25 September 2023

Ombudsman has interest in super fund

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The Commonwealth Ombudsman has launched an investigation into the administration of the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits (DFRDB), in particular the accuracy of information given to members.

The investigation follows a request made in April by the Minister for Defence Personnel, Darren Chester.

The Ombudsman, Michael Manthorpe (pictured) said the investigation would focus on the accuracy of information provided by scheme administrators and relevant Departments to scheme members in regard to commutation.

He said it would also consider whether any errors of administration could be identified and if so, what steps should be taken to remedy them.

“As a result of complaints to my office and our engagement with the ex-service community, I have become aware there is a concern among some members of the DFRDB scheme about the issue of commutation,” Mr Manthorpe said.

“For this reason, I agreed to the Minister’s request and have decided to investigate the issue under the own motion power of the Ombudsman Act 1976.”

He stressed he would be investigating only the information scheme members were given about commuting a portion of their pension.

“We will not be considering issues relating to indexation of the DFRDB, or any other aspects of the scheme,” Mr Manthorpe said.

“We are inviting scheme members to share information relevant to commutation. We are also seeking information from Defence and the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation.”

He said people who wished to make a submission should complete the form on the Ombudsman’s website before 30 June.

The three-page information form can be accessed at this PS News link.

Mr Manthorpe said that as the Ombudsman investigates in private, submissions would not be made public.

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