In July this year, the NSW Supreme Court (Court) upheld a claim that the actions of the trustee of the Commonwealth Bank Officers' Fund were void. In particular, the Court held that the deletion of a discretionary power to pay an increased benefit was invalid, not in members' best interests and breached the SIS restriction against adverse alterations to accrued benefits. In addition, the Court held that the plaintiff's employer, the Commonwealth Bank, should be estopped from relying on the express terms of his employment contract which otherwise enabled it to terminate his employment on the giving of notice alone. Instead, the Court held that the plaintiff, Mr Beck, was "entitled to relief (from the Bank) on the basis that he was entitled to a pension at age 55". Despite these findings, the Court did not make any orders for final relief. Instead, the Court directed that there be a supplementary hearing.
On 28 September 2015, after a supplementary hearing, the Court:
Certain further orders were made by the Court. However, these were stayed pending the expiry of the period for lodging of an appeal (ie, 19 October 2015). Given the stay, it is possible the Bank will appeal the decision, or at least some parts of it.
See Beck v Colonial Staff Super Pty Ltd & Ors (No.2)  NSWSC 1360 (28 September 2015). (Link is to NSW Caselaw)
To see my previous blog on the original decision, click here.
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