Getting paid from a trust account
Trust accounts for large projects are being phased in as another protection of worker payments. There are important rules that must be followed by the trustee when paying all beneficiaries of a trust account.
Under the new trust account framework, any party working on a project where a trust account is required, must be paid from the project trust account or retention trust account. They are known as a beneficiary.
- the contracted party (typically a head contractor)—who is both the trustee and beneficiary of the project trust accounts and retention trust accounts.
How will I know if I’m a trust account ‘beneficiary’?
As a beneficiary to a project trust account or retention trust account, the trustee is required to notify you about the use of a trust account before either:
- a contract is entered into
- cash retention amounts are withheld.
The notice must state:
- the name of the financial institution
- trust account name
- BSB and account number
- the contract to which the trust account applies.
Trustees are also required to notify the QBCC of a trust account which are then published on the publicly available trust account register.
Payments from trust accounts
All beneficiaries must only be paid from a trust account.
- All amounts relating to the project trust contract must be paid through the project trust account.
- All cash retention amounts must be held in the retention trust and must be paid only from the retention trust account.
A beneficiary must follow the usual process of submitting their payment claims to the trustee in order to be paid.
Beneficiaries may only be paid into a nominated bank account that is controlled by the beneficiary, and cannot be paid by the trustee in cash or via bank transfers from the trustee’s personal bank account.
A beneficiary will also be notified by the trustee every time an amount is:
- paid to them from the project trust, and
- deposited into the retention trust account on their behalf, and
- paid to them (or another person) from the retention trust.
Beneficiary guide to trust accounts
To better understand your rights and what to expect as a trust account beneficiary, take a look at our Beneficiary guide: trust accounts (PDF, 1.23MB) which provides further information about:
- the notifications you should receive from a trustee
- information you are entitled to request from a trustee
- what to do if you don’t get paid by a trustee
- how to make a trust account complaint.