Superannuation has been the backbone of the Australian retirement system for many years now, and for many planning to retire down under will be one of the most tax-efficient vehicles to save and invest your way to retirement. For Australian expats, it’s important to note that just having left Australia is no reason to forget about your superannuation. It’s time to ensure that your superannuation continues to work for you even if you’re not living and working in Australia.
This week we’re exploring the top 5 most complained about superannuation funds, as revealed by recent data from the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). There are many great superannuation providers in Australia, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach, so it’s important that you seek professional advice, do your home and review your options, before making an informed decision as to which is the most suitable fit for you.
AFCA started operating on 1 November 2018, and in its inaugural year received approximately 73,272 complaints, which led to them awarding $185 million in various payouts. They revealed that the majority of complaints were directed at the banks, which were followed by general insurers and credit provides, with superannuation providers coming in fourth with 2,999 complaints. The reasons for the superannuation complaints were quite varied and covered a range of topics as outlined below:
- Incorrect fees or costs – 873 complaints
- Claim handling issues – 770 complaints
- Admin errors – 492 complaints
- Claim denial queries – 437 complaints
- Incorrect claim amounts – 402 complaints
The superannuation providers that received the most complaints for the period were as follows:
- AMP Superannuation
- Nulis Nominees, which includes MLC
- Retail Employees Superannuation (REST)
- OnePath Custodians
It’s important to note that these are some of the largest funds so it may be expected that they would have a larger number of complaints. Factoring in the size of the provider, TAL Super (merged with Mercer) took out first place, which was followed by Suncorp Super and Mercy Super. Media Super, Qantas Super and TWU Super also ranked highly based on the number of complaints per 100,000 members.
AFCA highlighted that approximately 47% of all complaints were due to insurance within superannuation, which truly highlights the importance of reviewing any insurance that you hold within your superannuation account/s. This is particularly true if you’re an Australian expat living and working abroad, as you may find that it’s no longer tax effective or cost-effective to hold your insurances inside your super fund. You may also find that you are over-insured and could be in a position to make a significant saving by correcting the level of cover you have in place.
As always, be sure to seek professional advice before making decisions about whether any changes should be made to your superannuation or existing insurance cover.
To Your Financial Success!
Jarrad Brown is an Australian-trained and qualified Fee-Based Financial Planner with Australian Expatriate Group of Global Financial Consultants Pte Ltd providing specialist financial advice and portfolio management services to Australian professionals in Singapore. Jarrad Brown is an Authorised Representative of Global Financial Consultants Pte Ltd – No: 200305462G | MAS License No: FA100035-3
Australian Expatriate Group is a division of Global Financial Consultants in Singapore providing specialist advice to Australians living abroad.
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General Information Only: The information on this site is of a general nature only. It does not take into account your individual financial situation, objectives or needs. You should consider your own financial position and requirements before making a decision.
*Please note that Jarrad Brown is not a tax agent or accountant and none of the content outlined here should be taken as personal advice. You should consult your tax agent and financial adviser to review your current personal finances and financial goals to consider whether this strategy is appropriate for you.