Colonial MySuper class action

Maurice Blackburn has filed a class action against Colonial First State Investments Limited, the trustee of the Colonial First State FirstChoice Superannuation Trust, and its former executive director, Linda Elkins, in relation to alleged contraventions of its statutory obligations under superannuation law in the period of 2013 to 2017. 

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Case updates

This class action was filed on 17 October 2019.

Key dates

Registration is now open.

Am I eligible to join the Colonial MySuper class action?

You can register for the Colonial MySuper class action if:

  • You were a member of Colonial First State FirstChoice Superannuation Trust and you had an accrued default amount attributable to a FirstChoice Employer Super product that was transferred by Colonial to a MySuper Product on or about 12 November 2016 or 24 May 2017, or
  • You received payment from a deceased FirstChoice Employer Super product member that was transferred by Colonial to a MySuper Product on or about 12 November 2016 or 24 May 2017, or
  • You were a spouse of a person who was a FirstChoice Employer Super product member and you received a transfer of the member’s interest pursuant to an order or settlement in a Family Law Act or a superannuation agreement that was transferred by Colonial to a MySuper Product on or about 12 November 2016 or 24 May 2017, and
  • You suffered loss or damage as a result of the alleged conduct.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible, or having difficulties in completing the registration form, please contact us at ColonialMySuper@mauriceblackburn.com.au or on 1800 517 371. 

About the Colonial MySuper class action

We allege that Colonial and its former executive director, Linda Elkins, failed to meet their statutory obligations in the management of superannuation assets held on trust on behalf of beneficiaries, and in the beneficiaries’ best interest.

This includes failing to:

  • exercise the degree of care, skill and diligence required of a prudent superannuation trustee
  • perform their duties and exercise their power in the best interest of beneficiaries, and
  • give priority to the interests of beneficiaries where a conflict of interest arose.

The class action alleges that Colonial failed to transition $3.2 billion of accrued default amounts (ADAs) of members within the FirstChoice Fund’s Employer Super division in a way that was both timely and in the best interests of those members. This resulted in those members paying higher fees and receiving a lower investment return for an extended period of time.

What are MySuper accounts?

The “Stronger Super” reforms, including legislation providing for default superannuation products called 'MySuper', came into effect in 2012. The legislation demanded that from 1 January 2014, default contributions were required by law to be allocated to a MySuper product (except where the member has given an investment direction). The purpose of this legislation was to provide simple and cost-effective default superannuation products for Australian workers who are often overwhelmed with the number of available superannuation options. 

The MySuper products were designed as no-frills superannuation products without unnecessary features and fees. Members effectively delegate all decisions to the trustees of the fund, who are tasked with providing a higher level of care for the products on behalf of those members.

Although the statutory deadline for the transfer of ADAs to MySuper was 1 July 2017, Commissioner Hayne in the Financial Services Royal Commission stated that trustees for superannuation funds were legally obliged to act in the best interests of their members, which meant not unnecessarily delaying the transfer of ADAs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Maurice Blackburn is Australia’s leading class action law firm.  We have achieved the nation’s largest class actions recoveries, collectively having recovered over $2.6 billion in compensation for victims of wrongdoing.

Signing up to the Colonial MySuper Class Action will not expose you to any out of pocket costs. All costs in the proceeding will be borne by Maurice Blackburn unless and until there is a successful outcome. In the event of a successful outcome, any costs payable by Maurice Blackburn will be deducted from, and will not exceed, any compensation that you are entitled to receive.  All such costs are required to be considered and approved by the Court.

No funding commission will be payable to a litigation funder as there is no litigation funder involved in the Colonial MySuper Class Action.

Nothing.

As a member of the class (and not the class representative, in whose name the case has been brought), an adverse costs order may not be made directly against you in respect of the determination of the common issues in the class action.  Unless and until there is a successful outcome, all costs will be borne by Maurice Blackburn.

Where seven or more people have claims that arise out of similar circumstances, a class action can be brought by one claimant on their own behalf and as a representative of others.

The class action process saves time and expense by avoiding the need for the courts to determine common issues of fact or law more than once. Class actions are efficient, enabling disputes and claims involving large numbers of people to be resolved via a single case.

An accrued default amount is the balance of a member’s account where an investment choice has not been exercised by the member, or if it is held in a default investment option of the fund.

A member may have had an accrued default amount if they did not tell or direct their super fund how they want their super invested.

Colonial First State Investments Limited (Colonial) is one of two registrable superannuation entity licensees within the Commonwealth Bank of Australia Group. It is the trustee of two public offer superannuation funds: the Colonial First Choice Superannuation Trust (FirstChoice Fund), and Commonwealth Essential Super.  The product issued by Commonwealth Essential Super is known as Essential Super. This case is only concerned with the FirstChoice Fund and is not on behalf of Essential Super members.

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Lawyer,

"I am driven to tip the scale to give everyday Australians more of a chance to achieve a fair outcome.”

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