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Retirement

How to complain about your super

  • June 03 2019
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Retirement

How to complain about your super

By Louise Chan
June 03 2019

Fund managers are mandated by law to manage the fund according to the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SISA) and for the sole purpose of securing its members’ retirement benefits. However, not all superannuation funds are created equal and some fund manager may not act in the best interest of its clients.

How to complain about your super

How to complain about your super

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  • June 03 2019
  • Share

Fund managers are mandated by law to manage the fund according to the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SISA) and for the sole purpose of securing its members’ retirement benefits. However, not all superannuation funds are created equal and some fund manager may not act in the best interest of its clients.

How to complain about your super

Members who have issues with regard to how the fund manages their information, portfolio and benefits or interacts with their clients may lodge a complaint internally or externally.

Here’s what you need to know to lodge your complaint.

Internal dispute resolution

Internal dispute resolution (IDR) is the process of resolving complaints filed by clients within the firm.

When a member or client raises an issue with a fund manager, the financial firm is required by law to address the issue through an IDR standard approved by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

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You may complain about the firm’s products or services, especially if the actual management and fees differ from what was advertised or explained. Likewise, the fund’s IDR scheme is also in charge of complaints against employers who don’t correctly pay the superannuation guarantee contributions.

Call, email or schedule a one-to-one with your fund manager
To file a complaint about super, you need to raise the issue with your fund manager. You may do this via a phone call or email and you may also set up an appointment to discuss the pertinent issue with your fund manager.

Once you have contacted the firm, you will need to explain the issue and inform them of the resolution you wish to achieve. For instance, you may want the fund manager to compensate you for losses or cancel your enrolment in a service they provide.

Make sure that you have collected all the necessary information that the fund manager may ask for, such as your policy number, member information and other details about your account. Having pertinent documents on hand should help expedite the process.

Lodge a formal written complaint
If the fund’s response is unsatisfactory, you may escalate the issue by lodging a formal written complaint to the fund’s IDR committee. However, it’s not required to call, email or set up a meeting before lodging a formal written complaint – you may go straight to this step.

Lodging a formal written complaint means that you need to write down details regarding the issue you encountered, as well as information that can help the fund validate your membership with them.

It is highly advised that you keep a copy of your complaint as well as any response it may receive from the fund’s IDR committee or department. This includes the acknowledgement of receipt of your letter as this will give you a time frame for when to expect a final response.

According to ASIC, the general time frame of when businesses must respond and attempt to resolve complaints is within 45 days. For superannuation complaints, however, fund managers and financial institutions have up to 90 days to resolve the issue.

Once a resolution has been passed and you are not satisfied with the outcome, you may request the fund manager to review and reconsider their response. If they deny your request, you may take your complaint to an external dispute resolution scheme.

External dispute resolution scheme

Independent external dispute resolution (EDR) schemes help consumers by hearing complaints for free – as opposed to spending a large amount of money by taking the case to court.

Almost all financial, telecommunications and utilities businesses belong to an EDR scheme. For the financial sector, three schemes share the responsibility in hearing complaints from consumers: the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Credit and Investments Ombudsman and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal.

As at 1 November 2018, however, the three schemes above were combined to form the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

Should you wish to escalate your complaint, you may accomplish the online complaint form on the AFCA website.

How to complain about your super
How to complain about your super
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About the author

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Louise is a content producer for Momentum Media’s nestegg who likes keeping up-to-date with all the ways people can work towards financial stability in 2019. She also enjoys turning complex information into easy-to-digest, practical tips to help those who want to achieve financial independence.

About the author

Louise is a content producer for Momentum Media’s nestegg who likes keeping up-to-date with all the ways people can work towards financial stability in 2019. She also enjoys turning complex information into easy-to-digest, practical tips to help those who want to achieve financial independence.

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