Incentive payment announced to retain ADF personnel.

By Robert Dougherty

The federal government has announced a $50,000 bonus payment to incentivise the retention of a highly skilled Defence workforce.

The Continuation Bonus initiative will be made available from 2024 to permanent Australian Defence Force personnel who undertake another four years after their end service date.

Personnel will have to have served a minimum of four years and be at the end of their initial mandatory period of service.

“Initiatives to improve the growth and retention of a highly skilled Defence workforce” was identified as one of the six priority areas for immediate action when the Defence Strategic Review (DSR) was unveiled by the government on Monday, 24 April.

Richard Marles said the federal government is committed to meeting areas of concern outlined in the Defence Strategic Review.

“When it comes to Defence, our people are our greatest asset. We know Defence is facing greater challenges to recruit, retain, and grow its workforce than it has for decades,” he said.

“There is a lot of work to be done, but these investments will be an important step towards ensuring we have the highly skilled Defence Force needed to keep Australians safe.”

The incentive is expected to benefit around 3,400 ADF staff in the first three years of the scheme. It will be reviewed after two years to assess retention rates.

The government has invested approximately $400 million to establish the bonus and an additional $2 million this financial year to review Defence Housing.

Current Defence home ownership benefits are struggling to keep pace with the Australian property market. Access to safe, suitable, and affordable housing is fundamental to family wellbeing.

The government is committed to improving support to ADF members and their families to enter the housing market through greater housing flexibility, less mortgage stress, and greater purchasing power. This will help make Defence a workplace of choice for Australians.

“We need to ensure that ADF housing solutions prepare members for transition to civilian life, with home ownership a critical aspect of support.”

Several priority areas have been identified as impacting ADF members, these include contemporary and future housing needs, defence residences, and rental assistance policy review, review of current home ownership support benefits and policies, and home ownership for ADF members.

A $46.2 million expansion of the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme was previously announced in the October 2022 budget.



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