Defined Benefit Accounts are accounts where the benefits are linked to the length of your membership and your final average salary (your salary over last three years). More specifically, your benefits are calculated as a membership multiple times your final average salary. Your FES Super membership multiple is 18% per year (which may be increased by you to 21.5% by making extra contributions) for each year of defined benefit membership.
If you have a Defined Benefit Account your employer will contribute 11.75% of your salary each year to your account and you will have to contribute a minimum of 6.25% of your after tax salary to this account. In return for this commitment to contribute you will receive a lump sum benefit at retirement based on your earnings history and length of FES Super membership.
With a Defined Benefit Account, your employer carries the investment risk. If the investment returns on the assets supporting your Defined Benefit Account is less than anticipated, your employer may need to increase its contributions to enable the fund to meet your required payout.
All new permanent employees of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services of Western Australia become a defined benefit member of FES Super, unless they elect to be an Accumulation Account member instead or, if they are eligible, they elect to remain a member of the Government Employees Superannuation Fund.
Most FES Super members hold a Defined Benefit Account.