The Hon. Dr Brendan Nelson,
Minister for Defence

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02 Apr 2007



I am pleased to announce that the majority of permanent Australian Defence Force members may now serve until age 60, giving them greater career flexibility and certainty in planning for later retirement. I expect that this change will come into effect by 1 July 2007.


The former compulsory retirement age of 55 meant that many ADF members left the military early to establish other employment options. Ongoing service will now be encouraged by having a clear ADF career path until age 60.


A retirement age of 60 better reflects community standards and allows the ADF to retain the skills and experience of its highly trained people longer. It also recognises that age can be an unreliable predictor of ability to perform and that ADF members are remaining fit, motivated and capable of serving beyond the current general retirement age of 55 years.

Setting retirement at age 60 is a significant and beneficial change, particularly when the ADF is facing the challenge of recruiting more people and reducing its separation rate.


This initiative also means that the potential recruitment pool has been expanded and that older candidates may be considered for ADF entry as long as they meet aptitude, health and physical fitness standards.  Some careers such as aircrew, commandos and entry through the Defence Academy will maintain their current upper age limit for entry.


Applicants wishing to take advantage of these new arrangements can call the Defence Force Recruiting hotline on 131901 for further information.


Superannuation arrangements will remain unchanged for current ADF contributors and eligible members of the Military Superannuation and Benefits Scheme may access their benefits at age 55 if they choose to leave the workforce at that point. 


As a result of this change for permanent ADF members, reservists will now have a compulsory retirement age of 65. 


Increasing the retirement age for the Reserves recognises the need to maintain their specialist skills and also allows retiring permanent force members to undertake further military service for up to another five years in the reserve elements.

Continued military service remains subject to ADF members maintaining their health and physical fitness standards irrespective of age.


Media contacts

Nigel Blunden

(Dr Nelson)

02 6277 7800

0407 632 931

Defence Media Liaison


02 6265 3343

0408 498 664




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