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Politicians' Pensions

Birdie made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Finance

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From: Birdie

Delivered

Dear Department of Finance,

Are politicians' pensions taxed if they access them before normal retirement age (from 55 years)

Yours faithfully,
Francine Thomson

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From: FOI Requests
Department of Finance

Thank you for your email to the Freedom of Information Team at the
Department of Finance.

An officer will respond to your email shortly. In the meantime, if you
have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the FOI Team on (02)
6215 1783.

Kind regards,

FOI Officer, Legal and Assurance Branch
Business Enabling Services
Department of Finance
T: 02 6215 1783 E: [Finance request email]
A: One Canberra Avenue, Forrest ACT 2603

 

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From: FOI Requests
Department of Finance

Thank you for your email, which has been forwarded to the Department’s FOI
Team for their consideration. A member of the FOI Team will respond to
your email in the next couple of days.

 

Kind regards

 

FOI Coordinator

 

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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

It is not likely that the Department of Finance will answer the question that has been asked. It is also not likely that they can answer the question. The applicant might be asking (i) whether a retired Commonwealth politician can receive a pension before the age of 55 and also, (ii) whether a pension paid in this way would be included in "assessable income", whether or not it is actually taxed.

I do not know the answer to these questions, but the FOI Act does not require a department to answer general questions about the law or about pensions or taxation.

There have been many requests on Right to Know from people who want to understand how much public money is being paid to politicians through salary, entitlements, pensions, and superannuation. I do not know of any request that has produced any useful information. A big part of the problem is that the FOI Act only gives a right of access to documents. Even though "document" has a broad definition in section 4, it still does not give the leverage that is necessary to answer the question about politicians' entitlements.

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From: FOI Requests
Department of Finance


Attachment image001.jpg
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UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Francine Thomson,

 

Thank you for your email to the Department of Finance (Finance) seeking
the following information:

 

‘Are politicians' pensions taxed if they access them before normal
retirement age (from 55 years)’

 

Under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), requests may be made
for ‘…access to a document of an agency’ (subsection 15(1) of the FOI
Act). At this stage, your request is for access to information. That is,
you have asked the department a question rather than sought access to
specific documents and we do not consider that you have made a valid
request under section 15 of the FOI Act. Further information on how to
make a valid FOI request can be found here:
[1]http://finance.gov.au/foi/foi.html

 

The Department of Finance publishes information on its website on
Parliamentary Superannuation under the Parliamentary Contributory
Superannuation Act 1948 and the Parliamentary Superannuation Act 2004. You
can access this information here:
[2]https://www.finance.gov.au/superannuatio....
This information includes the [3]Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation
Scheme Handbook which contains further information on parliamentary
pensions.

 

Parliamentary superannuation pensions are only payable to a small number
of parliamentarians who entered the Parliament before 9 October 2004.
Parliamentary pensions are subject to marginal taxation rates in line with
the taxation rules for pensions that are payable from an unfunded
superannuation scheme.  From the age of 60, members in receipt of a
pension payable from an unfunded scheme are entitled to a taxation offset
up to a maximum of $10,000 per annum. 

 

Noting that your request is not valid and having regard to the publicly
available information, we will not proceed to process your request as an
FOI. Please contact the FOI Team on the below contact details if you have
any questions about this matter, or the FOI process in general.

 

Kind regards

FOI Officer

 

[4]cid:image001.jpg@01D20F6A.7457D930

 

FOI Officer, Legal and Assurance Branch

Business Enabling Services

Department of Finance

T: 02 6215 1783 E: [5][Finance request email]

A: One Canberra Avenue, Forrest ACT 2603

UNCLASSIFIED

 

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References

Visible links
1. http://finance.gov.au/foi/foi.html
2. https://www.finance.gov.au/superannuatio...
3. https://www.finance.gov.au/sites/default...
5. mailto:[Finance request email]

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JS left an annotation ()

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