Time to transfer
On 1 September 2015 Scott applied to join the Nesty Kiwisaver Scheme (he Nesty scheme). Scott had spoken with the Nesty scheme over the phone and was satisfied that it was the right scheme for him. Scott had been working in Australia and was now coming back to New Zealand and wanted to consolidate his Australian superannuation with his existing Kiwisaver savings. The Nesty scheme would let him do that.
To transfer his Australian superannuation and open a new account Scott had to arrange for a lot of paperwork to be completed. Scott had to make certified copies, swear declarations and provide evidence of his old and new addresses, which took several trips to a Justice of the Peace, Police Station and many calls to his Australian superfund and to the Nesty scheme.
Scott submitted his Kiwisaver application form to the Nesty scheme by post on 1 September.
On 14 September the Nesty scheme emailed Scott advising that as of September 12 the Nesty scheme was closed to new members and his account could not be opened. Scott was shocked as at no point during his discussions about transfer was the possibility of the fund closing mentioned to him.
The Nesty scheme recommended that Scott apply to another scheme that could accept his Australian superannuation; however Scott had to repeat all the paperwork and application process for his new scheme. Scott felt he had been unnecessarily inconvenienced by the Nesty scheme and should have been told they were closing before he applied. Scott had to replicate all the documents he had gathered at short notice before he left Australia and re-apply to another scheme.
Scott complained to FSCL.
The Nesty scheme told us that the decision to close the scheme had not been made when Scott first called and that it could not make it public that it was considering closure until the decision had been finalised. The Nesty scheme explained that the decision progressed rapidly and once the decision was made to close the scheme, the Nesty scheme immediately stopped accepting new applications including Scott’s. The Nesty scheme was sorry for Scott’s experience but reiterated it could not disclose it was planning to close the scheme until the decision had been confirmed and an alternative scheme had been confirmed to which to transfer its existing members.
The Nesty scheme was confident its decision to not accept any new scheme members after it had decided to close prevented disruption to as many potential applicants as possible.
We discussed the circumstances with Scott. Scott accepted the reasons for not accepting his application but wanted some compensation for the inconvenience of having to re-apply to another Kiwisaver scheme.
We discussed with the Nesty scheme the inconvenience Scott had suffered and with our help, the Nesty scheme and Scott settled the complaint confidentially with the Nesty scheme paying Scott some compensation for inconvenience.
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