Group Privacy Policy

Introduction

At ARA Consultants Limited (‘ARA’) we are committed to ensuring the confidentiality and security of your personal information.  We are bound by the Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Privacy Principles (‘APPs’) regulated by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) to guide us in our responsible handling of personal information.

This policy applies to ARA Consultants Limited as an Australian Financial Services and Australian Credit Licensee. It applies to personal information collected from ARA’s clients for the purposes of the provision of investment, financial and superannuation advice and services

The purpose of this document is to outline the Privacy Policy of ARA and explain how it will affect our clients.  The information in this document has been prepared to outline to our clients how personal information will be used and protected.

What is Personal information and why do we collect it?

The Privacy Act and APPs apply to the collection, use and disclosure of an individual’s personal information by private sector organizations.

Under the Privacy Act, personal information is broadly defined.  However in simple terms it means any information related to an individual which is held in a record by an organization such as ARA.

ARA may obtain personal information in order to provide you with our services or manage our relationship with you. 

If you acquire a service from ARA, we may ask you to provide certain details including for example, your full name and contact information, your date of birth, your Tax File Number (TFN) and details concerning your financial status.  This information may be obtained from you verbally or through application forms for our products and financial questionnaires.  In addition we will use that personal information to provide you with further information about our products and services unless you advise that you do not wish to be provided with that information.

Generally we will not need to collect personal information that is classified as sensitive information (i.e. health information, and information about personal attributes such as, ethnic or racial origin, membership of organizations such as trade unions or religious or political affiliations).  However, in circumstances where you are applying for certain life and life risk insurances, such as life insurance, Income protection or trauma insurance, we will need to collect health and lifestyle information from you in order to satisfy the insurance underwriting process.

Unless an exception applies, we will obtain your consent before we collect any sensitive information. 

There may be instances where we need to collect personal information about individuals who are not clients of ARA (e.g. business contact details of a company representative with whom we deal).

How do we collect and hold personal information?

When you become a client of ARA, you may complete application forms to join The ARA Investment Fund or The ARA Retirement Fund, a Sub Plan of The Aracon Superannuation Fund, or to receive financial advice from ARA Consultants Limited. In these forms there are personal details that we must collect from you in order to meet our legal obligations in providing the financial services to you. We may also obtain this information verbally from you during the course of a consultation with one of our financial advisers.

Prior to us providing you with a service that is designated under the Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Act 2006, we will also request you provide us with a form of acceptable photographic identification. As with other personal information we collect in order to provide our service, this too will be treated as personal information and stored in the same manner.

Using your Personal Information

ARA’s policy is to use personal information for the main business purpose for which it was collected.

Your personal information collected by ARA may be used in order to:

  • Provide you with our services or with other information that you have requested be provided to you;
  • Notify you about ARA’s services or promotions from time to time; or
  • Manage our relationship with you.

Disclosure of personal information to other parties

Whilst our policy is to maintain the confidentiality of all personal information held by us, it may be necessary to disclose your personal information in the following circumstances:

  • Where we are by law required to disclose information to law enforcement agencies, government agencies, the courts or external advisers.
  • To third parties in relation to the supply of any of our services or products, where those third parties have a statutory role in the issue of those services or products.
  • To third parties in cases where ARA contracts out specialised functions, e.g. organisations providing administration services, mailing services, maintaining our technology systems, printing our documents and correspondence etc.

We will endeavour to ensure that any organisation to whom we disclose your personal information has appropriate privacy protocols in place.

ARA does not sell or rent personal information to, or trade personal information with, third parties.

For the purposes of offering our retirement and investment services, we must disclose your personal information to the external trustee and administrator of The ARA Retirement Fund, a Sub Plan of The Aracon Superannuation Fund, and the external Responsible Entity and administrator of The ARA Investment Fund. They are not permitted to use this information for any other purpose than is permitted by the applicable superannuation, corporations, financial sector and taxation laws.

Consequences if we do not collect the personal information

You are entitled not to provide your personal information to us, however in most cases this will preclude ARA from providing you with financial advice or services as we are obliged by law not to provide these services without identifying who you are or knowing your particular circumstances.

Collection of Tax File Numbers (TFNs)

Under the TFN Guidelines an individual’s TFN can only be used for the purposes of facilitating the effective administration of taxation law, certain aspects of personal assistance and superannuation law and not to assist in the identification of individuals for other purposes.

An individual is not legally obliged to quote their Tax File Number, however there may be financial consequences for an individual who chooses not to quote their TFN. If we request that you provide your TFN we will do it only in accordance with the authority of relevant legislation such as the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act) and for the purposes authorized by the relevant act such as the SIS Act.

Where we request that you provide your TFN, we are obliged to inform you either verbally or in writing:

  • Of the purpose for which the TFN is requested or collected;
  • The name of the law that authorise us to collect your TFN;
  • That declining to quote your TFN is not an offence; and
  • And the consequences of declining to quote your TFN.

There are guidelines which govern the collection of TFNs. The TFN Guidelines are legally binding. A breach of the TFN Guidelines is an interference with privacy under the Privacy Act.  Individuals who consider that their TFN information has been mishandled may make a complaint to the Australian Information Commissioner.

Capacity

ARA Consultants Limited, as an investment manager and financial advisory firm, is an authorised recipient of TFN information.

Storage of your TFN details

We are required to take all reasonable steps to protect Tax File Number information from misuse and from unauthorized access, modification or disclosure.

In storing your TFN information we will ensure that the records containing any TFN information is restricted to those individuals who need to handle that information for superannuation law or investment law purposes.

Where TFN information is no longer required by law to be retained or no longer necessary for a purpose under taxation law, personal assistance law or superannuation law, we will take steps to either;

  • Securely destroy; or
  • Permanently de-identify the TFN information.

Overseas Disclosure

ARA does not use the services of overseas providers. Therefore we will not disclose your personal information overseas.

 

Protection of your personal Information

ARA is committed to protecting your personal information from misuse and loss and from unauthorized access, modification or disclosure.

We will limit access to those staff who provide services or products to you.  ARA relies on the correctness of the information that you supply to us.  Please assist ARA by contacting us if any of your personal information is incorrect, has altered or requires updating.

ARA has installed software on its photocopier that erases all information on the hard drive after each copy, thereby protecting your personal information in the event we sell the copier.

We use third-party administrators and software to support the processes required to deliver our service and, where we have collected personal information for the purpose of providing you with financial advice (the primary purpose), this information may be passed to these parties.

If you cease to be a client of ARA, we may continue to store your personal information in accordance with superannuation, corporations, financial sector and taxation laws. Where third party software is used by ARA (e.g. MyProsperity), we may delete your record and all associated data from the relevant platform, and you will then be able to delete your own record from the application. We may continue to hold some of the information provided via such a platform in our internal systems for the purposes of compliance with relevant laws or other reasonable business purposes, unless otherwise requested.

We will not use or disclose your personal information to another individual (i.e. accountant, family member, friend, etc.) unless you have consented to us doing so.

How to access your personal information

Under the Privacy Act you have the right to seek access to the information that we hold about you.  You also have the right to request us to correct information about you which is inaccurate, incomplete or out of date.

ARA will endeavour to provide you with the access that you require as soon as possible but in any event normally within 21 days of receiving your request.  This information will normally be provided to you in hard copy by printing off or photocopying the information from our current records.

There are circumstances where we have the right to deny access to particular information as follows:

  • Where this may result in having to disclose processes that are commercially sensitive; or
  • Where legal proceedings have commenced.

If it is necessary to deny you access to any of your information, we will explain to you the reason why it has been denied.

Contacting ARA about Privacy

If you have any questions about ARA’s privacy policy please contact:

The Privacy Officer

ARA Consultants Limited

Level 1

17 Cotham Road

KEW VIC 3101

Phone: (03) 9853 1688

Fax:  (03) 9853 1622

 

If you wish to make a written enquiry please write to us at:

 

The Privacy Officer

P O Box 2273

KEW VIC 3101

Complaints

ARA is committed to resolving your privacy complaint as quickly as possible and has procedures in place to help resolve any complaints efficiently.  Our aim is to assist you by reaching a satisfactory solution in the shortest possible time frame.

If you have a complaint or concern about privacy at ARA, please contact the Privacy Officer in writing. You will receive a response to your complaint within 30 days. Once you have received our response and you are not satisfied with that response, you may make your complaint to the Australian Information Commissioner.

If you have a complaint in relation to the alleged mishandling of your Tax File Number, please contact The Australian Information Commissioner. You may also report lost or stolen TFNs or unauthorised access to your TFN to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Office of the Australian

Information Commissioner (OAIC)           

GPO Box 5218                                                                          

SYDNEY NSW 2001              

Or                                              

Australian Taxation Office

GPO Box 9990

Capital City of your

State/Territory                       

www.ato.gov.au     

Or

GPO Box 2999

CANBERRA ACT 2601

Phone: 1300 363 992

Email:  enquiries@oaic.gov.au

Change in Policy

ARA may make changes to this Privacy Policy from time to time in order to improve it or update it as ARA deems applicable or as the law may require.