Superannuation Complaints Tribunal funding cut in half

The Superannuation Complaints Tribunal has its funding halved.

Super Ombudsman funding cut

The government authority that handles disputes about super, the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal, has had its funding halved as the Federal Government aims to wind it down by 2020.

Similar to how Centrelink dissolved into Human Services a few years ago, the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal is being combined with the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Credit and Investments Ombudsman to form the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

This new body will be funded by the financial services industry, with companies holding a financial services licence required to be a member. The idea is to offer a body where customers are offered access to free, fast and binding dispute resolutions.

It was revealed last year that a backlog of 1500 open complaints meant that the retirement savings of thousands of Australians were trapped in bureaucratic limbo. To help clear the backlog the tribunal received emergency funding of $5.2 million for the financial year.

While the funding has helped to clear some of the backlog, the number of complaints has increased to 1600 and the body will receive more until June 2018.

With further funding to be cut next year, principal at legal firm Berril & Watson, John Berrill, believes that the super tribunal risks being burdened by a far bigger backlog of cases and the new authority would face a deluge of old super cases.

With more than $2.2 trillion of Australian workers’ and retirees’ wealth sitting in superannuation, why is the Government not investing more to ensure a secure and just superannuation system in a timely fashion?

Read more at heraldsun.com.au
Read more at investmentmagazine.com.au

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    COMMENTS

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    jackie
    14th Jun 2017
    10:21am
    I raised a complaint with them a few years back and they did nothing. It was a waste of complete time and energy. I changed my super company. They are a waste of taxpayer money.
    in2sunset
    14th Jun 2017
    1:14pm
    Jackie, same with me. They were not at all interested. My employer stole 3 years of my super many years ago and I remember clearly them telling me it was my fault that I hadn't checked statements, etc. Seems to be legal theft and nothing is done about it
    KSS
    14th Jun 2017
    1:19pm
    Isn't that an argument for doing away with them then?
    Priscilla
    14th Jun 2017
    10:34am
    Looks like the government would like to run the supperannuation like they do Centrelink - abominably! If people cannot contact you then you do not need to fix the problems.
    MICK
    14th Jun 2017
    11:41am
    Retail funds make up a big percentage of superannuation funds. Sounds very much like the government is protecting its mates rather than the public. A common theme from this lot.
    Old Man
    14th Jun 2017
    11:42am
    There appears to be a duplication of investigative bodies and not a lot is being done. What is the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal, how often does it meet, who is on the Tribunal, what is their expertise and how much do the appointees get paid. It's all well and good to make comment on these matters but it's difficult to know the full story without all of the facts being presented.
    GeorgeM
    14th Jun 2017
    8:56pm
    Agree that it is hard to know what is going on as the full story is not presented here. Replacing one set of bureaucrats with another (maybe with less specialised focus) may not solve anything.

    Also, no explanation why the complaints are going up? A key reason could be (guessing) - complaints are not being followed up with enacting changes to rules to prevent more of the same - as more of the same means more & easy work for fat cats. That's one good reason to get rid of this tribunal as only regular shake-ups can raise them out of their slumber.
    ZIPPY51
    14th Jun 2017
    11:47am
    instead of cutting this funding abolish subsidies for green schemes and provide clean cheap base load power by developing and building nuclear power plants.We have an abundance of uranium/thorium and a stable geo structure which does not experience earthquakes
    floss
    14th Jun 2017
    1:21pm
    Perhaps their supporters were being complained about, you work it out not hard really why it was done.
    Not a Bludger
    14th Jun 2017
    1:29pm
    Good.

    Another crowd of civil servants down and another useless Tribunal gone.

    Many more to go.
    Rae
    14th Jun 2017
    1:53pm
    Yes and each of those jobs takes another 6 with it.

    Just did a lap of Westfields today and sales of 70% and several stores closing down as the lease expires.

    TEN is in trouble, markets are falling and we are getting closer to being there.

    Let's sack the lot. I'm sure those who love serving themselves will volunteer to stack the shelves too if asked nicely and made to feel a valuable volunteer to the growing profit levels.
    Not a Bludger
    14th Jun 2017
    4:02pm
    Yes Rae,

    And I was in the Apple store in Chadstone today and it was heaving and with staff everywhere.

    Still, there is absolutely no point in paying people (like many civil servants) to do faux jobs or man shops that nobody wants to patronise.

    I spent most of my life in automotive hi-tech manufacturing - now look - and all bemoan the lack of apprentices.

    Cheap electricity has been demonised and hence don't expect any new factories with new jobs anytime soon.

    Just wait for the remaining aluminium smelters to close.

    Whereto Australia?
    Rae
    14th Jun 2017
    6:11pm
    I agree there Not a Bludger. I've been expecting this energy price gouge a long time now. Blind Freddy could see what all the privatisation was going to do.

    And yes phones still sell and sport shoes on sale apparently as well as coffees and snacks as all the cafe tables in every food space were full.

    We'll be in a real pickle come a war in the Pacific and the shipping lanes shut down I suspect.

    Still extra front line full time public workers would help even if it was public money. At least those pays would be from our own currency and only used at home and as I said provide employment for around another 6 service or trade personnel.
    Daveh
    14th Jun 2017
    5:34pm
    This mob were useless anyway. Some years ago I had a complaint. I had all the doco in writing, enough under the law, I think, for someone to serve jail time or receive a financial penalty. I went through the process. In the arbitration the super fund could not even get my name right and made no concessions. The next step was a hearing but some bureaucrat at the SCT cancelled my claim before it could be heard and there was a thing I could do about it.
    JT
    16th Jun 2017
    1:17pm
    This is ridiculous to cut funding of the SCT. As someone who has an ongoing complaint I really want to instill in people to STICK WITH CHASING THEIR COMPLAINT.

    My complaint was initially said to being outside the jurisdiction and I kept at them. It's been an immense struggle since 2014. Eventually they had to concede they had jurisdiction but I have found the Tribunal just delays, delay, delays, and places blame, blame, blame on the complainant relentlessly for what are no doubt the Tribunal's own mistakes.

    " ... independent dispute resolution body which offers a free, 'user-friendly' alternative to the court system. The Tribunal is completely impartial—we make decisions on the individual facts and merits of each complaint. We do not act for or represent any side to a complaint."

    What a complete load of crap. I believe the SCT may be prejudicial against a complainant, especially if they suffer mental illness. More likely to help the super company or insurer and that is prejudicial. Plain and simple.

    If you lodge a complaint with the SCT then go back to them because chances are they simply deny they have jurisdiction and sadly I suspect a percentage of complainants will accept that. Go back to them, that's how I got this far by not accepting the crap I feel they deal out. Keep copies of all your paperwork and print emails, and don't deal with your complaint over the phone. Go after a copy of your complaint file which you as a complainant have a right to access - then you'll see all the file notes of what they discuss and how they managed (or mismanaged) your complaint.

    Good luck to those of you who are in this struggle as well.

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