12% of COVID-19 complaints to AFCA were super based

Only 12.6% of COVID-19 complaints raised to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) have been about superannuation at 1,056.

Speaking at the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) Legal and Compliance Symposium, AFCA lead ombudsman, superannuation, Heather Gray, said there were a total 8,356 COVID-19 complaints with the most surrounding financial difficulty in the banking and finance space.

“Only 177 of superannuation COVID-19 complaints are still open as we’ve closed 882,” she said.

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“In terms of early release of super scheme issues, in most cases the problems had to do with identification of the member because they’ve had some problems with the COVID-19 environment with missing identification docs.

“We’ve had some difficulty with people who have simply jumped the gun as soon as the five business days was up. They’ve been off to AFCA because they hadn’t received their funds during this time and we’ve had trouble with incorrect bank accounts with the wrong accounts being recorded and money has been paid into the wrong place.”

Over the last 12 months, Gray noted that there were 3,783 superannuation complaints with ‘delay in claim handling’ being the top complaint at 1,323.

This was followed by ‘service quality’ at 699, ‘incorrect fees/costs’ at 648, ‘account administration error’ at 578, and ‘denial of claim’ at 535.

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