MEMBER INFORMATION

We all know construction is a boom or bust industry. ACIRT was created to help with the down times. You should think of us as your financial safety net – helping workers like you land softly when times are tough.

If you’ve just become a member of ACIRT, your employer will have advised us that you are entitled to receive contributions.

They will have also given us your personal details (name, residential address and date of birth) and your first contribution that we will deposit into your account.

If you think you are already a member of ACIRT (for example, with a previous employer) please contact us and we will consolidate your accounts.

Everything you need to know

ACIRT has been structured and designed to provide the following benefits:

  • Your accrued benefit is safe in the event that your participating employer becomes insolvent and becomes unable to pay your benefit.
  • Unlike other redundancy funds, ACIRT will distribute all its taxable income to eligible members.
  • Unlike other funds, you are entitled to your benefit even if you make the decision to leave your employer.
  • You receive statements regularly throughout the year and can access your account online, enabling you to ensure your contributions are up to date and being paid into your account.
  • Unlike other redundancy funds, members’ money is only spent on paying member benefits, not providing services such as training or welfare services, which doesn’t benefit all members.
  • Dependents, family members and other claimants of ‘eligible deceased members’ may be entitled to receive a funeral benefit.

Even though ACIRT is professionally managed, there are some risks in using ACIRT to hold your redundancy entitlements:

  • We are reliant on employers to tell us what your accrued entitlement should be. Although we actively monitor arrears, it is possible that your employer will not pay all your entitlements. For that reason, it is crucial that you review your statement when it arrives or check your accounts regularly.
  • Even though we invest the trust fund conservatively, use professional investment managers and employ an external investment adviser, we may not be able to pay a distribution (or the value in your member account may decline) in a severe market downturn. It must be noted however, that never in its history has ACIRT been unable to pay its benefits.
  • We have no control over how taxation laws may affect the operations of the trust, how it is taxed or how much tax you may pay when you claim your benefit.
  • Although we employ Australia’s largest fund administrator, there is a risk that their technology may fail and we are unable to pay your benefit.

You will automatically become a member of the fund when an employer pays your first contribution.

We do understand, however, that your employer may not have all your personal details, such as your address, Tax File Number, bank account details or personal email address, so we strongly recommend to all members that they fill out and send in a Membership Application Form. Your employer might also have copies of the Membership Application Form handy and may be able to send it in with their next contribution return.

Once you become a member, we will send you a membership card and other relevant information to your home address.

Download the membership form

ACIRT pays fees to its directors to compensate them for their time spent in managing the fund. The fee payable to directors is currently $3,354 per meeting. Directors who are members of board sub-committees are entitled to be paid $1,118 for each Committee meeting.

The Constitution provides that the level of director’s fees is adjusted annually by the Consumer Price Index.

Where agreed between the sponsoring organisation and the individual directors, those fees may be paid directly to the sponsoring organisation (including any applicable GST). Where we consider appropriate, the fund may also advertise in the journal or magazine of a sponsoring organisation. These payments are always made on an independent basis.

ACIRT is not a superannuation fund. We’re here to help you through financial hardship as the construction industry rises and falls.

With this in mind, and with the help of external investment advisers, the trustees have developed an investment strategy to achieve two objectives:

  1. To preserve the capital of the fund. This is because the trustees know that when you claim your benefit, you expect to receive the amount that was paid into your accounts by current and previous employers.
  2. To earn sufficient income to pay all the operating expenses of the trust.

If there is a surplus after payment of the operating expenses, the trustees will under most circumstances, distribute this surplus to members.

In addition to the two objectives, we aim to have at least 85% of the assets in what we call liquid assets i.e. assets that can be sold and redeemed into cash within seven business days.

With these investment objectives in mind, the typical asset mix of the fund will be 65% invested in cash/fixed interest and 35% invested in growth assets. This asset allocation may change according to movements in the stock market or currencies.

ACIRT’s investments are managed on our behalf by professional investment managers. We have not listed these managers because we change them from time to time. If you want to know the names of the managers, please contact our General Manager (Tony Butcher) via the contact page.

The trustees also employ the services of an external investment adviser to advise on investment issues such as the appointment and termination of investment managers and the appropriate asset allocation to meet the two investment objectives. (Mercer is currently our investment advisor.)

Subject to the performance of investment markets and there being sufficient taxable income (after allowing for administration expenses), it is the trustee’s policy to make a distribution to eligible members based on a member’s share of that taxable income.

The amount of the distribution is dependent on a member’s average balance in the period from 1 July to 30 June. Members are only eligible for a distribution if their share of the taxable income is above a minimum amount determined by the trustee.

Traditionally, the distribution is paid in November – just in time for the busy holiday period!

The distribution is expected to be fully taxable in the financial year it is paid to members, allowing for any tax-free component and any other adjustments, such as credits for dividend imputation. For example, a distribution paid in November 2019 will be assessable for the financial year ended 30 June 2020.

No tax is deducted from the distribution of eligible members where the trust has been provided with a Tax File Number. If the trust does not have your TFN, the trust is required to deduct tax at the highest marginal rate, as well as deducting any special levies. You are not required to provide your Tax File Number.

Distributions are paid by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or cheque (if we don’t have your bank account details). We will send the cheque to the current address we have on file, so it’s worth checking all your details are up to date.

The trust deed specifies under what conditions you can be paid your benefit (your Condition of Release).

You are entitled to payment of the amount within your member account where:

  1. Your claim for payment is made within twelve (12) months of being made redundant; or
  2. You leave the industry

‘Redundancy’ or ‘redundant’ means the termination or cessation of employment of a member for any reason.

‘Leaving the industry’ means ceasing employment:

  1. with an employer that has paid contributions to the Fund; or
  2. with any employer in the construction industry, and having no intention to become employed by another employer.

When you claim your benefit, you will be asked to confirm on what basis you are claiming your benefit.

We try to make the process of claiming your benefit as easy as possible.

All you need to do is download the claim form and provide the information requested, or claim by logging in using our Member Online portal. You will need to provide some confirmation of your identity such as a photocopy of a government-issued photo ID document, as well as confirmation from your employer that you have terminated employment.

If your employer has provided details of your redundancy, you may be eligible to claim you benefit over the phone by calling 1800 060 467.

If the personal details you provide aren’t exactly the same as your employer has provided, we will require you to get the document with the correct details certified.

If you don’t provide a copy of bank statement of an account in your name, we will send you out a cheque.

If you don’t provide your Tax File Number, we will have to deduct tax at the highest marginal rate.

We aim to pay your benefit no later than three business days after we have assessed all the information we need to pay your benefit. You should also remember that your bank may not clear the funds immediately, or if you are being sent a cheque, for any delays in the postage system.

Download the Claims form

Dependents, family members and other claimants of an ‘eligible deceased member’ may be entitled to receive a funeral benefit.

An ‘eligible deceased member’ is a member who has a positive account balance as at the date of their death and who has received an employer contribution within 26 weeks prior to death, or their account balance has reached the value of their redundancy entitlement as provided for under an Award or Enterprise Bargaining Agreement.

The claimant must have paid or been liable to pay the funeral costs for the eligible deceased member.

To receive the benefit, the applicant must provide a statutory declaration that he/she is suffering financial hardship for one of the following reasons:

  1. He/she is not in employment; or
  2. If in employment, the income that is earned from that employment is insufficient to meet normal living expenses plus pay for funeral costs; or
  3. The applicant does not have sufficient income from non-employment sources when combined with any employment income to meet normal living costs and pay the funeral costs; or
  4. That the funeral costs are not recoverable under the relevant state workers compensation act, public liability or other insurance.

Even though ACIRT is run only in the interests of its members, costs are incurred in running the fund. ACIRT’s expenses include:

  • Administration costs we pay to our external administrator, Australian Administration Services (AAS). We pay AAS a weekly fee per member with a positive account balance
  • Salaries and other costs incurred in employing our staff
  • Fees paid to directors (or their sponsoring organisations) as well as the costs they incur in attending Board meetings
  • Fees paid to advisors such as the investment advisor, solicitors, and the tax agent
  • Other costs such as paying for IT infrastructure and paying the external auditor.

As the investments are held through managed investment trusts, investment management fees are deducted before distributions are paid to ACIRT.

All the costs above are borne by the Fund as a whole, not borne by individual members.

You can find out how much it is costing us to run the fund in our Annual Report or if you want more detail, in our audited financial statements.

Download the annual report Download the statements

ACIRT at a glance

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Making a claim

If you’ve been made redundant and need to make a claim, we’ve made the process easy.

Forms

Access our complete suite of member forms.
 

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