How do I make a complaint about my superannuation fund?

Superannuation funds play a crucial role in securing your financial future. However, disagreements or issues can arise. If you’re unhappy with your super fund’s service or actions, here’s a comprehensive guide on making a complaint effectively.

Understanding the Process

The Australian financial system prioritizes fair complaint resolution. Your super fund, by law, must have an internal dispute resolution (IDR) process. This allows you to address your concerns directly with them before escalating the issue.

Step 1: Gather Information

Before initiating a complaint, gather details to support your case.

  • Identify the Issue: Pinpoint the specific problem. Is it a lost contribution, a fee dispute, poor investment performance, or something else?
  • Gather Evidence: Collect documents like statements, emails, phone records, or any written communication with your fund regarding the issue.
  • Know Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with relevant superannuation regulations and your fund’s product disclosure statement (PDS). The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC’s) Moneysmart website [] offers valuable resources.

Step 2: Contact Your Super Fund’s IDR Team

  • Locate Contact Details: Look for the IDR information on your super fund’s website, member statements, or contact their customer service department.
  • Lodge Your Complaint: You can usually lodge a complaint online, by phone, email, or mail. Follow the fund’s outlined process.
  • Clearly State the Issue: Provide a concise overview of the problem, including dates, relevant details, and the desired outcome.
  • Attach Supporting Documents: Include any evidence gathered in step 1.

Step 3: The Internal Dispute Resolution Process

  • Timeframes: Super funds typically have 45 days (or 90 days for death benefit disputes) to respond to your complaint.
  • Communication: Maintain clear communication with the IDR team. Respond promptly to requests and inquiries.
  • Settlement: Aim for an amicable resolution. Often, the IDR team can address your concerns and reach a mutually agreeable solution.

Step 4: If Unsatisfied with the Outcome

If you’re unhappy with the fund’s response, you have the right to escalate the complaint. Here are your options:

  • Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA): AFCA is an independent body that resolves disputes between consumers and financial service providers. You can lodge a complaint online, by phone, email, or mail [].
  • Australian Taxation Office (ATO): If the complaint concerns unpaid or late super contributions from your employer, the ATO can investigate [].
  • Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA): For concerns about the super fund’s overall financial soundness, APRA may be able to assist [].

Making a Strong Complaint

  • Be Clear and Concise: State the problem accurately and provide all relevant details.
  • Be Objective: Focus on the facts and avoid emotional language.
  • Be Persistent: Don’t be discouraged by delays. Follow up if you don’t receive a response within the timeframe.
  • Keep Records: Maintain a record of all communication with your super fund and AFCA (if applicable).

Additional Tips

  • Seek Advice: Free financial counseling services are available to assist you with the complaint process.
  • Time Limits: There may be time limits for lodging complaints with AFCA or other bodies. Check their websites for specific details.


By following these steps and remaining persistent, you can effectively address issues with your superannuation fund and ensure your financial interests are protected. Remember, a well-documented and clear complaint increases your chances of a successful resolution.


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