The Australian Army

Executive Summary

About the Army Relief Trust Fund

The Army Relief Trust Fund (ARTF) was established in 1947 to provide benefits for soldiers who are serving or who have served in the Australian Army and their dependants.

The legislative name for the Army Relief Trust Fund is the Australian Military Forces Relief Trust Fund.

The original source of funds came from the allocation of sixty thousand pounds (AUD$120,000) by the government of the day, from the profits of canteens during WWII. The Army Relief Trust Fund was formerly known as the AMF Relief Trust Fund. The Fund’s only source of income is interest on investments and a small fee charged on loans.

To ensure that ARTF funds are used solely for the benefit of soldiers and their dependants, the Department of Defence provides management and infrastructure support to the Fund.

The Fund is embedded within Army People Capability Branch and is located in Canberra.

Trustees and Management

The Trust is managed by a Board of Trustees drawn from various ranks and ex officio appointments. Trustees are appointed by the Minister for Defence Personnel and serve on a voluntary basis.

Trustees are supported by a small management team embedded within Army People Capability Branch at Army HQ Brindabella Park.

Services to members

The Trust offers two types of loans to members: General Purpose loans and Relief loans

General Purpose Loans – are loans for any ‘worthwhile’ purpose and comprise the majority of loans issued. Examples of General loans are:

  • Debt consolidation loans (low priority during high volume times)
  • Dental
  • Education expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Furniture/household needs
  • Housing purchase / repairs / moving
  • Legal
  • Medical
  • Travel expenses
  • Vehicle repairs / purchase
  • Wedding expenses

Relief Loan – is a loan which may be made available to those experiencing financial hardship or necessitous circumstances, with priority given to cases where the situation has arisen due to unforeseen circumstances or situations beyond the control of the member. Debt consolidation is not a Relief loan. Please consult the ARTF management team before submitting a request for a Relief Loan.
The final decision if an application is Relief or not lies with the Secretary of the Fund.

Funds Maintenance Contribution. General loans will attract a Funds Maintenance Contribution (FMC), Relief loans will not. The FMC assists to maintain the viability of the fund and will always be below the Reserve Bank of Australia cash rate.

Payment of Loans. Loans are funded on a pay fortnightly basis. The current maximum loan is $6,000. Although loans are funded on a pay day, most members will not have access to funds until at least the following day given the transfer timeframe between financial institutions.

Timeframes.Please be aware there may be times where the number of applications exceeds the fund’s capacity to issue on a fortnightly basis.

Email addresses. All email addresses are to be the defence e-mail address.

Top Ups. Trustee’s expectation is that members will attempt to repay a loan in full before making a further application. Only in exceptional circumstances will a ”top up” loan be considered. Please contact the ARTF Manager to discuss before submitting a top up application.
A top up application which has not been endorsed in the first instance by the Secretary will be rejected.

Loan Repayments. The maximum timeframe for a loan repayment is over 2 years. An earlier timeframe can be nominated. Details are located on the ARTF Loan Repayment Calculator at

Additionally, throughout the life of the loan, repayments may be increased. Lump sum payments may also be made. The ARTF Manager must be consulted on all changes in the first instance – pay representatives should not transact Relief Trust Fund loan changes as this is the responsibility of the ARTF management team.

Leaving the ARA. Members leaving the ARA with a loan liability should contact the ARTF Manager well before separation date. Failure to finalise an outstanding loan liability or make appropriate repayment arrangements will result in a member being ‘listed’ which in turn will impact on their ability to access credit after separation. Members taking extended (unpaid) leave should also contact the management team and provide alternate payment arrangements.

Tracking the status of an application. It is a member’s responsibility to keep track of the status of an application. However enquiries may be sent to the email address.

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