26 September 2023

ASIC puts Super funds on complaint notice

Start the conversation

Superannuation trustees have been put on notice by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) that some superannuation funds had sub-standard arrangements for managing complaints.

ASIC Commissioner, Danielle Press said the Commission’s Report 751 Disputes and deficiencies: A review of complaints handling by superannuation trustees followed a compliance review which outlined findings at 35 trustees.

“Superannuation fund members have a right to make complaints to their fund and to expect their complaints to be handled fairly and in a timely manner,” Ms Press said.

“Yet, our review found trustees have fallen short,” she said.

“We saw examples of trustees’ failure to comply with fundamental obligations, which could lead to poor outcomes, such as consumers abandoning a complaint rather than seeing it through.”

Ms Press said that while a few trustees did the right thing, in many cases there were serious deficiencies in trustees’ dispute resolution processes and how they monitored and responded to complaints.

She said ASIC found that a number of trustees did not respond to a significant portion of their complaints within the 45-day maximum timeframe.

“Most trustees failed to ensure all complainants were kept informed when their response to the complaints exceeded the maximum timeframe,” Ms Press said.

“This could delay complainants exercising their right to go to the Australian Financial Complaint Authority (AFCA).”

She said too many written responses to complaints also omitted mandatory content related to a consumer’s right to take their complaint to AFCA.

The Commissioner said ASIC found gaps in how most trustees managed systemic issues that could be identified through member complaints or how they used intelligence from complaints to improve their products and services.

She said robust-end-to-end dispute resolution arrangements, designed with members’ interests in mind, was not a ‘nice to have’, it was a ‘must have’.

ASIC’s 26-page Report can be accessed at this PS News link.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.