Getting paid from a trust account | Queensland Building and Construction Commission
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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. 

This includes:

  • subcontractors
  • sub-subcontractors
  • 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.

Last reviewed: 10 Sep 2021 Last published: 10 Sep 2021
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