CANBERRA: The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) is calling on the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to delay launching its proposed online superannuation choice form, on the grounds that it will disadvantage consumers. While it welcomes the move to an online form as opposed to the traditional paper form, it says the proposed model has a number of flaws that need to be addressed prior to its implementation.
AIST senior policy manager David Haynes said the proposed form is missing the information on the employer’s default fund. A default fund is the standard superannuation product which employers provide to employees who cannot, or do not wish to, select their own super fund. “The form should provide an up-to-date listing of employees’ existing super funds, together with near real-time information about balances, insurance, recent contributions, and MySuper status,” said Haynes. “If implemented under the proposed model, the form will remove important existing consumer protections and potentially display incomplete, out-of-date and misleading information to members.” “We know that many super fund members do not actively choose their super fund. The name of the default fund is pre-populated on the existing paper-based choice form. Removing this function is a step backward for disclosure,” he said. In its submission to the ATO, AIST is urging the proposed form be re-evaluated to ensure vital consumer protections are in place, saying that a new online form should not be released prior to July 2019.