QSuper member drags board to court, loses

A member dragged the $113 billion QSuper's board to court over treatment of an insurance claim but had the appeal thrown out.

Queensland resident Daniel Chapman went to the Federal Court wanting QSuper to pay him a greater interest on a delayed TPD benefit -- an appeal that had already been thrown out by the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal.

Chapman alleged that the SCT's decision to uphold QSuper trustees' decision on his total permanent disability (TPD) benefit interest involved "errors of law".

In the judgment handed down yesterday, the court dismissed Chapman's appeal and asked him to pay QSuper's costs, which was represented by Mills Oakley Lawyers.

QSuper initially rejected the TPD claim altogether

Chapman lodged an application for TPD benefit around 17 July 2010 while he was a member of the Queensland Police Service. He resigned in December that year.

He claimed to be suffering from major depression and was supported with a report from a psychiatrist.

The QSuper trustee in August 2011 said Chapman was not totally and permanently disabled.

When Chapman appealed to the trustee to review its decision, he was asked to attend a psychiatrist test but declined saying that the trustee wasn't acting in good faith. And so the trustee reaffirmed its decision in December 2011.

In its reasons for declining the application, the QSuper trustee noted that Chapman's leaving the police force came after he sought a review of a decision from the Crime and Misconduct Commission which charged him with allegedly assaulting and injuring a youth.

"QCAT made a declaration that if he had not resigned, he would have been dismissed. The relevance of this history to the Tribunal's decision was that QCAT found that the applicant's evidence lacked candour, consistently with a psychiatric report which also noted a lack of candour about his compliance with prescribed anti-depressant medication," the court documents said.

SCT reversed QSuper's initial decision

Chapman took the QSuper trustee's decision to the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT) in July 2013.

The QSuper trustee reconsidered its decision (after receiving a report from the psychiatrist and while the case was adjourned in SCT) and in December, 2013 agreed to pay a TPD benefit from the date of Chapman's unemployment, January 2011.

However, Chapman wasn't satisfied and lodged a complaint with SCT again in May 2016 (the reason for the three-year delay is not explained in court documents).

He said QSuper trustees' decision was unfair because interest on the amount payable to him should have run from 3 December 2010. He also wanted the QSuper trustee to pay him $414,710 to make up for the delay in paying the TPD benefit during which he said, he lost his home and motor vehicle and copped significant financial losses.

However, the Tribunal was not impressed and said that QSuper trustee had been fair and reasonable.

It affirmed a decision for QSuper trustee to pay interest on the benefit calculated from 16 September 2013, which amounted to just over $5400 ($5414.91).

Read more: QSuperSuperannuation Complaints TribunalDaniel Chapman
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