member's salary. The contributions which members make depend on the member's age, when the units were granted, the member's gender, and if female, whether they elect age 55 or 60 for retirement.
While the normal retirement age is 60, early voluntary retirement is available from age 55 onwards (except for female members who, on joining the scheme, elected to retire at age 55).
If a member resigns prior to their normal retirement age, they can take a lump sum withdrawal benefit or choose to leave their benefits deferred in the scheme until retirement. Benefits are also payable in the event of retrenchment, invalidity or death. A pension entitlement is available for an eligible spouse or de facto partner of a deceased member.
Although the scheme is essentially a pension scheme, lump sum options are available at specified times.
Members of SSS also receive a 3% non-contributory defined superannuation benefit (known as the basic benefit) for all service since 1 April 1988. In addition, eligible members will be entitled to Additional Employer Contributions (AEC), Commonwealth Government co-contributions and Low Income Super Tax Offset (LISTO). The basic benefit, AEC, co-contributions and LISTO are all payable from the State Authorities Non-contributory Superannuation Scheme (SANCS).