The Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT) is unable to perform key and fundamental functions as it has yet to fill the role of chairperson after the acting-person, Jocelyn Furlan, departed 21 days ago.
The Superannuation (Resolution of Complaints) Act 1993 enshrines the role of the chair as a statutory position, conferring extensive powers and functions upon the appoint that seem to go to the core of the tribunal.
“This raises the question of whether the tribunal is properly constructed,” Maged Girgis, partner at Minter Ellison said.
The acting-chairperson, Jocelyn Furlan, left the position March 3, 2015 after serving nine years at the STC.
Sections 14 through 31 of the Act deal with the day-to-day running of the SCT, with the chair featuring heavily throughout.
Girgis added: “The absence might give grounds for an appeal.”
Another crucial function of the chair can be found in Section 64A of the Act.
Without a chairperson the STC is unable to inform APRA and ASIC of potential breaches to annuity policies, a life policies or an RSA.
Another legal expert, Scott Charaneka, head of superannuation and wealth management at Thomson Geer, said that clients were “watching” the situation and were waiting for the statistics to be released to see if the absence had had an impact.
When asked the SCT declined to comment saying an announcement was “due shortly” but did not give a date.