The Northern Territory Government Death and Invalidity Scheme (NTGDIS) provides free death and invalidity benefits to eligible NTG employees. The scheme was introduced in 2007 under the Superannuation Act (NT) to provide death and invalidity benefits equivalent to those provided by the Northern Territory Government and Public Authorities Superannuation Scheme (NTGPASS).
NTGDIS benefits are payable in addition to any private insurance cover purchased through a life insurance provider or a superannuation fund. The NT Superannuation Office administers the scheme.
Who is covered by NTGDIS?
NTGDIS membership covers NTG employees, police officers and executive contract officers who are in choice of fund superannuation arrangements (i.e. employees who are not NTGPASS or CSS members). NTGDIS also covers members of the Legislative Assembly elected for the first time on 18 June 2005 or later.
To be eligible for death and invalidity benefits, an employee must be less than 60 years of age and be either:
- a permanent employee (full time or part time);
- a temporary employee on a fixed term contract of at least six months; or
- a temporary employee on a short-term contract who has had at least six months continuous employment.
Entitlement to death and invalidity benefits automatically ceases when an employee ceases NTG employment. Casual employees are not eligible for NTGDIS benefits.
A death benefit is only payable where an employee is survived by a dependant(s). At the time of death, a dependant includes:
- a spouse (including defacto or same sex);
- children and adopted children;
- a person who had an ‘interdependent relationship’ with the deceased;
- a person who was wholly or partially financially dependent upon the deceased.
In order for the death benefit to be processed, the Superannuation Office will require copies of either grant of probate or letters of administration.
The Commissioner of Superannuation may release up to $30 000 for funeral expenses or pay direct to dependant(s) without the production of probate or letters of administration of the deceased estate. Payments in excess of this limit may be made if the Commissioner is of the opinion that the payment will alleviate financial hardship.
Invalidity Retirement Benefits
An invalidity retirement benefit can only be paid where an employee (or former employee) has been assessed, based on specialist medical information, as being totally and permanently incapacitated for any form of employment, as defined by the Superannuation Act.
Assessments to determine an employee’s capacity for continued employment are arranged by the employee’s human resources area. Refer to the NTGDIS Invalidity Retirement Benefits fact sheet for more information on this.
Your benefit is calculated according to a formula. This formula takes into account your nominal retirement age, which is 65 for most NT public servants. Should you retire on the grounds of invalidity while a member of the scheme, your benefit will be equal to:
- 17.5% ×
- your benefit salary (your actual salary and approved allowances at your exit date) ×
- a multiplier based on your age at exit date from employment:
- (a) if you are 60 or over, the multiplier is zero;
- (b) if you are between 55 and 60 years of age at exit date, the multiplier is the difference between your age and 60;
- (c) if you are between 50 and 55 years of age at exit date, the multiplier is the difference between your age and 65, minus the difference between your age and 50;
- (d) if you are, on the exit date, less than 50 years of age – the multiplier is the difference between your age on the exit date and 65 x
- 1 (if you are full-time) or your part-time ratio (if you are a part time employee).
Note: part of a year in (b), (c) or (d) is expressed as a decimal fraction.
Example: Michael dies at 45 years old. He has a benefit salary of $40 000 and is a full time employee. Michael has eligible dependants and workers compensation is not payable.
His benefit is calculated as follows:
17.5% x $40 000 x (65-45) x 1 =
17.5% x $40 000 x 20 x 1= $140 000
Benefit Reduction after Age 50
Benefits payable after age 50 are reduced on a sliding scale. Employees aged 60 and older have no entitlement to benefits from the scheme.
Example: Jane is 54 and dies. She was a part time employee, working 3 days a week with a part time salary of $36 000 (full time equivalent salary of $60 000). Jane was not entitled to workers compensation.
Her benefit is calculated as follows:
17.5% x $60 000 x (65-54-4) x 0.6 =
17.5% x $60 000 x 7 x 0.6 = $44 100
However, prior to processing the claim, it is established that Jane has no eligible dependants. Therefore, no benefit is payable.
Example: George dies at 57 years old. He has a benefit salary of $50 000 and is a full time employee. George has eligible dependants and workers compensation is not payable. His benefit is calculated as follows:
17.5% x $50 000 x (60-57) x 1 =
17.5% x $50 000 x 3 x 1= $26 250
Workers Compensation Payments
If an employee is entitled to payments under workers’ compensation legislation or a workers’ compensation agreement such as a “Hopkins” agreement, the NTGDIS benefit will be reduced by the amount of the worker’s compensation payments.
If a workers’ compensation payment is paid periodically, the notional redemption value of the compensation benefit will be actuarially calculated to determine the amount of the NTGDIS lump sum benefit.
In most cases, the prospective component will be completely offset by the workers compensation payment.
Employees are not required to advise the Superannuation Office of their beneficiaries as, except for limited circumstances, death benefits are paid to the employee’s estate. It is therefore important that an employee has a will.
A will is a legal document, which sets out instructions for the distribution of assets. Whether an employee has a will or not, does not affect their eligibility for NTGDIS benefits. However, it may result in the benefit being distributed in a way that is not intended by the employee.
In determining whether a benefit is payable from NTGDIS in the event of an employee’s death, information about an employee’s dependants and next of kin will be sought from the employee’s payroll and human resources area.
This information is required upon commencement of employment and should be updated annually. It is important that you advise your human resources area of any changes to your next of kin details.
For more information about NTGDIS, please contact the Superannuation Office by phone (08) 8901 4200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please be aware that we cannot provide personal financial advice. If you require assistance, you can seek the services of a qualified professional.
The material in this fact sheet is provided for information purposes only and should not be relied upon for making financial commitments.
The Commissioner of Superannuation and the Northern Territory of Australia accepts no responsibility for any losses arising from any use or reliance upon the information or conclusions reached using the information.
Last updated: 12 June 2020
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