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AustralianSuper, TAL named in Liberal’s letter to Jones

Mike Taylor8 November 2023
Accusing fingers point at man

Australia’s largest industry superannuation fund, AustralianSuper and its group insurer TAL have been specifically mentioned in a letter to the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services, Stephen Jones, urging priority be given to addressing delayed death benefit payments.

The letter written by NSW Liberal Senator, Andrew Bragg, and copied in to Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) chair, Joe Longoe, states: “AustralianSuper and TAL were the subject of 26% of all group life insurance complaints to AFCA” in the 2022-23 financial year.

Bragg’s letter to Jones asks that the minister not only give priority to the delayed death benefit issue but also “provide a timetable for action on this matter so that Australians can access the much-needed benefits that they are entitled to from superannuation funds”.

The letter follows on from evidence given to Senate Estimates last week and reported by Financial Newswire that ASIC is aware of the problem and might be able to report on the issue to the next Senate Estimates hearings scheduled for next year.

“Australians cannot wait until the next Senate Estimates in February 2024 for an answer,” Bragg said.

The Liberal Senator’s letter pointed to the promptness with which ASIC and the minister had acted on other issues such as online investment scams, and asked why the same prompt action was not being directed towards the late payment of death benefits.

“Given ASIC has a clear regulatory remit over superannuation trustees, notably their obligation to provide ‘efficient, honest and fair financial services’, I ask that you provide advice on what action is being taken to protect consumers from poor conduct from superannuation trustees with respect to delayed death benefits,” the letter said.

“This misconduct is occurring right under the noses of the regulators. According to AFCA [Australian Financial Complaints Authority] data, AustralianSuper alone made up over 23% of all death benefits complaints in the financial year 2022-23.”

“Furthermore, AustralianSuper and TAL were the subject of 26% of all group life insurance complaints to AFCA in the same financial year,” the letter said.

Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor

Managing Editor/Publisher, Financial Newswire

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Useless corrupted ASIC
3 months ago

Dear ASIC, how about a truthful reply to senator Bragg, Senate Estimates and the Australian public.
That would be……ASIC is Regulatory Capture Corrupted by Industry Super, thus ASIC fails to regulate Industry Super and ASIC allows Industry Super to do whatever the hell it likes.
ASIC has taken NO action against Industry Super and will continue to do nothing. Quick look over there it must be an Advisers fault.

bemused
3 months ago

“In order to strengthen our corporate governance, Australian Super welcomes Joe Longoe to our board, Joe comes to us with 2.5 years working in a regulatory role for ASIC” blah blah blah.. we all know how this ends.