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State Authorities Superannuation Scheme (SASS)

SASS is a hybrid scheme. This means it’s a mix of defined and accumulative benefits. As there are two parts, there can be varying results.

The defined part of your benefit is based on a unique formula which means your final payment will not be affected by market conditions when you retire. The accumulative side will be subject to market returns.

Importance of your points

If you’re a member of SASS, your benefit is made up of 3 parts:

  1. Personal Account
  2. Employer Financed Benefit (EFB) – a defined benefit based on your Final Average Salary (FAS), length of membership and your rate of personal contributions
  3. SANCS Benefit – a defined benefit, known as the Basic Benefit equal to 3% (2.55% after contributions tax) of your Final Average Salary for each year of service since 1 April 1988; as well as accumulation amounts for any government contributions and additional employer component (AEC) members may be eligible for.

How SASS works

For more detail on how the SASS scheme works visit State Super

Enjoy the benefits

For every 1% of your salary which you contribute to your SASS scheme, you’ll accrue approximately 1 benefit point. Each benefit point you accrue will generally provide you with an Employer Financed Benefit of 2.5% (before contributions tax) times your Final Average Salary. So, the more you contribute from your salary, the more benefit points you get and the greater your Employer Financed Benefit will be. 

Try our SASS Scheme calculator to help you understand what happens when you make Additional After-Tax Personal Contributions on the Employer-Financed Benefit (EFB) portion of your retirement benefit in SASS.

You can contribute up to 9% of your salary to SASS, however excess contributions (above 6% per year) may not increase your Employer Financed Benefit, though they will earn interest and increase your Personal Account benefit.

You can accrue an overall maximum of 180 benefit points, a maximum of 6 benefit points per year. It’s important you make sure you’re accumulating the right number of points so that you can maximise your final end benefit payment when you finally exit the scheme.

Your financial planner at Aware Super can design the right plan for you. A plan that’s specifically designed to suit your particular circumstances, both now and in the future.

You can meet with one of our professional financial planners without cost or obligation. The fee you pay will reflect the advice you actually need and the level of service that you want.

Make sure you take advantage of all the benefits which come from being a member of SASS. Give your member service team a call on 1800 620 305, or book an appointment now to speak to the experts in your scheme choices.

Investment choice contributory member of SASS

SASS offers members four Asset Allocation options. These range from a conservative Cash option (100% cash) to a more aggressive Growth option (Current State Super Factsheet as at 19 July 22 states Growth as 60.0% liquid growth, 30.0% alternatives, 10% liquid defensive). If you don’t make an investment choice, the automatic investment choice default is the Growth fund. The investment choices you make will only apply to your personal contributions.

State Super provides more information on your investment options, visit State Super

What's the right strategy for you?

Your Employer Financed Benefit, which is usually the largest portion of your super, won’t be affected by your investment choice or market conditions. This means that the default growth strategy may be the most appropriate for contributory scheme members as, overall, your super benefit remains quite conservatively invested.

However, it’s important you make sure your asset allocation strategy is appropriate to your circumstances. That’s why you should speak with your professional financial planning team at Aware Super who can take you through the different multi-fund investment strategies and proportional asset allocations which are available, and provide you with the help you need.

If you’re a deferred SASS benefit member there are different rules which apply to your investment choice and it’s important you understand the impact the application of these rules will have on your investments before you make any decisions.

State Super provides more details on these rules at State Super

Is it time to speak to a financial planner?

Concessional Contributions Caps for SASS Members

For most of us there are limits to the amount of concessional, or before tax, contributions we can make tax effectively into our super. However, special conditions do apply for SASS members.

Most members of the State Authorities Superannuation Scheme (SASS) receive favourable treatment in the calculation of concessional contributions.

If SASS is your only super fund, you usually cannot exceed the concessional contributions cap. That’s because under special regulations applying to defined benefits funds, a SASS member who would otherwise exceed the cap is deemed to be within the cap. The concessional contribution cap changes for time to time due to legislative changes and indexing. Contact a planner for more information.

Conditions do apply

However, you will lose this special treatment permanently if you have moved to a higher benefit category (see tables below), than the higher benefit category you were in on either 12 May 2009 or 5 September 2006.

Your Benefit Category is determined by your personal contribution rate.

Even when the special conditions apply, if you’re making any additional concessional contributions to another fund, you should ensure total contributions across all your super accounts are within the cap.

Options to suit you

Employer concessional contributions to SASS are calculated as a percentage of ‘superable’ salary. The actual percentage to use depends on your predecessor scheme:

Standard SASS 

Your Contribution Rate (and Benefit Category)  Percentage to use in formula 
3% or less  6% 
4%  7.2% 
5%  8.4% 
6% or more  9.6% 


Your Contribution Rate (and Benefit Category) Percentage to use in formula 
 2% or less 6%
3% 7.2%
4%  8.4% 
5%  9.6% 
6% or more  12%


Your Contribution Rate (and Benefit Category)  Percentage to use in formula 
3.5% or less 6% 
Over 3.5% to 4.6% 7.2% 
Over 4.6% to 5.6%  8.4% 
Over 5.6% 9.6% 

If you continue to work after you’ve reached 30 years of scheme membership and reached 180 points, then your employer concessional contributions will be 1.2% of your salary.

Of course, if you salary sacrifice your member contributions, these will also be counted.

*Rates for 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023

For more details on Concessional Contribution Caps see State Super's factsheet

Example One

Anne, age 54, is a standard SASS member, and has not increased her benefit category on or after 1 April 2010. Her employer concessional contribution to SASS is $150,000 x 9.6% = $14,400pa and she is also salary sacrificing her 9% SASS contributions ($15,882pa). While her combined employer and member contributions total $30,282, which is higher than her concessional contribution cap for 2023/24, SASS will only report concessional contributions of $27,500. Any other pre-tax superannuation contributions Anne receives to another fund will be excess contributions.

Example Two

Joe is a nurse who is a member of SASS with a salary of $115,000. Joe is contributing 9% to SASS as pre-tax contributions . Joe’s 9% SASS contributions are $10,350 p.a. and his employer SASS concessional contributions are $115,000 x 9.6% = $11,040. Therefore Joe’s total concessional contributions will be $21,390 for the 2023/24 financial year which is under the $27,500 concessional contributions cap.

Of course, the easiest way to be confident about your future, is to contact your Aware Super team member today.

See our Building Your Wealth page for more information on the concessional contribution caps.

Visit one of our webinars or seminars to find out more about preparing for retirement.

Financial planning services are provided by our wholly owned financial planning business Aware Financial Services Australia Limited, ABN 86 003 742 756, AFSL No. 238430. This information is of a general nature only and is not specific to your personal circumstances or needs. Before making any decisions based on this information you should consider its appropriateness to you. Every effort has been made to ensure the information contained in it is accurate. We strongly recommend that you consult a financial planner before taking action based on this information. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance. Neither the SAS Trustee Corporation nor the New South Wales Government take any responsibility for this information or the services offered by Aware Super, and nor do they, FSS Trustee Corporation guarantee the performance of any product provided by Aware Super.

State Super

For more information on your SASS scheme visit State Super

SASS Scheme Calculator

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