The Million Dollar Question

{Published on 8 October 2014}   PR 8 Oct 14   The Chairman of the National Australia Bank (NAB), Mr Michael Chaney AO, and other Board Members have been recently provided with copies of genuine Deeds of an occupational pension fund established in South Australia on 23 December 1913 {Refer below}. This fund was once known as The Provident Fund. Under the provisions of the Trustee Act 1936 (SA), trustees of trusts established in South Australia must be resident in South Australia and can only be temporarily absent for 12 months unless on military service. These Deeds have until recently been criminally concealed from the members and beneficiaries of this fund by a Victorian resident “Trustee” and were only obtained with the assistance of the Deputy Premier and Attorney-General of South Australia, the Hon John Rau MP, and the Attorney-General’s Department. It is trite law that a trustee has to obey the founding Trust Deed as lawfully amended. The name of The Provident Fund was changed to the Elders IXL Superannuation Fund in 1982. A Select Committee of the Legislative Council of South Australia has confirmed that the benefit provided by The Provident Fund for a male officer who has completed at least 15 years of service is a pension for life that is payable immediately in the event of retrenchment. A widow also has an entitlement to a survivorship pension. A recent survey of members of The Provident Fund who are no longer in the service of the sponsoring Employer found that 75% had been retrenched before attaining the age of 60 and that the average age at the time of retrenchment was 52  and the average period of service was 26 years. Based on an indicative Final Average Salary of $100,000 per annum, the value of this pension entitlement to a married male member of the fund is approximately $1.9 million. However a different benefit is purported provided in a Members’ Handbook that has been signed by John D. Elliott. This Members’ Handbook purports that such a member would only be entitled to a lump sum benefit of $337,500 or only 18% of the value of the benefit confirmed by the Select Committee of the Legislative Council of South Australia. Such a reduction in benefit entitlements would create a large actuarial surplus in the Trust Estate of The Provident Fund. The National Australia Bank (NAB) has recently assumed the responsibility to pay benefits to members of The Provident Fund. Mr Elliott needs to be able to provide an explanation to Mr Michael Chaney, the Chairman of the National Australia Bank, as to who signed any Deeds of Variation that would amend the Regulations of the Fund to allow such a large reduction in benefit entitlements. There is also the question of what happened to the large actuarial surplus created after such a large reduction purportedly occurred.