The Rights of Members and Beneficiaries

The first thing Members and Beneficiaries of Superannuation Funds need to understand is that the legal relationships between:

  • an Employee and an Employer, and
  • a fund Member or Beneficiary and a Trustee

are totally different.

The Trustee and the Employer are separate and supposedly “independent” legal entities.

The Trustee” can be a company (corporate Trustee) or natural person Trustees.

Superannuation Funds are based on the legal concept of a “trust“.

The Superannuation Trust is not a legal entity or “legal person” as is a “company“.

An important concept of the “trust” is that there are two owners of the same property.

A “trust” is created when a “Settlor” declares his or her intention of creating a trust and transfers property to “The Trustee” to hold “on trust” for the “Beneficiaries” (which in the case of Superannuation Funds includes the “Members” of the Fund).

The intention of creating the trust is recorded in a “Trust Deed” as well as the terms of the trust and who are the intended “Beneficiaries” of the trust.

As a Member or a Beneficiary of a Superannuation Trust (Fund) you (and your estate) have important and valuable legal rights.

It is a common tactic of fraudulent trustees not to advise embers of these rights or to attempt to deny these rights.

The Beneficiary Principle

“It is a necessary part of any trust that there is a beneficiary capable of enforcing the trustees’ performance of their duties under the trust.” 

Bowman v Secular Society Ltd [1917] AC 406,  441 per Lord Parker.

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