Department of Defence Media Release
ADF BONUS PAYMENTS
Head of the Defence Personnel Executive, Major General Simon Willis, has announced that a weekend report claiming
Defence was abandoning bonus payments aimed at retaining key military personnel was incorrect.
“Bonus commitments remain in place for eight different categories including submariners, Navy Observers and Air Force
Flight Engineers. Quite simply though, the latest Pilot Retention Bonus, introduced in 1987 to provide a retention
incentive for pilots serving in the Australian Defence Force, is to be replaced with longer-term benefits early in
2001,” he said.
Major General Willis stated, “The Pilot Retention Bonus was successful for the first few years but has been
discontinued, as planned, because the effectiveness of the bonus declined. However, long term proposals to retain pilots
are well advanced and expected to be put in place in 2001.”
Retention and Completion bonuses have been a feature of Defence Force career management since the first Pilot Retention
Bonus in 1987. However, bonuses available to other key personnel will not be affected by current changes.
Bonuses require military personnel to make a commitment to serve for a specified time. They are offered to targeted
groups of critical personnel when military capability is likely to be reduced through resignations.
These bonuses have met the desired retention objectives. Major General Willis revealed, “The latest bonus offered to
selected Air Force engineering officers has already halved the resignation rate of this particular group.”
Bonuses are intended to be short-term measures whilst long term solutions are put in place. They are normally introduced
for a fixed period of two years with a further extension subject to a performance review.
Major General Willis added, “In all retention efforts, personnel remain our primary concern and any changes will take
into consideration their need for a fulfilling career. We want to make sure they are properly trained, equipped,
remunerated, and looked after.”