ASIC is warning superannuation trustees to effectively consolidate duplicate member accounts after a recent review of nine trustees identified poor practices that led to consumer harm.
Of the nine trustees reviewed, three did not have documented business rules for identifying and consolidating multiple accounts on an annual basis across some or all of their funds. The other six had business rules and policies in place and conducted the identification and matching process at least annually.
Following ASIC engagement, all trustees with poor practices have committed to improvements. Additionally, all nine trustees either have or will have documented processes that apply to all members.
Five trustees are undertaking the matching process monthly, or moving to do so, with three more undertaking it at least quarterly.
Three trustees are also undertaking remediation of members affected by the trustee’s failure to comply with the law.
ASIC’s review also found that three trustees had a process to check for existing accounts on account creation. While not expressly required by law, this process can help trustees prevent duplicate accounts being created.
The Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 requires trustees to establish rules to identify and merge multiple member accounts within a superannuation fund, where the trustee reasonably believes it is in the best interests of the member.