Superannuation (Portability) Act 1989

VCAT can review certain decisions of administrators of statutory superannuation schemes under the Superannuation (Portability) Act 1989.

This page provides general information and should not be considered as legal advice. Seek legal advice if you are unsure about your legal rights. Be aware that the law can change.

The Superannuation (Portability) Act 1989 sets out a system for portability of superannuation within the public sector, and is principally concerned with deferred retirement benefits. Section 5 of the Act sets out the ways in which a person may be entitled to a deferred retirement benefit.

Cases we can hear

Any dispute relating to benefit entitlements under the Act must be determined in the first place by the administrators of the relevant statutory superannuation scheme.

If you are a person whose interests are affected by a decision of the administrators, you may be able to apply to VCAT for a review of the administrators’ decision.

A dispute means any dispute:

  • as to the amount of any benefit payable in accordance with the Act
  • where the administrators or a person entitled to a benefit consider that the benefit paid or payable is inappropriate having regard to the governing instrument of the scheme.

Cases we can't help with

We can’t accept:

  • some cases where one party lives in another state or is a Commonwealth government organisation
  • cases heard under federal law instead of Victorian law.

Legislation that gives VCAT the power to hear these applications

Section 10 of the Superannuation (Portability) Act 1989

Documents you need to include with your application

If you have a decision document, use it to help you complete the VCAT application form and attach a copy of the document to your application.

Time limits

You must make your application within 28 days of either:

  • the decision being made
  • if you have a decision documentrequested a statement of reasons under the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act, the date the statement of reasons was given to you or you were informed that a statement of reasons will not be given.

You may be able to apply for an extension to this time limit.

What can VCAT order?

Unless the relevant Act of Parliament gives us different powers, VCAT can:

  • affirm the original decision, in which case the original decision will stand
  • vary the decision
  • set aside the decision and substitute our own decision
  • set aside the decision and send back the matter for reconsideration by the decision maker giving directions or recommendations
  • invite the decision maker to reconsider their decision at any time during the case.


We can explain the application process and what the form is asking you for. Contact us to get support.

We cannot give you legal advice. This means we cannot tell you what to write in your application or recommend how to get the outcome you want.

Seek legal help if you are unsure about your options or need advice about your claim.

Make an application

You may have to pay a fee to apply to VCAT to review a decision. Learn more about fees or apply for fee relief.

Print-friendly application form

Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?

You do not need to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT. If you wish to be represented by a lawyer or a professional advocate, usually you must ask for VCAT's permission. Be aware that the regulatory body in most cases uses legal representation.

Find legal services that may be able to assist you.

Access and privacy

VCAT hearings and files are usually public.

VCAT has limited authority to restrict who can access cases and files but, in certain circumstances, you can apply for confidentiality.