Shortcomings of the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal

Published 25 May 2016

The Superannuation Complaints Tribunal was set up to be a cost-free pathway for people to get legal judgments about superannuation disputes. The problem is that the tribunal suits people who are attempting to stake their claim without legal advice. The tribunal's ability to deliver payouts, damages and claims is limited.

What the Tribunal is unable to do:

  • The Tribunal only asks if superannuation fund decisions are 'fair and reasonable' in the circumstances and the tribunal doesn't actually rule according to its own decision. If the Tribunal determines that a decision was not 'fair and reasonable', it can only place the complainant back into the position they would have been before the decision was made.
  • The Tribunal cannot award costs or damages or provide a remedy if there has been no financial loss.
  • The Tribunal does not handle complaints about the design of a fund and cannot challenge a trust deed or an insurance policy.

While the Tribunal is useful in that it can invite parties to conciliation conferences and affirm decisions (sometimes in favour of the plaintiff trustee),an experienced superannuation disputes expert can recommend more empowering options when a person wants to claim what is rightfully theirs. 

Other limitations of the Tribunal

The Tribunal cannot hear a range of types of total permanent disability claims. It also cannot hear complaints about decisions of trustees of regulated superannuation funds and approved deposit funds made before the fund was regulated. Lastly, the Tribunal cannot hear complaints about self-managed super funds.

An experienced superannuation lawyer will find out where your entitlements lie

Just because Gerard Malouf and Partners isn't a free service like the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal, it does not mean you are going to be hit with a retainer or difficult down-payment. Gerard Malouf and Partners Superannuation Dispute Lawyers offers a 90 Day Complimentary Trial of our No Win No Fee Compensation Services. This sort of arrangement is essential when you're feeling intimidated by a super fund provider which may be unresponsive when you ask for it to release the Income Protection or Total Permanent Disability funds you are entitled to. 

Unlike the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal we seek to get our clients their death benefit or Life insurance policy paid out. Some policies mean these benefits are worth up to $1 million.

If your loved one has died and you are not sure where their insurance and super fund has ended up, we will help you pursue what is rightfully yours when the government tribunal cannot help.

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