I recently posted about some harsh lessons I learned to my cost about dealing with the regulatory authority, Comsuper, and payment of my invalidity pension. Things are still yet to be resolved with matters now reaching the simply ludicrous.
I am on invalidity paid through a superannuation fund under its early exit arrangements. I did not want to go onto invalidity. I was forced, kicking and screaming out of employment and left to my own devices, denied access to rental and housing assistance, healthcare concessions and more. I have consistently been conscientious in ensuring Comsuper have been advised promptly about any changes in my circumstances. That respect has not been repaid in kind. The chronic inefficiency of this department is simply staggering. Emails and faxes are not only just lost, they see fit to deny receiving them at all even if I can prove that they did. Even the front-line inquiry people do not have access to the correct information. I was repeatedly told that their record of payments was different to what I was saying I had received. I was told I was wrong even though I was directly quoting my bank statement. It turned out that these inquiry staff do not have access to the appropriate system which lists the correct information. Have you ever heard anything so ridiculous?
Today’s developments include nonsense such as assurances that I have been sent email confirmation of various things which I most certainly have not received. The best one however is as follows.
From the outset I was advised that I have a generous earnings allowance of monies I am allowed to receive in excess of my pension before my pension is affected. I was in part-time paid employment from May 31st to October 20th this year. My total earnings were well short of this limit. Comsuper staff first of all claimed to know nothing about being allowed to earn any monies whatsoever in addition to this invalidity. Then the story changed – that while I am allowed to earn some extra money, this does not apply if that money is earned in paid employment. Comsuper staff then denied all knowledge of any materials being sent to me that stated what this earnings limit is.
Guess what I found a copy of – a letter from Comsuper dated September 1st, 2010, confirming the exact amount that I may earn, before my pension is affected. And guess who signed this letter? The same officer now denying I am allowed to earn these monies!
How’s that for a staggering load of crap.
I am owed what is to me, a lot of money. I have been offered restitution of $400! Now I can appeal their decision to a Superannuation Tribunal however I am not allowed to even lodge that application until 60 days after Comcare have provided a formal response to the matter. I have already been advised that this will not be provided to me this week. I leave for interstate this weekend. At least I am supposed to be – provided I can find the money somewhere to pay for the tickets, seeing as Comsuper have so far failed to make good on paying me monies that are clearly owed. I do not return to Canberra until late January. I have been assured that details of the calculations regarding the back-pay have already been supplied to me when I am yet to see them. I am unable to anything meaningful about the matter for literally months!
Bear in mind, I am not talking about trying to get paid damages or some other sort of compensation. I am just trying to get paid my pension! Of course if I take things to the civil courts rather than the Tribunal, I can seek more than just the monies owed but costs and even potentially damages. But all I want is simply what I am owed in my pension, nothing more.
I think I would be justified in refusing to inform Comsuper of any future changes to my financial situation where that may to be my detriment.
Clearly Comsuper cannot be trusted to act accurately or even honestly.
This is my rant, but on this occasion it ain’t finished yet.