AustralianSuper bears brunt of complaints: AFCA


AustralianSuper copped the highest number of complaints in the last six months of 2023 totalling 936, which was nearly three times more than other major super funds like Cbus, Australian Retirement Trust (ART), and Aware Super.

New data from the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) put Australia's largest super fund at the top of the pile as the most complained about fund. Less than half (49.4%) were resolved at the stages of registration and referral.

Some 493 complaints progressed to the case management stage; 269 cases were resolved by agreement. Only in 51 cases AFCA ruled in favour of AustralianSuper.

AustralianSuper bears brunt of complaints: AFCA

AustralianSuper chief member officer Rose Kerlin says: "AustralianSuper has taken major steps to materially improve the management of complaints and we are committed to continuing to improve this critical service to members. We made the decision late last year to in-house the delivery of complaint management services and this has now come into full effect."

Between January to May 2024, Kerlin says the fund has seen improved service levels and nearly a 29% reduction in complaints on a monthly average basis submitted to AFCA compared to the last six months of 2023.

"The fund now has a team of people dedicated to the delivery of end-to-end complaint management services, and this is providing a very strong foundation for us to continue our pursuit of delivering industry leading services for members," she says.

Cbus reported 320 complaints for the period with a 61.6% resolution rate; 128 complaints progressed to the case management stage and 66 instances were resolved via an agreement.

ART had 267 complaints and a 38.4% resolution rate. Mercer Superannuation received 248 complaints, while Aware Super and Hostplus had 221 and 181 respectively.

Overall, the super sector registered 2336 complaints for the period. The lion's share (52%) related to account administration, followed by issues relating to group insurance (35.7%).

A minority related to death benefits (11.5%) and pensions (0.89%).

Victims of Dixon Advisory continued to file complaints with AFCA as 52 registered their issues and sought compensation.

AMP Financial Planning recorded 19 complaints, 10 of which closed at case management stage.

Advice Essentials and Madison Financial Group received eight complaints each.

Derivatives and hedging securities comprised most of the complaints in the investments and advice sectors. Many of the firms linked to the complaints were CMC Markets Stockbroking, Prospero Markets (now in liquidation), and eToro.

This is followed by managed investments (24.3%), and superannuation non-trustee related issues (12.2%), and timeshare and strata title schemes (3.5%).

This article first appeared on Financial Standard

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Karren Vergara is a financial journalist with Financial Standard, covering wealth management, including superannuation, banking and financial planning. She is one of the hosts of the Financial Standard Podcast. Prior to becoming a journalist, she was an accountant for more 10 years. She has a diploma in journalism and Bachelor's degree in business, both from UTS.
Leanne Schwabe
June 15, 2024 10.52am

Also the biggest superfund by far compared to the comparisons provided. Dividing the complaints by number of members would provide a balanced way of reporting this result and make the article useful and reliable for readers.

Trinaa Long
June 15, 2024 3.10pm

Thank you Karen.

I appreciate your view of what you found in the AFCA complaints. It's a greater relieve that these complaints are being noted and addresses, thus getting lower. Am sure NDIS is in the extreme. So to hear about Aust Super by AFCA in your article, freshen my eyes.

I am hoping to get in top of my Super funds. It's nice to know that their is somewhere to turn to and receive prompt support n answers.

Once again thank you Karen.