Questions on Notice for the Fund Secretary

The Fund Secretary with others has recently been providing “information” sessions for Members of the Division 2 final salary Defined Benefit Fund still in the service of the Principal Employer.

Here are some “Questions on Notice” for the Fund Secretary.

Q1 – Why was the focus on “Understanding your Benefit Statement“, when bogus “Benefit Statements” featured in the recent Trio Capital Fraud. Should not the focus have been on “Understanding the Trust Deed and Governing Rules of the Fund“? The Trust Deed and Governing Rules are the legal foundation of the Fund and of Members’ entitlements.

Q2 – Why did the Fund Secretary use the terminology of “leaving Foster’s“, when different Rules apply depending on age and whether the Member resigns or is retrenched?

Q3 – Why was the Pension Option – Rule 2.3.7 not mentioned when the Trustee recently approved a massive 2000% increase in pension payments?

Q4 – Why did the Fund Secretary admit that the Trustee accepts “salary” information from the Employer on a “No questions asked basis“? Why doesn’t the Trustee provide Members with Reconciliation Statements that reconcile the amounts reported to the Australian Tax Office on the Member’s Payment Summary (Group Certificates) with the amounts used for “final average salary” which then show lawful deductions allowed by the Governing Rules?

Q5 – Why does the Fund Secretary claim that Members and Beneficiaries can only “Inspect” a copy of the Trust Deed and Governing Rules, when they are legally entitled to copies so that they might seek their own legal and financial advice?

Q6 – Why does the Fund Secretary want Members of obtain “advice” from related parties such as Plum Financial Services Limited and not seek their own independent legal and financial advice? Plum is engaged as an agent of the Trustee and is not a source of “independent” advice.

Q7 – Would not the Fund Secretary recommend that Members contact Australian Guardians as a source of “independent” advice? Australian Guardians now has copies of the Trust Deed and Governing Rules after a four and a half year battle that involved taking the former Chairman of ASIC before the Federal Court of Australia.

Q8 – Why has the Trustee lost records of some Members voluntary “Salary Sacrifice” Contributions into the “Top-up” accumulation Fund?

Q9 – Why does the Fund Secretary refuse to provide Fund Information as required by subsection 1017C(2) of the Corporations Act 2001 as to what happened to several hundred thousands of dollars in contributions made since 1993 as part of “salary packaging” arrangements for each Member? These contributions that appear in the Employers accounting system were not placed into the common asset pool of the Defined Benefit Fund, since in 1993 this Fund had a large surplus and the Employer enjoyed an extended “Contribution Holiday” until 2004, when an Employer contribution $ 10 Million was recommended by the Fund’s Actuary. So what happened to these additional “top-up” contributions calculated at 18% of salary?

Q10 – Why does the Fund Secretary refuse to provide copies of prescribed Fund Documents when it is a criminal offence to contravene subsection 1017C(5) of the Corporations Act 2001 and then only provides copies when forced by the Regulators APRA or ASIC to do so?

Q11 – Does the Fund Secretary believe that she is deserving of a two year term of imprisonment for deliberately and dishonestly concealing Fund Documents that confirm most members have been defrauded out of $100,000s after decades of loyal service to their Employer?

Q12 – Can the Fund Secretary explain to Members why if the Trustee is acting in their best interests, the Trustee has not commenced legal action to recover the $150 million unlawfully stripped from the assets of the Fund by the previous Trustee FBG Superannuation Limited in Breach of Trust?. This unlawful asset stripping continued after the introduction of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 that required Members to be informed of transfers of moneys out of the Fund other to pay benefits and legitimate general administration expenses. If the $150 million had been re-invested the assets of the Defined Benefit Fund would now be around $0.5 Billion instead of the $50 million remaining. Not only would Members receive their lawful entitlements there would have been additional fund available to increase benefit entitlements.

Q12 – Can the Fund Secretary provide Members with a copy of the “Direction” for the Supreme Court of Victoria that allows the Trustee to deviate from the Trust Deed and Governing Rules of the Fund?

Q13 – Will the Fund Secretary confirm that the Trustee will seek a “true construction” of the Trust Instrument from the Supreme Court of Victoria so that there is no debate about the interpretation of the Trust Deed and Rules and so that other parties such as the Fund Administrator are protected from any accessorial liability?

Australian Guardians recommends that the Fund Secretary schedule additional information sessions to answer these questions, not only with Members who are still in the service of the Principal or associated Employer, but also for Members who had their Membership of the Division 2 final salary Defined Benefit Fund unlawfully terminated by the incumbent and former corporate Trustee in Breach of Trust and therefore still have the legal entitlements of Membership, until such time as a valid Condition of Release event occurs.

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