Time limits

Time limits for disability complaints1

The time in which a complaint can be made to the Tribunal about a decision of a trustee of a fund relating to the payment of a disability benefit because of total and permanent disablement (TPD) depends on:

  • whether the disability that gives rise to your TPD claim caused you to cease employment; and
  • the date the trustee's decision (eg to deny your claim) was made.
 
Trustee decisions made on or after 1 July 2013
 
If the trustee's decision was made on or after 1 July 2013, the Tribunal can only deal with a complaint about a decision of a trustee of a fund relating to the payment of a disability benefit because of total and permanent disablement (TPD) in the following circumstances:
  • if you permanently ceased employment because of the physical or mental condition that gave rise to the claim for the TPD benefit, then both your claim for the payment of a TPD benefit was made to the trustee within 2 years of you permanently ceasing employment and your complaint is made to the Tribunal within 4 years of the trustee's decision about your claim
  • if you did not permanently cease employment because of the physical or mental condition that gave rise to the claim for the TPD benefit, your complaint is made to the Tribunal within 6 years after the making of the trustee's decision about your claim. 
 
Trustee decisions made before 1 July 2013
 
If the trustee's decision was made before 1 July 2013, the Tribunal will still only be able to deal with a complaint about a decision of a trustee of a fund relating to the payment of a disability benefit because of total and permanent disablement (TPD) in the following circumstances:
  • if you permanently ceased employment because of the physical or mental condition that gave rise to the claim for the TPD benefit, your claim for the payment of a TPD benefit was made to the trustee within 2 years of you permanently ceasing employment; and
  • in all cases, your complaint is made to the Tribunal within 2 years of the trustee's decision about your claim.
 
Specific features of the time limits
 
As for all complaints, the Tribunal is not able to deal with a complaint about the decisions unless a complaint was first made under the fund's own complaint handling arrangements.
 
For both sets of time limits, the relevant date is the date your employment is formally terminated, rather than the last day you are able to work.
 
For both sets of time limits, the fund trustee's decision about your claim is the trustee's first (or original) decision to deny your claim.  This means that even though you made a complaint to the trustee about that decision, and the trustee may be reconsidering or is considering new evidence, you can still only complain to the Tribunal within the relevant time of the first (or original) decision.

 

Time limits for death benefit complaints if:

  • the superannuation provider has notified you in writing of how it proposes to pay the death benefit and has given you 28 days to lodge any objection to the proposal with the superannuation provider, and
  • you have lodged an objection with the superannuation provider within that time, and
  • you have subsequently received a written notice from the superannuation provider giving its final decision together with a notice that you have 28 days from the date of receipt of the letter to lodge a complaint with the Tribunal,

    you must lodge your complaint with the Tribunal within those 28 days.

Note: If the superannuation provider has not followed the correct notice procedure (for example notified you of a period less than 28 days to object), the 28 day limit to make a complaint to the Tribunal does not apply.

Time limits for other complaints

If your superannuation provider has given you a copy of the contributions report it has made to the ATO and has advised that you have 12 months to make a complaint to the Tribunal, a complaint relating to that report must be lodged with the Tribunal within that time.

Any other complaints should generally be lodged with the Tribunal within one year of the superannuation provider's decision or conduct to which the complaint relates. If the decision or conduct complained about is more than one year old, the Tribunal has the discretion not to deal with that complaint.


1In the case of complaints about RSA providers' decisions relating to TPD benefits, the complaint must be lodged with the Tribunal within one year of the date of the decision.