ASIC report on complaints handling by superannuation trustees

On 9 December, ASIC released Report 751 Disputes and deficiencies: A review of complaints handling by superannuation trustees (Report 751), which ASIC states provides insights for compliance by superannuation trustees with enforceable obligations and guidance in Regulatory Guide 271 Internal dispute resolution.

In particular, Report 751 outlines areas for improvement identified through ASIC’s review of the timeliness and content of responses to complaints, systemic issue identification and management, and trustee processes.

ASIC’s review comments included:

While most superannuation complaints are responded to in a timely manner, consistently meeting the maximum response timeframes in RG 271 is challenging some trustees. ASIC has substantial concerns with the time taken by a small number of the trustees it reviewed. Many trustees are routinely failing to inform complainants when a response will exceed the maximum timeframe.

All trustees can improve the readability and consumer focus of IDR responses.

Some trustee/board reports we reviewed lacked sufficient detail on IDR metrics to communicate fund performance including deficiencies, for example on timeliness.

ASIC expects trustees should use the information in the report to assess their own IDR process, looking at their compliance with legal obligations in RG 271 and how complaints can be used to drive improvements for all members.

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David Jacobson

Author: David Jacobson
Principal, Bright Corporate Law
About David Jacobson
The information contained in this article is not legal advice. It is not to be relied upon as a full statement of the law. You should seek professional advice for your specific needs and circumstances before acting or relying on any of the content.

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