The Complaint Graveyard

Australian Public Servants have designed a system that ensures that serious complaints related to superannuation benefits are simply buried in a “Complaint Graveyard”.

Superfraud Graphics

Members of superannuation funds are told in the Annual Reports that if they have any concerns in relation to their superannuation benefits that cannot be resolved by their Trustee, then they can lodge a complaint with the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal.

The Superannuation Complaints Tribunal is a “complaint-handling agency” and must deal with all complaints that are with jurisdiction.

However what members are not told is that the jurisdiction of the Tribunal is very limited due to the Separation of Powers doctrine derived by the High Court from the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act.

The Tribunal can only deal with complaints where the Trustee has acted lawfully but has made a decisions that might be impugned on the grounds that the decision was “unfair or unreasonable”. Furthermore the Tribunal is unable to deal with complaints that concern the management of the fund as a whole {Section 14(6) of the Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Act 1993}.

” (6) The Tribunal cannot deal with a complaint under this section that relates to the management of a fund as a whole.”

Therefore if a dishonest Trustee defrauds all the members of a fund, then the Tribunal cannot deal with a complaint in relation to such a matter.

However if such a complaint is lodged with the Tribunal, the Tribunal Chairperson, MUST refer the complaint to either ASIC or APRA or both, pursuant to Section 64 of the Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Act 1993.

However here is the catch, neither ASIC or APRA are “complaint-handling agencies” and so these agencies have no legal obligation to resolve any complaint.

These agencies can simply ignore a complaint or compose a “bluff letter” that misrepresents the law.

If the public servants at these agencies chose to act dishonestly there is no independent “Integrity Commissioner” who can investigate dishonest and corrupt conduct by the public servants who are employed by ASIC and APRA until they are “promoted” at double or triple their public servant salaries to the institutions they are supposed to “regulate”.

Since superannuation is compulsory, if ASIC or APRA make a decision not to investigate a complaint concerning the conduct of a trustee of a regulated superannuation fund, this decision should be able to be appealed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal where these agencies would need to be able to justify their decision not to investigate the complaint.

If a “sham investigation” was conducted to “fob off” the victims, the findings of the “sham investigation” should also be subject to review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

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This tab updated on 21 August 2015