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Wednesday, 6 December 2017
Page: 9829

Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate) (11:46): In relation to the last question, I've already indicated that the government will ensure that the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal, as it's wound up, has the appropriate resources to clear the backlog of complaints. I can also confirm that the legislation provides that the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal would be wound up by 2022.

I will also just address some of the other issues that Senator Cameron has raised. Again, pointing to the Ramsay review, the Ramsay review found that a statutory tribunal to resolve superannuation complaints does not provide flexibility to adapt to changes in the superannuation sector. It also found that the longstanding issues with superannuation dispute resolution arrangements could not be fully resolved in a statutory tribunal structure, even with reforms to funding and governance, as the tribunal structure would not provide flexibility. AFCA will have maximum flexibility to deal with complaints in a timelier manner by having direct control over its funding and its processes. It will have increased transparency and flexibility over funding arrangements.

AFCA will also retain key statutory powers to ensure that superannuation dispute resolution is aligned with trustee duties and, most importantly, consumers can approach one body to resolve all financial disputes, eliminating uncertainty and confusion. Specifically in relation to the issue of death benefit complaints—which is where Senator Cameron started in his most recent contribution—the current processes for determining death benefits, including identifying who has an interest in a death benefit within appropriate time limits to bring forward a complaint about the distribution of a death benefit, have been replicated in this new legislation.