New Cbus ‘opt out’ regime raises eyebrows

Major building industry fund Cbus has e-mailed building industry workers informing them that unless they specifically opt-out from doing so, then they will have been taken to have consented to the superannuation fund providing their details to union officials and delegates to pursue unpaid superannuation guarantee contributions. 

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) is the dominant union in the sector. 

The email, a copy of which has been obtained by Money Management, provides members with an opt-out hot button, but makes clear the superannuation fund is moving to a new system and references Industry Super Australia (ISA) data around unpaid SG contribution amounting to $6 billion a year. 

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“From 1 July 2020 we are shifting to a new system in which members can opt out if they do not want to participate in this service and we will no longer be asking third parties to gain member consent,” the Cbus e-mail states.  

“If you do not want Cbus to provide limited personal information to enable a union delegate or representative to check the status of your super contributions to assist in identifying and recovering unpaid super, then you can simply opt out of this service. Opting out has no impact on other services and options provided to you as a Cbus member. 

“If you do not opt out then we will assume that you consent to us providing the below types of information to union officials and delegates. However, if you change your mind you can opt-out later using the options available below,” it said. 

“The type of information which we provide is:  

  • Name 
  • Application form has been signed 
  • SG contribution amounts received in last six months  
  • Date SG contributions received and the time periods they are paid for  
  • If salary sacrifice payment received (no amount shown) 
  • Employer name and ABN.” 

The e-mail has been signed by Cbus group executive, member and employer experience, Marianne Walker. 

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