Superannuation fund internal dispute resolution (IDR) timeframes need to be shorter but account needs to be taken of more complex issues such as disability and death claims, according to the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST).
In a submission responding to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) consultation process around IDR, the AIST said that it generally agreed with a proposal to reduce IDR reporting time-frames from 90 to 45 days.
It said that the proposed 45-day time frame aligned with the timeframe required under the insurance code which, itself, reflected extensive industry consultation.
However, the AIST submission said that recognition needed to be given that some claims were likely to take longer, and that the complexities involved needed to be taken into account.
“AIST strongly recommends that given the complexities involved with, for example, total and permanent disability claims and death benefit claims that there must be recognition that there are such cases that take longer than 45 days,” it said. “It is very difficult to rely on external parties (particularly medical specialists) to comply with the proposed reduced timelines.”
The submission also made clear that the AIST did not support shorter timeframes in some circumstances
It noted that the ASIC Consultation Paper appeared to contemplate a 30-day timeframe for superannuation complaints in some circumstances.
“AIST opposes moving to a 30-day timeframe for resolving super complaints in any circumstances. A 30-day timeframe would result in a reduction in the quality of the Internal Dispute Resolution process which would in turn lead to more EDR complaints and undermine consumer confidence,” it said.