The Legal obligations of superannuation fund trustees: the VBN v APRA litigation

Shauna Ferris, Peter Gillies

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Abstract

The Administrative Appeal Tribunal’s decision in VBN v Australian Prudential Regulation Authority focused on decisions made by the corporate trustee of the AXA Australia Staff Superannuation Plan and by extension its directors. The AAT set aside disqualification orders made by APRA against seven of these directors pursuant to the Superannuation Industry Supervision Act 1993 (Cth). This decision is of value in its consideration of the extent to which superannuation (and other) trustees – and in turn those who may be made liable for its conduct – can be held legally accountable for (frequently difficult) decisions made in the management of a fund’s affairs. Issues considered include non-disclosure of relevant information to members, lack of due care and skill, and partial decision-making as between classes of members. The decision also considers in some detail the principles to be observed by an appellate tribunal or court in conducting a merits review of a trustee’s exercise of discretion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-244
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of banking and finance law and practice
Volume21
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • superannuation
  • trustees
  • Australia
  • legal obligations
  • VBN v APRA case

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