Lack of specific budget funding may mean that the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT) is still seeking to plough through the backlog of complaints for four years after the establishment of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).
The SCT has used its submission to the Senate Economic References Committee inquiry into the legislation establishing the AFCA to make clear that it does not have the financial resourcing necessary to clear its backlog by 30 June, 2020.
Instead, and against the backdrop of common industry perceptions that the SCT suffered from chronic underfunding for much of the past half-decade, the tribunal’s submission to the Senate Committee said it could be December 2022 before outstanding cases are settled.
“Regarding the close of the SCT, we reiterate that the 2017-18 Budget did not provide resourcing to enable the SCT to resolve existing complaints by 30 June 2020,” the letter accompanying the submission said. “Based on current resource levels and complaint volumes it is estimated that if AFCA receives complaints from 1 July 2018, open complaints at the SCT will not be finalised until December 2022.”
The letter said the SCT continued to work with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and Treasury to progress a funding proposal, noting that “it is critical for the SCT to be resourced appropriately if a smooth transition to AFCA is to be achieved”.
“The SCT continues its commitment to work with government and stakeholders to share our superannuation complaint resolution expertise and support a smooth transition to AFCA,” the letter said.