ASIC Taking AustralianSuper To Court
Posted on 09/08/2023
Not combining accounts, or allowing a pensioner to have multiple accounts for a period of 10 years could cost AustralianSuper. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is putting its foot down by taking the pension giant to court for a civil penalty. ASIC says 90,000 pensioners had multiple accounts, and merging those accounts would have been in the best interest of the pensioners. AustralianSuper is Australia’s largest pension, with AU$ 258 billion in assets.
Allowing different accounts caused an increase in overhead costs, and AustralianSuper benefited according to ASIC, as it “continued to charge multiple sets of fees and insurance premiums to these members.” ASIC Deputy Chair Sarah Court said, “Failing to merge duplicate accounts within a fund can have significant financial consequences for members who end up paying multiple sets of fees, eroding their superannuation balance over time.”
ASIC is accusing AustralianSuper of profiting despite being aware of the multiple accounts. ASIC does not believe that AustralianSuper simply made a mistake: “ASIC is concerned that despite AustralianSuper allegedly being aware in 2018 of the number of multiple member accounts within the fund and possible gaps in its policies and procedures, it did not take adequate steps to investigate and resolve the issue until late 2021 and early 2022.”