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Issue 560, 12 March 2015 

In this issue: 


ASFA launches Best Practice Paper on managing death benefit claims 

As part of ASFA’s ongoing work on insurance, we have recently completed the update of our Best Practice Paper No. 29, Managing Death Benefit Claims. 

Superannuation trustee boards, committees and staff spend a large amount of time dealing with the assessment and payment of death benefits. Despite this, in 2013/14, complaints relating to death benefit made up 32.5 per cent (the second largest category) of all written complaints made to the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT). 

The purpose of this updated paper is to provide best practice guidance on a broad range of issues facing trustees in the management of death benefit claims. To achieve this requires a fair degree of explanation of the legal framework. As a result, the third edition of this best practice paper is more comprehensive than its predecessors. However, this paper should not be construed as legal advice. 

The updated Best Practice Paper has been prepared for ASFA by Stanley Drummond (adjunct head of superannuation and wealth management) and Scott Charaneka (head of superannuation and wealth management), with assistance from their team of legal professionals at Thomson Geer Lawyers. 

The paper includes a number of case studies on a broad range of court decisions and SCT determinations. These have been selected on the basis of their usefulness in illustrating the key principles that have evolved in this area. The case studies were provided by Jocelyn Furlan, former chairperson of the SCT. 

The paper also includes information on the interdependency provisions in the Superannuation Industry Supervision Act (SIS Act) and Regulations. This information has been included as an appendix to the paper due to its extensive nature. 

The latest edition of Best Practice Paper No. 29, Managing Death Benefit Claims, is available for ASFA members to download from the Best Practice Series page of the ASFA Toolbox. 

For more information regarding the updated Best Practice Paper, members can contact Jon Echevarria. 


Statute of limitations ‘quick reference guide’ for TPD claims 

ASFA has developed a statute of limitations ‘quick reference guide’ in relation to total and permanent disablement (TPD) claims. 

The purpose of the quick reference guide is to provide ASFA members with a snapshot of the disability claims limitation periods for each of the Australian states and territories. 

Each state or territory has its own statute of limitations that provides trustees and insurers a defence to a court action lodged outside a specified time limit, as the time limits vary. 

All states and territories extend the time limits for fraud (except South Australia) and for people with disabilities, and some give courts the discretion to extend the time limits. 

The statute of limitations quick reference guide has been prepared for ASFA by John Berrill, principal at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers. The information in the quick reference guide is of a general nature only and should not be regarded as advice. 

The statute of limitations ‘quick reference guide’ can be downloaded from the ASFA website. 

If you have any queries regarding the quick reference guide or would like further information on the statute of limitations, contact David Graus. 


Beneficiaries fact sheet 

ASFA has released a new fact sheet designed to help guide people through the process of nominating a beneficiary for their superannuation death benefit. The fact sheet is designed to give people basic information about the different types of beneficiaries they can nominate, and the processes for making these nominations. The fact sheet is available to download via the Super Guru website. 


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