How To Claim?  

Eligibility

To make a claim from the BERT fund, please complete and return the Claim Form along with the required documentation. If your claim is for a total withdrawal, all monies in BERT Fund No.2 (payments received on or after 1 April 2004) and any funds in BERT Fund (payments received on or prior to 31 March 2004), will be released as two (2) separate payments.

If your claim is for a partial withdrawal, the funds will be taken out of your BERT Fund No.2.

Claim Types and Requirements

Redundancy

You are eligible if you lodge a claim if you have been terminated due to redundancy; shortage of work; end of season / contract; unsuitability for the type of work. To claim, you will need:

  • Claim form
  • Separation Certificate issued by your previous employer, and
  • Bank statement (EFT)

Leaving the Building Industry

You are eligible if you have not worked in the building industry for 52 weeks and will not be seeking re-employment within the building industry.

  • Claim form
  • Bank statement (EFT)

Retirement

You are eligible if you have attained preservation age (see table below) and you have permanently retired from the workforce.

  • Claim form
  • Separation Certificate issued by your previous employer
  • A completed Statutory Declaration advising ‘I have permanently retired from the workforce’, and
  • Bank statement (EFT)

BERT provides free Financial Planning (through PFG Financial Services) as an industry benefits to members. If you are claiming BERT due to retirement you can contact PFG on 1800 767 657 for assistance with:

  • Centrelink entitlements and application process
  • Structuring financial affairs to maximise government entitlements
  • Retirement funding
  • Accessing BERT and potential impact on Centrelink

Disability

You are eligible if you are suffering a permanent injury or illness that prevents you from working in the building and construction industry.

  • Claim form
  • Separation Certificate issued by your previous employer
  • Medical Certificate from doctor / specialist stating the nature of your disability and that you are permanently unfit for work in the building industry, and
  • Bank statement (EFT)

Leaving Australia

You are eligible if you are leaving Australia permanently to take up residence overseas.

  • Claim form
  • A completed Statutory Declaration advising 'I am leaving Australia to live permanently overseas'
  • Evidence of living overseas via a one way airline ticket, or a bill, or a bank statement with overseas address, and
  • Bank statement (EFT)

Financial Hardship

The Trustee has sole and total discretion to pay a financial hardship claim provided they are satisfied the claim meets the criteria. All claims for financial hardship are submitted to a Committe for assessment.

Below are the criteria under which you may submit a claim.

a) You ceased employment not due to a genuine condition of redundancy (i.e voluntarily); or

b) You are still employed with your current BERT Employer

  • Claim form
  • A letter advising us of the unforeseen reason(s) that have lead you to be in financial hardship, and evidence to support your reason
  • Evidence of hardship – copies of urgent unpaid bills which equal the amount (after tax) you want to claim
  • Bank Statement (EFT)

c) You have been receiving Centrelink benefits for four (4) weeks or more

  • Claim form
  • Centrelink Income Statement, dated within 28 days, which states that you have been receiving benefits for four (4) weeks
  • Bank statement (EFT)

d) You have been receiving WorkCover for 26 weeks or more

  • Claim form
  • WorkCover letter / documentation confirming that you have been receiving benefits for at least 26 weeks, and
  • Bank statement (EFT)

The following reasons will not be accepted as evidence of hardship:

  • Dismissal due to misconduct including assault, abandonment of employment, theft, bullying, criminal activity, or under the influence of alcohol or use of illegal substance
  • RDO / Public Holidays / Reduction of hours

The following forms of bills / evidence will not be accepted as evidence of hardship:

  • Sper fines / infringement notices
  • Credit Card bills
  • Vet Bills
  • Sport / Club Registration
  • Wedding related expenses
  • Travel / holiday expenses
  • Purchase of an Investment Property

As part of the assessment process, you may be referred to PFG for financial assistance.

Death Benefits

In the event of a death of a BERT member and to make a claim, you will need:

  • Signed Application for Death Benefit form
  • Copy of the Death Certificate
  • Copy of the Deceased proof of age
  • Copy of Will / Probate / Letter of Adminsitration  (if one exists)

BERT will only make payments to the Estate / Legal Personal Representative. Please contact the BERT Office on 1300 261 114 for any enquiries or assistance.

To download an application form go to the forms section of this website.

Funeral

Financial members of the CFMEU and Plumbers Union are covered by a funeral benefit of $10,000 in the event of death of either the member / the members wife, husband or defacto / the members dependent children up to the age of 16.

To claim the funeral benefit, you must call your respective union. CFMEU - 07 3236 2355; or Plumbers Union - 07 3844 8433

Tax File Number & Tax Rates

You have the choice of whether or not you quote your tax file number.
If you decide not to quote your number, then tax will be deducted from your benefit at the highest personal tax rate plus Medicare levy. Any release in total or part of a member's balance under financial hardship claim attracts a rate of 49% due to the Tax Office ruling, even if you have supplied a TFN.

What Tax rate do I pay?

The Tax rate you pay is dependant on the type of payment being made, if there is a TFN on file for you and if you are over the preservation age. Below is the breakdown of Tax rates based on payment type and preservation age.

Please Note: If a Tax file number is not stored on our system for you you will be taxed at the 49% rate.

 Claim TypeUnder the
preservation age
Refer to table below
Over the
preservation age
Refer to table below
 Redundancy 32% 17%
 Disability 32% 17%
 Leaving the Industry 49% 49%
 Leaving Australia 49% 49%
 Financial Hardship 49% 49%
 Retirement 32% 17%

Preservation Age

 Date Of BirthPreservation Age
Before 1 July 1960 55
1 July 1960 - 30 June 1961 56
1 July 1961 - 30 June 1962 57
1 July 1962 - 30 June 1963 58
1 July 1963 - 30 June 1964 59
After 30 June 1964 60

Benefit payment methods

We are able to pay your claim as a cheque or directly into your (not a third party) bank account via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Please supply bank statement with BSB and account number. In order to pay via EFT we rely on the accuracy of the details you provide. If the information provided is incomplete, insufficient, illegible or inaccurate a cheque will be drawn and forwarded to your address and your claim may be delayed.

Partial benefits

You may not wish to claim your full benefit. If this is the case please indicate the amount you want net of any tax payable, in the ‘payment to you’ section. If there are insufficient funds to pay your requested amount we will pay your total account balance.

Transfer of benefits

Transfer between eligible redundancy trusts are available upon request and are at the total discretion of the Fund Trustee.

Extenuating circumstances

Your claim may not meet the normal claim criteria as above, however the Trustee may consider your application if extenuating circumstances exist e.g. the benefit is required to cover medical expenses for yourself or a dependent.

If you believe you may be eligible to claim under these circumstances, please contact BERT on 1300 261 114 to discuss the matter.

Submitting a Claim Form

Once you have completed the claim form you can Post (PO Box 805, Spring Hill QLD 4004), Fax (07 3832 3799) or Email (claims@bert.com.au) your claim to our offices.