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How have members been ripped off?

A third of Australian adults are members of these bank-owned superannuation funds and have been subject to shoddy practices.

Charging exorbitantly high fees.

At $1,600 per year, the average Australian household spends more on superannuation fees than their electricity bills, so we reckon you have a right to be refunded if you've been overcharged.

Mishandling superannuation contributions.

The royal commission found many big bank-owned funds were boosting their revenues by paying members invested in supposedly low-risk 'cash' options interest rates that were as little as one-quarter of actual market rates.

Charging for services never requested.

Some bank-owned funds have even been charging members for services they didn't want or request, as well as selling unnecessary insurance products.

Latest news

Keep up-to-date with the latest news coverage of our class actions and legal wins.

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How will Slater and Gordon get my money back from the banks?

We have commenced a wave of class actions against the big bank-owned super funds we think may be liable for misconduct. Millions of Australians will potentially be eligible to join these class actions and get their money back.

Some class actions will focus on excessive fees and look to claw back the difference between the fees charged and what a fund acting in the best interests of members would have charged. Others will look at 'super cash rip-offs' where fund members have received uncompetitive interest rates on their cash investments.

Our first class action has already been filed against the Commonwealth Bank and its Colonial First State superannuation fund. We allege that Colonial First State failed to secure the most competitive interest rate available for its members when it invested the cash component of their super with its parent company, the Commonwealth Bank. This claim could exceed $100 million and reimburse hundreds of thousands of wronged superannuation members.

What is a ‘super cash rip-off’?

When you hand over your wages to a superannuation fund, there are many different ways that they can invest it. The safest and most conservative approach is cash. With a cash investment, your money is not riskily invested in the market; it's just invested in a bank account where it collects interest.

When your super fund invests your money in cash, it doesn't have to do anything. It just takes your money and puts it in a bank. If your super fund is owned by a big bank, they will usually put your money into that parent bank. However, the fund has a legal duty to get you the best possible interest rate.

What funds like Colonial First State have been doing is dumping super with a parent bank, such as the Commonwealth Bank, despite it not offering the best returns for members. The interest rate from the parent bank has in some cases been as low as 1.25% per year.

This rate is ludicrously low. Standard bank interest rates should be around 2.0 to 2.5 per cent. That's what most banks offer to customers for term deposits. We are determined to hold bank-owned super funds to account for failing to obtain the best possible interest rate for cash investments - instead, opting for the one on offer from a parent bank and boosting their own revenues with trail commissions.

Frequently asked questions

Slater and Gordon are bringing class actions against big bank-owned superannuation funds. In 2018, the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry revealed many instances of misconduct by these bank-owned funds. Our class action proceedings will tackle as much of this misconduct as possible.

Our first focus will be the Commonwealth Bank-owned superannuation fund, Colonial First State and AMP Super. We will allege these super funds failed to obtain a competitive cash interest rate and charged exorbitant fees for services, affecting millions of members who held part or all of their superannuation in these bank-owned funds.

The Get Your Super Back campaign will aim to claw back money we allege has been stripped by the big banks from the retirement savings of ordinary Australians. We expect that around one third of the adult population may be eligible to join the class actions.

Slater and Gordon are bringing class actions against big bank-owned superannuation funds. In 2018, the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry revealed many instances of misconduct by these bank-owned funds. Our class action proceedings will tackle as much of this misconduct as possible.

Our first focus will be the Commonwealth Bank-owned superannuation fund, Colonial First State and AMP Super. We will allege these super funds failed to obtain a competitive cash interest rate and charged exorbitant fees for services, affecting millions of members who held part or all of their superannuation in these bank-owned funds.

The Get Your Super Back campaign will aim to claw back money we allege was stripped by the big banks from the retirement savings of ordinary Australians. We expect that around one third of the adult population may be eligible to join the class actions.

Slater and Gordon will act on behalf of the affected members of these bank-owned super funds. We have a nearly 90 year history of holding those to account who do the wrong thing by Australians and we don’t shy away from a fight.

We’ve made our name by taking on hard cases and pursuing them relentlessly to help achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients. Our firm ran some of the earliest class actions in Australia and has made history by achieving landmark settlements and judgments for groups affected by issues such as environmental contamination, defective medical products and financial misconduct.

Many of our cases have achieved a lasting legacy by improving corporate and governmental conduct, which in turn helps prevent harms and losses happening to others in the future.

In the registration process, you will need to nominate a fund(s) that you belong to or once belonged to. We will carefully assess the viability of bringing each case against the super funds owned by the big banks.

If we decide to commence a class action against your nominated fund(s), we will get in touch with you closer to the time and provide you with more information, then invite you to join the class action.

We will keep you up-to-date about new developments and progress in the Get Your Super Back campaign.

The value of your claim will depend on which super fund you are with, and what allegations Slater and Gordon may bring against them.

For example, if your super is with Colonial First State (CFS), our firm will allege that CFS failed to obtain a competitive cash interest rate. The value we will claim will be the difference between your returns on cash, and the returns you would have received if CFS had done its job properly and obtained the best available interest rate.

If your super is with AMP, our firm will allege that AMP charged members exorbitant administration fees. In this instance, the value we will claim will be the difference between the fees you paid, and the fees you would have paid if AMP had done its job properly and obtained the lowest possible administration fees.

In some instances, the banks may have only wrongly taken a little bit from their members. But we still think this money belongs in your pocket, not theirs. That’s why it’s our mission to Get Your Super Back.

As long as you were affected by the misconduct alleged in the six years prior to the class action being launched, you can be included in any class action against that super fund - even if you have moved to a new super fund or accessed your superannuation upon retirement.

The most likely structure of our litigation will be separate class actions against each super fund. If class actions are launched against more than one of your super funds, you can become a member of multiple class actions.

Nothing. We are working with litigation funding companies to provide financial support for these cases. These companies cover the costs of legal action - including the cost risks of an unsuccessful action. They do this in exchange for a share of any monies recovered.

Under these arrangements, you won't have to pay anything out of pocket as payment is only made from the proceeds of the litigation. Additionally, all such costs in class actions must first be approved by the court.

Again, if we decide to commence a class action against your particular super fund, we will get in touch with you closer to the time and provide you with more information about how that claim relates to you before we invite you to join the class action.

The time taken for the legal proceedings will depend on which class actions are brought against which super funds. The time taken for litigation also depends upon the tactics adopted by the bank-owned super funds and how far the matter needs to be escalated before it is concluded.

As a general guide, we expect that the legal proceedings could take between six months and three years.

Your personal information will only be used for the purposes of the legal proceedings as required by the Court, or by law. In all other cases, we will seek your consent before disclosing any of your personal information. We will not disclose any personal information to third parties, including other clients.

Initially, we will only require you to provide the information requested in the registration process. If we decide to commence an action against your fund, we may get in touch with you to request further information.

You may be required to provide details of your investment in some instances, but you will not be required to devote your time or resources to the proceedings. For example, you will not be required to attend court or meet with a lawyer.

You can still register your interest in relation to the Get Back Your Super Campaign but we will not be providing you with advice about your disability entitlements as part of the registration process.

If you need legal advice about your entitlement to a disability benefit under your super fund, please visit our superannuation and disability insurance claims page or call 1800 444 141 to speak to one of our team.

All you need to do is register your interest using the form below. At this stage, you have not joined a class action, you have only registered your interest. If we decide to commence an action against your fund, we will get in touch with you closer to the time and invite you to join the class action.

Register your interest

Complete the form below to register your interest:

a 'cash-only' fund is a fund which invests 100% in either cash or deposits.
Please ensure you use a valid email address and check that no additional spaces have been added.

Thanks for registering your interest, we'll keep you updated regarding new developments and progress in the Get Your Super Back campaign.

We're here to help. Make an enquiry now.

If you have a question, want some more information or would just like to speak to someone, make an enquiry now and our Class Actions team will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Call us on 1800 444 141