Frequently Asked Questions
You may have many questions concerning your complaint and the process undertaken to have it resolved. As many people have similar questions, it is advisable to check the FAQs below. If you find a similar question, click on the link to view the answer.
What do I do if I don't know where my superannuation is?
The Australian Taxation Office operates a lost members register. www.ato.gov.au/super
What are the obligations of the trustee of a superannuation fund?
The trustee has an obligation to operate the fund in accordance with the law and the fund’s own trust deed and rules. It must exercise reasonable care and diligence and ensure that the fund is operated in the best interests of the members.
Can I obtain copies of documents from my Fund, RSA Provider or Life Company?
Trustees of superannuation funds and RSA providers have obligations under the law to provide members with certain information. For more details you should contact your fund or RSA provider.
Life Companies also have certain obligations to provide information in relation to annuity policies. For more details you should contact the Life Company.
Is the Tribunal independent?
The Superannuation Complaints Tribunal is a Commonwealth statutory authority and operates under the Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Act 1993 (the SRC Act).
Review Meetings are conducted by the Chairperson, the Deputy Chairperson and/or two or more of the part-time members who are all appointed to the Tribunal by the Commonwealth. They are completely independent of the parties to the complaints.
Does the Tribunal give legal advice?
No. The Tribunal does not give legal advice.
How can I contact the Tribunal?
Superannuation Complaints Tribunal
Locked Bag 3060, MELBOURNE VIC 3001
Level 7, 120 Collins Street Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: 1300 884 114
Fax: +61 3 8635 5588
Response: Complete our online response form, and we’ll get back to you.
Complaints: Online Form | Printable Form
Is there any cost to lodge a complaint with the Tribunal?
No. There is no cost to lodge a complaint with the Tribunal.
Do I have to be legally represented?
No. The Tribunal was set up to be cost-free for parties. You do not have to be legally represented to make a complaint or to be a party to a complaint.
If you believe that you need to be legally represented you may apply to the Tribunal to be represented, providing reasons why it is necessary. The Tribunal will decide whether to allow representation.
Will the Tribunal give me an opinion about the strength of my case before Review?
No. With one exception, the Tribunal generally cannot give any party advice as to how strong or weak a complaint is. The exception is if the Tribunal decides that a complaint is misconceived, lacking in substance, trivial or vexatious, in which case it will withdraw the complaint, and will give reasons for its decision.
How can I find out if someone else has lodged a complaint with the Tribunal?
If you believe someone may have lodged a complaint which affects you, you can send the Tribunal a letter, fax or email, identifying the person you believe may have made the complaint, the name of the member, the name of the Fund, and explaining why you need the information. The Tribunal will then decide whether it is able to provide the information.
What can I do if someone else has lodged a complaint which affects me?
This usually happens where someone has made a complaint about how a death benefit should be paid. If you think you are a person the benefit could be paid to, you may apply to become a party to complaint. This will give you the opportunity to participate in conciliation. If the complaint proceeds to review, you will also be given copies of the information provided to the Tribunal and will be invited to make a submission to be considered by the Tribunal.
How long will it take before my complaint gets to review?
If your complaint cannot be resolved before review, you can expect that a complaint received at the Tribunal today will take at least 12 months to get to review, at which time the Tribunal will make a formal decision in relation to the complaint. The Tribunal is working to reduce this period. See Complaint Process for more detailed information.
Can I obtain copies of documents from the Tribunal's file if I am a party to the complaint?
Shortly before a complaint proceeds to a review meeting, the parties to a complaint are provided with all the material on the Tribunal’s file and invited to make a submission to the Tribunal, based on this material. It is possible for information to be exchanged before this time if one party requests it and the others agree. It may also be possible to obtain all or some of the material under Freedom of Information laws if you are a party to the complaint. You need to write to the Tribunal requesting copies of the material.
Can I make suggestions about how to resolve the complaint?
Yes. If you have any suggestions for how a complaint can be resolved or dealt with more quickly, speak to the complaints analyst dealing with your complaint.
Can the Tribunal deal with complaints about fees and charges?
The Tribunal cannot generally deal with a complaint about fees and charges being too high. It may be able to deal with a complaint that fees and charges were not disclosed or that misrepresentations (untrue statements) were made about the existence or level of fees and charges.
Can the Tribunal deal with complaints about investment performance (fund earnings)?
No. The Tribunal cannot deal with a complaint that earning rates should have been higher.
I am a party to a complaint about a death benefit. Why do I have to give information to the Tribunal about my financial circumstances?
The financial circumstances of the potential beneficiaries is one of the factors considered by the Tribunal when deciding how to distribute a death benefit. The Tribunal may need to establish whether you were financially dependent on the deceased member at the time of his/her death. For this reason it is important that the Tribunal has information at the review meeting about the claimants' financial circumstances.
Are there any time limits applying to complaints about death benefits?
Yes. See the Time Limits section for more information.
Are there any time limits applying to complaints about Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) benefits?
Yes. See the Time Limits section for more information.
Is conciliation compulsory?
Under the Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Act 1993 (the SRC Act) the Tribunal is required to try and resolve a complaint by conciliation. The Tribunal exercises its discretion in arranging a conciliation conference. If you have any concerns about whether conciliation is appropriate you should raise these with the case analyst dealing with the complaint.
What are the benefits of conciliation?
Conciliation provides the opportunity for the parties to reach a settlement with which they all agree rather than have a decision imposed on them by the Tribunal. It is also faster than going all the way through to review.
What is the role of the conciliator?
To conduct the conciliation conference and to assist the parties to reach a settlement. The conciliator does not impose a decision on the parties. See Conciliation in Complaint Process for more detailed information.
I have received a determination in my favour from the Tribunal. When can I expect the payment?
Once the 28 day appeal period has expired, you should contact the fund to arrange payment. The Tribunal does not pay the benefit.
Will I receive interest on my payment if I receive a determination in my favour?
The Tribunal will consider the question of interest at the review meeting and will make orders for the payment of interest where appropriate in the determination.
What can I do if I don't like the Tribunal's determination at review?
Tribunal determinations can be appealed on a question of law to the Federal Court. See Complaint Process for more detailed information.