Getting paid from a trust account
Under the new framework, a beneficiary is any party who will be paid from a project trust account or retention trust account.
This includes subcontractors, sub-subcontractors as well as the contracted party (typically a head contractor) who is both the trustee and beneficiary of 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 a contract is entered into or before 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) 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.