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If you recently received a letter from us regarding an issue with your Superannuation Salary, here are a few frequently asked questions to help you learn more about the issue and what you may need to do.

If you have underpaid compulsory member contributions

  • Why do I have underpaid compulsory member contributions?

    As a member of a defined benefit division of Qantas Super, you are required to make compulsory member contributions as a condition of your membership, which for some divisions are used to fund your benefits. These contributions are automatically deducted from your pay and are calculated based on your Superannuation Salary and working status.

    Because these factors were incorrect for a period of time, this means your compulsory member contributions were calculated incorrectly, and the wrong amounts deducted from your pay.

  • Do I need to pay my underpaid compulsory member contributions?

    Divisions 1 and 2:

    No, you do not have to pay these contributions. However, you can choose to pay your underpaid member contributions by:

    • Entering into an arrangement to pay via salary sacrifice; or
    • Paying your contributions via BPAY. You can find your BPAY details by logging into your account and clicking the Personal Details tab

    Division 3 and members in Division 2 who have a minimum guaranteed benefit from an Australian Airlines plan:

    No, you do not have to pay these contributions as they will be taken into account when it’s time to calculate the total value of your benefit (i.e. reduce it). However, you can choose to pay your underpaid compulsory member contributions by:

    • Entering into an arrangement with payroll to pay via salary sacrifice; or
    • Entering into an arrangement to transfer funds from your voluntary accumulation accounts to cover your unpaid compulsory member contributions; or
    • Paying your contributions via BPAY. You can find your BPAY details by logging into your account and clicking the Personal Details tab
  • Will I be charged interest if I don’t pay my underpaid compulsory member contributions?

    Divisions 1 and 2:

    No, you will not be charged interest. If you choose not to pay your underpaid compulsory member contributions, the balance of your accumulation accounts will simply be lower by the amount that you don’t pay (plus any related investment earnings, which can be positive or negative).

    For example, if the current balance of your accumulation accounts is $5,000 and you owe $100 and choose not to pay it, your accumulation balance will simply remain $5,000. If you pay the $100, your accumulation balance will grow to $5,100 (plus investment earnings, which can be positive or negative).

    Division 3 and members in Division 2 who have a minimum guaranteed benefit from an Australian Airlines plan:

    No. No interest will be applied to these unpaid contributions.

  • What happens if I don't pay my underpaid compulsory member contributions?

    Divisions 1 and 2:

    If you choose not to pay your underpaid compulsory member contributions, the balance of your accumulation accounts will simply be lower by the amount that you don’t pay (plus any related investment earnings, which can be positive or negative). For example, if the current balance of your accumulation accounts is $5,000 and you owe $100 and choose not to pay it, your accumulation balance will simply remain $5,000.

    If you pay the $100, your accumulation balance will grow to $5,100 (plus investment earnings, which can be positive or negative).  Your defined benefit will not impacted if you do not pay these contributions.

    Division 3 and members in Division 2 who have a minimum guaranteed benefit from an Australian Airlines plan:

    Your compulsory member contributions help to fund your defined benefit. This means you have an obligation to pay these contributions. However, you have a choice of whether or not to pay the contributions that were underpaid as a result of the error with your benefit.

    Any underpaid contributions that you choose not to pay need to be taken into account when it’s time to calculate the total value of your benefit (i.e. reduce it). As these contributions were incorrectly calculated by your employer and underpaid, interest will not be applied to this amount.

If you have overpaid compulsory member contributions

  • Why can’t I get my overpaid compulsory member contributions back and keep my overstated benefit? (for members in Division 3 and members in Division 2 who have a minimum guaranteed benefit from an Australian Airlines plan)

    As a member of a defined benefit division of Qantas Super, the calculation of your benefit is funded in part by compulsory member contributions that are automatically deducted from your pay. As your total super benefit has been overstated, and your employer has given you the option not to correct your benefit to reflect your corrected Superannuation Salaries and working status, this means that the corresponding compulsory member contributions that were paid must also be kept in your account in order to help fund that extra benefit amount.

  • Do I earn interest on the overpaid amount I contributed?

    Divisions 1 and 2

    Yes. Your overpaid compulsory member contributions have been earning interest in your Member Account up until now.  They will be transferred to your Voluntary Account, an accumulation account, which means it’s invested in the options you have chosen for your accumulation accounts. If you have not previously made a choice, they will be invested in the Growth option, which is the default option for your division.

    For members in Division 2 who have a minimum guaranteed benefit from an Australian Airlines plan

    If you choose not to correct your accrued benefit to 30 June 2022, your overpaid compulsory member contributions will stay in your Member Account, where they have been earning interest at the same rates which apply to Qantas Super’s defined benefit assets. You can view these rates by downloading our weekly credited interest rates (CIRs) here.

    If you choose to have your benefit corrected, your overpaid compulsory member contributions, with interest earned to date, will be transferred to your Voluntary Account. This account is invested in the options you have chosen for your accumulation accounts.  If you have not previously made a choice, they will be invested in the Growth option, which is the default option for your division.

    Division 3

    If you choose not to correct your accrued benefit to 30 June 2022, your overpaid compulsory member contributions will stay invested in the pool supporting your defined benefit.

    If you choose to have your benefit corrected, your overpaid compulsory member contributions, with interest earned to date, will be transferred to your Voluntary Account. This is an accumulation account, which means it’s invested in the options you have chosen for your accumulation accounts.

  • Will my employer match my overpaid contributions?

    For members in Divisions 1 and 2, and members in Division 2 who have a minimum guaranteed benefit from an Australian Airlines plan

    Both your compulsory member contributions and the company contributions that your employer pays are calculated based on your Superannuation Salary and your working status. Because these factors were incorrect, this means that just like your compulsory member contributions were overpaid, the company contributions paid by your employer were also overpaid. This means your employer has already ‘matched’ your overpaid compulsory member contributions.

    Division 3

    No. This is because your employer is already providing you with an extra benefit – i.e. the amount by which your accrued benefit at 30 June 2022 was overstated.

How your benefit has been impacted

For members in Division 3 and members in Division 2 who have a minimum guaranteed benefit from an Australian Airlines plan

The correction to your benefit will be individual to you, as it depends on your past periods of part-time working and your job type.

The calculation of the defined benefit component of your benefit includes your Final Average Salary and Credited Service.  The corrections to your Superannuation Salaries and working status will have impacted one or both of these:

  1. Credited Service, which is your total period of service allowing for any part-time periods.
  2. Final Average Salary, which is defined according to your division in Qantas Super, but typically references the highest average annual Superannuation Salary over three consecutive years, within the last 10 years.

This means any changes to your Credited Service as a result of corrections to your working status will impact the calculation of the defined benefit component of your benefit and will continue to do so in the future.

In contrast, any changes to your Superannuation Salaries will only flow through to your Final Average Salary calculation if it results in an increase to this amount. Also, as only the last 10 years of Superannuation Salaries are used in the calculation, it is possible, depending on which Superannuation Salaries have been corrected and when your final calculation from Qantas Super is made, that the correct Superannuation Salaries are no longer included in the Final Average Salary amount.

Here is a simplified example to show how the impacts to Credited Service and Final Average Salary work.

Chris joined Qantas Super on 1 July 2002 and has worked full-time, apart from 2018/19 when Chris worked part-time hours, equivalent to a 0.7 of full-time hours.  Chris’ salary and work status history has been corrected as below:

PeriodIncorrect work statusCorrected work statusIncorrect Full-Time Equivalent Superannuation SalaryCorrected Full-Time Equivalent Superannuation Salary
1 July 2018 - 30 June 20190.60.7$110,000$85,000

Chris’ full Superannuation Salary history for the last 10 years is below, noting the Salaries have been corrected by the employer since October 2021:

PeriodIncorrect Full-Time Equivalent Superannuation SalaryCorrected Full-Time Equivalent Superannuation Salary
2012/13$75,000$75,000
2013/14$78,000$78,000
2014/15$80,000$80,000
2015/16$80,000$80,000
2016/17$82,000$82,000
2017/18$82,500$82,500
2018/19$110,000$85,000
2019/20$85,000$85,000
2020/21$87,000$87,000
2021/22$87,000$87,000

As at 30 June 2022, the Credited Service for Chris should be 9.7 years, i.e. 9 years full-time plus one year part-time status of 0.7.  Previously the Credited Service was calculated as 9.6 years.

For Chris’ division, the Final Average Salary is the highest average annual Superannuation Salary over three consecutive years, within the last 10 years.

As at 30 June 2022, the correct Final Average Salary is $86,333 i.e. the average of the last 3 salaries as these are the highest.  Before the correction, the Final Average Salary would have been $94,000 i.e. an average of the salaries from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2021, as this gives the highest consecutive three salaries.

For Chris’ division, the benefit is calculated as 18% * Credited Service * Final Average Salary.

Therefore the benefit at 30 June 2022 was incorrectly calculated as 18% * 9.6 * 94,000 = $162,432.

The correct benefit at 30 June 2022 is 18% + 9.7 + 86,333 = $150,738.

Note that this is a simplified example to illustrate how the corrected salary and service fraction data might impact a member’s benefits from Qantas Super.  The actual impacts will vary based on the corrected data received by Qantas for each individual and their division within Qantas Super.

We're here to help

If you have any questions about this issue or what you need to do next, you can get advice over the phone or face-to-face. It’s included as a part of your membership so there’s no extra cost.

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