The Super Hero

Today I want to introduce you to Mia, who this week became a quiet hero to hundreds of thousands of Aussies around the country … without them even knowing it.

Mia is a single mother of two kids.

Recently she read my book, and got up to the part where I encourage readers to check their super fees by reading the fund’s PDS (Product Disclosure Statement), and their super statements.

So that’s exactly what she did.

When she checked her MLC (a division of NAB) Masterkey Personal super statement, she noticed she was being charged a $20 monthly ‘Plan Service Fee’ … and had been since way back in 2012.

So she called up MLC, and was told that the fee related to an accounting firm … that she’d never heard of.

“I have very little in super, I’m a migrant and a single mum. I have never, ever seen an advisor or got any financial advice”, she told the MLC rep. A polite brush-off was all she received.

But Mia persisted.

(After all, twenty bucks may well be peanuts to the NAB, but it’s a lot to a single parent with a tiny balance.)

Yet, after multiple phone calls, MLC basically told Mia not to call again: there was nothing she could do.

But Mia persisted.

She spent hours reading through super legalese, and commented (in an email to me) that she found much of it eye-popping, and painstaking: “I can’t tell you the number of times I dozed off trying to read and understand some parts of the PDS and that fine print. It took me weeks, but at the end it was worth it!”

That’s because MLC finally admitted that the plan service fee was a mistake. And they not only offered to pay her back, but as a ‘goodwill gesture’ offered her an additional $400.

But Mia persisted.

“I thought, are you kidding me … a ‘goodwill gesture’?’”

So she lodged a complaint with the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal.

And after months of back and forth, guess what the result was?

Last week MLC was ordered to repay a whopping $67 million to 305,000 members for dodgy ‘plan service fees’!

There’s another word for ‘fees for no service’ ‒ it’s called theft.

Yet for some reason the law draws a distinction between being robbed with a pen and being robbed with a gun.

Now, I’m sure that she wasn’t the only person who complained. Still, Mia is a hero. She persisted, stared down an arrogant bank, and won ‒ not only for herself but for 304,999 other customers who all deserved better.

Tread Your Own Path!