We apologise to our members for the extended hold/wait times and delays to withdrawals from defined benefit accounts. We expect to resolve most issues by the end of May 2022 and are confident the majority will be resolved much sooner. Please read our service update for more information.

Also note: The ESSSuper mobile app has been updated and is available to download. Visit our Members Online web page for more details.

ESSS Defined Benefit Fund

May 25 2022

Do you have enough cover?

Additional insurance1 is available in the Accumulation Plan.

Learn more

No one knows your ESSS Defined Benefit Fund better than ESSSuper.

The ESSS Defined Benefit Fund (ESSS DB Fund) is an open fund for operational employees of Victoria's Emergency Services. For details about the fund, read the ESSS Defined Benefit Fund Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), available on our PDS and handbooks page.

The end benefit for defined benefit funds is calculated differently from an accumulation-style fund. As an ESSS DB Fund member, your benefit depends on a number of elements: your salary, age, period of service, contribution rates and full or part-time employment status.

Your defined benefits are not impacted by investment performance.


Benefits and risks

There are a range of benefits within your ESSS DB Fund membership, including:

  • Your defined benefit is not impacted by investment performance
  • There are no contribution fees and management fees are met by your employer
  • You can make binding and non-binding beneficiary nominations
  • You can increase your contribution level
  • Provided you meet a release requirement, benefits are payable on retirement, resignation, dismissal, retrenchment, death and disability.


There is the risk that your nominated contribution rate and/or period of service may not result in a high enough benefit to sustain you in retirement. However, there are ways to increase your retirement benefit, which you can read about here.

Or, you may want to increase your insurance cover to further cover you and your family in the case of death, disablement, or terminal illness. You can elect to top up your insurance1 cover using our Accumulation Plan.

How your ESSS DB Fund works

Throughout your working life, your employer will make contributions to your ESSS DB Fund on your behalf, at a rate determined by you, generally ranging from 0% - 7%. There are also special catch-up contribution rates available if you choose not to contribute for a period of time or contribute less than the maximum. Note: not all members can contribute above 5% (i.e. some non-operational members). Refer to the PDS for details.

When you want to access your benefit, provided you meet a condition of release, your benefit will be calculated using a formula which takes into account a number of elements:

  • your salary,
  • age,
  • period of service,
  • contribution rates, and
  • full or part-time employment status.


When you terminate employment you have a number of options. Ask us about transferring2 your benefit into the Accumulation Plan, which will give you the flexibility to continue to receive employer contributions while you are still working, increase your insurance cover1, nominate beneficiaries, or purchase one of our award winning income streams.


Partnering your ESSS Defined Benefit Fund with an Accumulation Plan

Find out all about our Accumulation Plan here.

You can open an Accumulation Plan today, even if you are still working.

There are some potential benefits to doing this, such as consolidating your super2, topping up your insurance1, increasing your end benefit, or accessing a Working Income Stream.

We recommend checking out the Accumulation Plan page or contacting us for further information about partnering your defined benefit with an Accumulation Plan.

Permanent disability pension or lump sum benefits

A permanent disability benefit will be payable to qualifying members suffering from a disability (as defined) as follows:

  • A permanent disability pension will be paid to operational members aged under 55 years or non-operational members aged under 60 years that qualify for a permanent disability benefit and satisfy the eligibility requirements, and
  • A lump sum benefit will be paid to operational members aged 55 and over and non-operational members aged 60 and over that qualify for a permanent disability benefit and satisfy the eligibility requirements.

Please note that operational members must terminate service before age 55 and non-operational members must terminate service before age 60 to qualify for the disability pension. If termination of service occurs at or after age 55 for operational members and at or after age 60 for non-operational members a lump sum equal to the member’s accrued benefit at date of termination is payable instead of the pension.

For a claim to be accepted, the member must be considered to suffering from a disability as defined in the relevant Act. The benefit is payable from the first day after the member retires on disability grounds.


Emergency Services Superannuation Board ABN 28 161 296 741 (ESSB), the Trustee of the Emergency Services Superannuation Scheme ABN 85 894 637 037 (ESSSuper). Before making any decisions about ESSSuper products or services you should read the applicable Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), available on our PDS and handbooks page, for more information.

1. Insurance cover is subject to eligibility criteria and other terms and conditions in the Policy. Please read the Product Disclosure Statement relevant to your particular fund, available from ESSSuper, for more information.

2. You should check any any insurance arrangements that may be forfeited, or any other effects this transfer may have on your benefits, before rolling your money into our fund.