With the support of their union, the AEU, a member took on the Retirement Benefit Fund (RBF) to claim funds they were entitled to and won. Here’s a letter they wrote about what the support of the AEU meant to them:
I went into RBF this morning to sign the paperwork for the updated pension offer which included the two things we were asking for.
I want to thank you and the team of people at the AEU for taking this on board and helping me fight a large business to get what I was entitled to.
At the beginning of my teaching career I (we) were told that being part of a union meant someone had your back with your employer. The union has fought for improvements to teacher conditions and salary of which I have had the benefit. However, I am thankful and grateful that they decided to fight my personal issue against RBF. I wouldn’t have been able to get anywhere without the force of union lawyers dealing with the RBF.
It is great that the little person (or persons as I am sure it will be) has received what they have always been entitled to.
How it happened
A long-term AEU member and active former rep, recently retired, had purchased non-contributory service in 1995 on the understanding that if they did, they would be buying back years of service, meaning their superannuation accrual start date would be from the beginning of their studentship.
However, RBF did not honour the agreement as understood by the member, leaving them significantly disadvantaged.
The AEU lobbied and corresponded with RBF over a lengthy period of time, putting a strong case that the four studentship years this member bought back should have contributed towards their superannuation entitlements.
We won! The RBF corrected the error, giving the member access to the benefit she was entitled to.
This case sets a precedent for other studentship holders and the RBF are inviting AEU members to email firstname.lastname@example.org if they have any issues with RBF and say they will investigate individual cases.
If you have any concerns or issues after contacting RBF, please contact an AEU member advisor on email@example.com or call (03) 6234 9500 or 1800 001 313.