Does SCT have jurisdiction to invalidate unfair/invalid terms? (Family Member)
X was living and working for ed QLD at local school as a cleaner in a remote area with no hospital. X fiance was pregnant and had to leave island to have baby. They left on carer's leave and returned 7 days after baby was born. X had a chest infection in cairns and seen numerous physicians multiple times who cleared him. He returned to remote island, got a medical certificate from health centre and provided this to the school. X died the following day at 26 of pneumonia. As he was casual Qsuper alleges that his insurance terminated 4 weeks after his last day of paid work irrespective of carer's leave (in award/legis). X paid prem's 4 a YR after death. Each engagement said to b sep contract.
Hi there. You have asked whether the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal has the power to invalidate unfair or invalid terms.
The Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (www.sct.gov.au) is an independent, national body responsible for investigating and resolving complaints relating to superannuation. Once a complaint is lodged, the Tribunal has the power to review the decision of the original decision maker (i.e. the superannuation fund) to determine whether the decision was unfair or unreasonable. The Tribunal will consider the practical consequences of the decision and how it affects the person who lodged the complaint or, in the case of a death benefit review, any beneficiaries.
If the Tribunal decides that the decision was fair and reasonable in the circumstances, the Tribunal must allow the original decision to stand. If the Tribunal decides that the decision was unfair or unreasonable in the circumstances, the Tribunal has the power to remove, as far as possible, the unfairness or unreasonableness. The Tribunal may vary the decision, ask the superannuation fund to reconsider the decision, or set aside the original decision and substitute a new decision.
Importantly, the Tribunal is bound by the same laws and rules as the superannuation fund that made the original decision. This means the Tribunal cannot do anything that is against the law or the superannuation fund’s operating rules or insurance policies.
Regarding your specific situation, it is possible to lodge a complaint with the Tribunal about a decision made by QSuper. If the Tribunal decides that QSuper’s decision was unfair or unreasonable in the circumstances, it can take steps to fix it. However, the Tribunal cannot do anything that is not allowed under QSuper’s insurance policies or operating rules.
Suggested way forward
Challenging a decision of a superannuation fund can be a complicated but important task. You would benefit from speaking to a superannuation or wills and estates lawyer who can help you with your complaint. By pressing the “Consult a Lawyer” button, LawAdvisor can help you search for experienced lawyers and obtain fee proposals for their services. Costs for legal advice and representation will vary between providers based on experience and the scope of services.