Dr Catherine Dale, General Manager, in her report to councillors seeks to determine their views on whether Councillors should receive superannuation payments in light of a discussion paper issued by the Office of Local Government (OLG) in March 2020. Under the Commonwealth Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1993, Australian Councils are not required to make superannuation contributions to Mayors and Councillors. Mayors and Councillors are elected to civic office in Council and are not employees, therefore compulsory superannuation contributions do not apply. The General Manager says in her report "The discussion paper has been released due to concerns that Councillors are ineligible to receive superannuation payments. This can be considered to be inequitable and can be a deterrent for young people and women standing as candidates for Council elections." If changes were made so that Mayors and Councillors were to receive superannuation, this additional cost of $21,543 will need to be met by Eurobodalla Council out of its existing budget. The table below sets out the average annual cost to councils in each remuneration category by paying the 9.5% superannuation guarantee based on the maximum annual Mayor and Councillors fee in each category. Councillors will most likely be informed, during the report being presented, that they can make a personal submission to the Office of Local Government’s Superannuation Discussion Paper by 7 August 2020, if they wish to do so. Those who follow the entitlements and payments made to councillors will be interested to learn that in the latest Circular from the Office of Local Government (June 22nd, 2020) the Local Government Remuneration Tribunal (the Tribunal) has determined that there will be no increase in mayoral and councillor fees for the 2020/21 financial year.
The Local Government Remuneration Tribunal is required to determine the remuneration categories of councils and mayoral offices at least once every 3 years under section 239 of the Local Government Act 1993 (the Act). A council cannot fix a fee higher than the maximum amount determined by the Tribunal.