The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) is calling for crucial consumer protection issues to be addressed before the implementation of the proposed Australian Taxation Office (ATO) online choice form in a submission to the tax body.
AIST senior policy manager David Haynes said there was no conclusive evidence to suggest consumer protection would protect members, despite the benefits of the ATO’s proposed implementation of a digital-model form.
In a call for near real-time information on balances, contributions, insurance and government MySuper status, Haynes said the implementation ran the risk of misleading members.
“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the proposed model, the form will remove important existing consumer protections and potentially display incomplete, out-of-date and misleading information to members,” he said.
To combat concern, Haynes called for a July 2019 push-back release of the digital form with higher frequency of reporting on superannuation contributions, and at the discretion of stakeholders after the commencement of more transparent discussions on appropriate plans for the release.
Additional concern was also expressed by the AIST over the removal of the need to list employers’ default fund by name on the digital form.
“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,” Haynes said.
“Many super fund members do not actively choose their super fund.”