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Accessing documents on the Tribunal's website

The website’s search facility enables users to find answers to questions about the Tribunal's functions and offices. Where there is a FAQ containing the search term the website provides suggestions as text is entered. Paying agencies and other frequent visitors to the site are encouraged to sign up to receive an email alert when changes are made to the website.

Each category of office has a dedicated launch page that provides a background on the office and relevant FAQs.  Current determinations, together with current applicable guidelines, statements and reports, display on the launch page. The current determinations could include either consolidated determinations or principal determinations (see the FAQ “What are principal determinations, compilations and amending determinations” for more information).

Most determinations (including associated explanatory statements and if applicable, reasons for determinations) and other statements and reports from 2004 can be found in the Document Library by conducting a filtered search (by office, year and/or document type).  Should access be required to historical documentation (generally from 2003 or earlier years) a request can be made to the Remuneration Tribunal Secretariat at enquiry [at] remtribunal.gov.au.

The Tribunal is also keen to receive feedback about the website.  You are welcome to email your suggestions and comments to enquiry [at] remtribunal.gov.au.

What are the overseas TA rates?

Rates for meals and incidentals are equivalent to the overseas meals and incidentals rates in the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) determination dealing with reasonable travel and overtime meal allowance expense amounts.  The relevant ATO determination is specified in the Tribunal’s Official Travel determination.

The rate of overseas TA payable to an office holder depends on the Travel Tier determined for the office.  Accommodation should be provided at a standard reasonably equivalent to that provided for the office holder in Australia.

Class of travel is also dependent on the Travel Tier determined by the Tribunal, i.e.

Tier 1 = First Class or Business Class

Tier 2 = Business Class

Tier 3 = Economy Class

An office holder who is entitled to travel Economy Class may upgrade to Business Class where the duration of the flight exceeds five hours.

What adjustment is made to overseas TA when an office holder's meal is paid for by another entity?

It would be appropriate to reduce the reasonable daily overseas meal allowance amounts determined by the Australian Taxation Office by 50 per cent where dinner has been provided or paid for by an entity other than the office holder, or 25 per cent in the case of either breakfast or lunch. Alternatively, it would also be permissible for office holders to comply with any relevant administrative guidelines put in place for employees in their agency where these are not inconsistent with the Official Travel determination.

What is included in an office holder's total remuneration and how is his/her cash salary calculated?

Total remuneration (TR) is defined in the relevant determination applying to the particular office holder (i.e. Full-time Offices, Principal Executive Offices, Specified Statutory Offices, Departmental Secretaries and Judicial and Related Offices).

An office holder's cash salary is the component of TR that remains when all other payments and benefits, including the Employer Superannuation Contribution, are honoured. Cash salary should not be confused with the superannuation salary determined by the Tribunal for members of defined benefit schemes.

Cash salary equals TR, less the Employer Superannuation Contribution, less all payments and benefits included in the office holder's remuneration package (other than those specifically excluded in accordance with the relevant determination).

The process is outlined in the diagram below (note that slightly different superannuation arrangements apply to PEOs - see "How is cash salary calculated for a PEO"):



The Employer's Superannuation Contribution*


Other payments and benefits e.g. allowances, motor vehicle, parking, fringe benefits tax and any salary sacrifice payments e.g.  additional superannuation contributions.


Cash salary


* The Employer's Superannuation Contribution is defined in the Tribunal's determination.

Essentially it is:

  • for members of PSSap - 15.4% of ordinary time earnings (OTE);
  • for members of other accumulation schemes - the compulsory employer superannuation contribution that must be made to the fund; and
  • for members of a Commonwealth defined benefit schemes (e.g. CSS/PSS) - a notional value calculated as 15.4% of the Superannuation Salary.
Does the Tribunal determine leave for all offices within its jurisdiction?

The Tribunal may determine recreation leave for full-time holders of public office (but not part-time) where the enabling legislation (i.e. the Act establishing the office) states that the Tribunal will determine the matter.

It cannot determine other types of leave, such as personal and miscellaneous leave, for public office holders other than Secretaries of Departments.

The Tribunal has more general powers for Principal Executive Offices (PEOs) and for Judicial and Related offices - it can determine other types of leave as outlined in Part 5 of the PEO determination and in Part 2 of the Judicial and Related Offices determination.

How soon after an office holder receives a pay rise should superannuation be adjusted?

Defined benefit schemes (e.g. PSS/CSS)

* For total remuneration (TR) and calculation of cash salary purposes:

The office holder’s new superannuation salary should be used to calculate the notional Employer Superannuation Contributions from the date of effect of the increase determined by the Tribunal.

*       For contribution purposes:

Changes to any amount of superannuation that the office holder personally contributes to the PSS or CSS are made in accordance with the rules of the scheme, for instance, an office holder’s salary for contributions purposes is updated on the person’s birthday, falling on or after the date of effect.

Accumulation schemes

For PSSAP members the value of the Employer Superannuation Contribution should be updated from the date of effect of the Tribunal's increase; actual employer contributions will also be updated at that time.  The minimum “guarantee” payments for members of other accumulation funds should be updated when TR is adjusted, or each 1 July if the maximum contribution base applies.  Actual contributions can be modified at any time to reflect salary packaging preferences of the office holder, but the minimum contribution required by the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 must be paid, and, for Principal Executive Offices (PEOs), reported to the Tribunal on PEO notifications.

What if an office holder's TA is not sufficient to cover accommodation costs?

Where an office holder cannot obtain accommodation of a reasonable standard at the locality without incurring additional costs, an additional payment may be made to him/her based on the excess cost of the accommodation over the travel allowance rate, subject to the conditions outlined in the Official Travel determination.

Is TA remuneration?

No - TA is an allowance to meet expenses incurred by the office holder when required to travel to perform his/her official duties.

What does the Tribunal determine with respect to spouse travel?

The Tribunal only determines in respect of the office holder, not his/her spouse. The Official Travel determination provides that where the Commonwealth meets travel costs of a spouse or partner, an office holder is to be paid an amount as is vouched as the difference between the cost of a single and double room.

Generally, accompanied travel may only occur when the office holder's employing body or Minister certifies in writing that it is demonstrably in the interests of the Commonwealth, given the purpose of the travel, for the office holder to be accompanied by his or her spouse or partner. Matters such as the occasions on which an office holder can be accompanied, number of accompanied trips per year etc, are up to the individual employing body or Minister.

What happens if an office holder has an existing superannuation salary that is higher than the superannuation salary that applies to the office?

Commonwealth defined benefits scheme rules provide that an office holder's salary for superannuation purposes will be grandfathered at the highest rate applying in the year to the member's last birthday, increased annually in accordance with changes to the Average Weekly Ordinary Time Earnings (AWOTE) unless a higher superannuation salary is applied.

To ensure an office holder’s superannuation salary conforms with scheme requirements, the Tribunal will, upon request, agree to a higher personal superannuation salary rate for the office holder. A request to the Tribunal can be included in a remuneration submission by a Minister or employing body or notified to the Tribunal’s Secretariat by a relevant senior officer of the agency with access to the officer holder’s superannuation salary history.