The Government has asked the Remuneration Tribunal to consider changes to the post retirement travel entitlement.
Former Senators and Members who retired from the Parliament on or after 15 March 2012, without qualifying for a Life Gold Pass, are entitled to post‑retirement travel.
The main elements of the post retirement travel entitlement are summarised below.
- Travel at Commonwealth expense is for a maximum of five return trips within the first six months after retirement from the Parliament.
- Travel is limited to between the former Senator or Member’s home base and either Canberra or a location, or locations, where the former Senator or Member had a publicly-funded electorate office.
Home base means the nominated principal place of residence of a former Senator or Member.
- Travel is at the class of travel determined from time to time for a sitting Senator or Member. This is currently the cost of a business class airfare (or an economy class airfare where a business class airfare is not published for the destination point) for the most reasonable and usual route, between the departure and destination points.
- Remuneration Tribunal Determination 2012/04: Members of Parliament – Entitlements (Determination 2012/04) does not specify the mode of transport that former Senators and Members may use to undertake post retirement travel. Former Senators and Members who are eligible for post retirement travel may undertake travel under the entitlement by any mode of transport, including car travel.
- The post retirement travel entitlement cannot be used by any person other than the former Senator or Member.
- The entitlement is not transferable.
- It is government policy that entitlees use airline loyalty points that they have accrued at Commonwealth expense to offset the cost of further Commonwealth-funded travel. Travel by a post retirement traveller who chooses to use airline loyalty points in accordance with government policy is counted against the trip count.
- As of 1 July 2010, airline loyalty points no longer accrue when travelling at Commonwealth expense.
- Details of the usage of airline loyalty points accrued as a result of travel at Commonwealth expense must be reported to Ministerial and Parliamentary Services (M&PS). A schedule to facilitate reporting of such usage is included with the reports of expenditure under the entitlement provided to post retirement travellers.
Costs Outside of Entitlement
- Costs which are not within the post retirement travel entitlement include:
- costs in excess of the business class airfare (or economy airfare where a business class airfare is not published for the destination point) for the most reasonable and usual route between departure and destination points;
- transport by COMCAR;
- parking costs;
- the transport of vehicles by scheduled services;
- any other costs not directly related to travel costs (e.g. accommodation, meal or lounge membership costs).
- Post retirement travellers who travel by any scheduled commercial services that include an accommodation component will be personally responsible for meeting any travel and related costs (including meals) that are in excess of the cost of a business class airfare for the most reasonable and usual route between the departure and destination points. Post retirement travellers are requested to pay any difference in fares direct to the travel service provider at the time of booking the travel.
Travel Profile Number
- Post retirement travellers retain the travel profile number issued by the M&PS’ contracted travel service provider in order to book travel. Bookings can be made by telephoning the travel service provider.
Cancellation of Travel
- Payment for travel is made by M&PS on the basis of electronic tickets issued. In some circumstances, electronic tickets are issued and a charge made even though the travel is not taken. In the event that travel plans are cancelled, it is particularly important that the booking(s) are cancelled with the travel service provider as soon as possible so that refunds/credits can be obtained.
- If bookings are not cancelled, the value of the travel is a cost to the Commonwealth and may be recorded as trips against the post retirement travel entitlement.
Verification and Reporting of Travel Expenditure
- Expenditure by post retirement travellers is publicly disclosed on a six-monthly basis in the report on former Parliamentarians’ expenditure on entitlements paid by the Department of Finance (Finance). The report is published on the Finance website, in conjunction with the report on the expenditure on Parliamentarians’ entitlements paid by Finance.
Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT)
- M&PS is required to provide former Parliamentarians with a payment summary which shows the grossed-up value of fringe benefits provided by M&PS in the previous FBT year. This covers transport costs for post retirement travellers. Before issuing the payment summary M&PS will provide details for review by the post retirement traveller.
Change of Address
- Post retirement travellers are asked to notify M&PS promptly of any address changes so that they receive correspondence regarding their travel reports and other information concerning the post retirement travel entitlement without delay.
- If you wish to receive information and reports from M&PS via email, you can nominate an email address/es by completing Form 121: Nomination of Email Address and returning it to M&PS.
- The entitlement to post retirement travel is provided by Determination 2012/04.
If you have any questions concerning the post retirement travel entitlement, please contact the Entitlements Management Branch.