About Us

ACPSRO is the peak council for organisations representing retired civilian and military public sector workers from the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments. The number of people represented by our member organizations is in the region of 700,000.

When their dependents are taken into account, we are speaking on behalf of some 2 million Australians.  On matters of common interest the member organisations of ACPSRO ask the President to approach Government on their collective behalf.


You can read our Constitution here

Our Committee members are found on the Contact Us page.

ACPSRO also enjoyed the membership of the Superannuated Commonwealth Officers Organisation (SCOA) before SCOA was disbanded in 2019.  SCOA was especially active in its pursuit of pension indexation justice (see INDEXATION)


Our organisation was established by the late Gordon Johnson who had a distinguished career in the Royal Australian Navy, a shortish period in private enterprise after which he pursued a career as a public servant in several Federal Government Departments, mostly associated with Defence support activities.

In 1984 after retiring from the Australian Public Service, Gordon, along with two colleagues Harold Chandler and David Bywater, established the Canberra Branch of SCOA, the Superannuated Commonwealth Officers Association, which had existed in several of the larger capital cities for some years because, until the establishment of Canberra, that’s where the policy making arms of Government were located.

Gordon subsequently became the President of SCOA’s Federal Council, the national policy arm of SCOA.  SCOA represented the retirement interests of former Federal public servants and it tirelessly worked to protect their superannuation pensions and to promote improved health, aged care and other retiree issues.

Over the next thirteen years SCOA worked solidly on a wide range of member interests; ranging from successfully achieving full reversal in November 1989 of the 2% cut in public sector pensions imposed by the Government in October 1986, improved eligibility for reversionary pensions, to attempts to provide fair indexation of Commonwealth superannuation pensions so that they kept pace with real price movements.

In 1997 Gordon resigned from SCOA and set up the Australian Council of Public Sector Retiree Organisations; an overarching federal body that had as its members a mix of organisations representing former Federal and State public servants and former serving members of the Defence Force, including SCOA and the Defence Force Welfare Association.    The members represented by ACPSRO’s then ten member organisations numbered about 700,000. Gordon Johnson, as ACPSRO’s founding father, saw the importance of speaking with a consistent voice on issues common to its member organisation’s membership base.  He clearly also recognised the improved lobbying position of an organisation that represented retirees living all around Australia.

Besides the significant achievement of having the Government restore a 2% cut to Federal Public servants’ pensions as mentioned above, ACPSRO has made representations to, and appeared before, several Senate inquiries into superannuation arrangements. On one occasion an inquiry was specifically for people it represented and the following year the superannuation inquiry covered the wider community.

Together with SCOA and other public sector and Defence superannuant organisations, ACPSRO’s representations to a 2001 Senate Inquiry into the indexation of Commonwealth superannuants’ pensions resulted in those pensions being indexed twice a year rather than only annually.  That Senate Inquiry also recommended that all Federal, Defence and State Government superannuation pensions be indexed by a means other than the CPI to stop the erosion of the standard of living of those retirees.

Unfortunately successive Governments have, for the most part, failed to adopt that recommendation, thereby unfairly treating its former employees.  The only change was the Government’s agreement in 2014 to index Defence DFRDB pensions, for those aged 55 and over, to the higher of wages growth or CPI.  The principle therefore has been set !

ACPSRO has subsequently adopted a more strategic approach to achieving a fair go with indexation for ALL those it represents, as explained elsewhere on this site (see INDEXATION).