A retired grandad has revealed he’s being sued by his own super fund after they mistakenly overpaid him $50,000 without his knowledge – forcing him to return to work to pay off the mounting legal fees.
Andrew Rizzo, 63, worked as a Qantas baggage handler for 17 years before retiring and taking out his $250,000 super in 2012. He then used it to pay off his mortgage.
However, around three years later he was notified by Qantas Super that there had been a major error and he had accidentally been overpaid for years. Now, appearing on Channel 9’s A Current Affair, the distraught grandfather has revealed he’s having to take the matter to court to fight being forced to pay the huge sum of money back.
“I’ve done nothing and they treat me like a criminal,” he said on the show. “They are bullying me because they are a big corporation and I can’t even afford to defend myself, to defend myself I need money.”
Andrew told the show he has had to return to work as a tradie as he has already been forced to pay thousands of dollars worth of legal fees. Should it go on to trial, he said he could even face losing his home.
“Why don’t they look inside their office and see what happened and find the person that did the mistake?” he added. “I know there is justice somewhere, there must be justice.”
Speaking to the Herald Sun about the nightmare, Andrew added: “They’re making my life miserable, but I’ve done nothing wrong – this is their mistake.”
The news outlet reports he was first contacted by the super fund on September 25, 2014, and told he had been overpaid $49,390 – all of which he must pay back.
His lawyer, James Naughton, from Gordon Legal, appeared on the show and claimed, having seen the super statements, it would have taken an “expert” to realise what had happened.
“It’s quite unusual for a superannuation fund to issue proceedings against a former member,” he added. “It’s quite a heavy-handed approach.”
Qantas Super told A Current Affair they “sincerely apologise” for the error and claimed they had attempted to contact Andrew several times, but he had been “unwilling” to discuss settlement options. Despite admitting the error however, they reportedly insisted they have an obligation to chase up overpayments.