Archive for July, 2010

How much Super do you really need?

The folks from Intrust Super read my blog post on superannuation back on 5 March and forwarded this link below. It is a table that looks at two things:

1) Your salary.

2) When you plan to retire.

And with this information they try to approximate how much of your salary you should be putting toward super.

So what do you reckon . . . most of those numbers are pretty big, heh? A bit scary, but thought you’d find it interesting.


You can leave a comment here

What’s salary packaging all about?

Sometimes it’s easy to forget just why salary packaging plays such an important part in Australian community life. We tend to see it only in terms of what it can do for us – i.e. provide an opportunity to save money – and we forget the valuable (even critical) contribution it makes to Australia’s public hospital and not-for-profit sectors.

By using the tax-free cap salary packaging concessions hospitals and not-for-profits are able to take money that would otherwise be required to fund salary and use it instead to increase service provision. “What sort of services?” you might ask – well we’ve asked The Chris O’Brien Lifehouse at RPA, one of our new packaging clients, to give you an idea . . .

About The Chris O’Brien Lifehouse at RPA

Through our vision of uncompromising care, The Chris O’Brien Lifehouse at RPA will bring hope and empowerment to help improve the lives of everyone living with cancer, no matter who they are or what type of cancer they have.

All of us will be touched by cancer in some way, whether it’s our own diagnosis or that of a family member, friend or workmate. The Chris O’Brien Lifehouse at RPA will bring together all elements of cancer research, treatment, care and support within one centre of excellence. We will offer the latest research and technology, advanced medical and complementary therapies, as well as emotional support and sanctuary in one place. We will turn new discoveries into better cancer care for our patients. We want to make things easier for people with cancer, their friends, families and carers. We aim to put people first so that those diagnosed with cancer no longer feel alone negotiating the many confusing elements in dealing with their illness.

In addition to building the new cancer centre, The Chris O’Brien Lifehouse at RPA continues to support the activities of the existing Sydney Cancer Centre. Over the next three years, whilst our new organisation and facilities are being built, the Sydney Cancer Centre at RPAH will treat several thousand patients living with cancer. These people need and deserve the best possible care and support. Donations made to The Chris O’Brien Lifehouse at RPA will help to make this possible, by providing funds for research and clinical programs. Donations are also used to help with the construction of the new facility.

Significant progress has been made on The Chris O’Brien Lifehouse at RPA. Demolition work commenced on site in early 2010 and construction of the new facility will commence later this year. The new facility will open its doors in 2013.

So while salary packaging does help you to save money, it also helps Lifehouse to provide care to Australian cancer victims. Now that’s what I call a ‘win-win’ situation.

If you want to know more about Lifehouse then I’d encourage you to have a look at their website and see some of their inspirational videos . . .

Salary packaging iPads makes the news!

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For the latest information about salary packaging iPads & Tablet computers, please click here.

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The Australian’s IT section has just run an article (quoting Simon Ellis, our Senior Tax Advisor) outlining the salary packaging industry’s general response to the question of iPad packaging. The article makes clear that the industry is broadly following SmartSalary’s lead, and exercising a fair amount of caution before adding iPads to the menu of available packaging items.

As the article notes, it is only where an individual‘s employment duties involve regular tasks requiring access to an iPad (or similar machine) that the ATO will accept salary packaging. We interpret this to mean that the ATO is not going to test packaging arrangements by looking at the actual use of the machine – it’s going to test them by looking at your ordinary employment duties, and deciding whether those duties justify access to an iPad.

Simon tells me that this approach is consistent with ATO guidelines on laptops, as set out in ATO ID 2008/127.

Thus SmartSalary’s cautious approach to packaging iPads seems to have been warranted. We will, of course, continue to liaise with our employer clients in this regard but for the time being iPads are likely to stay off the menu for many of our packaging customers.

Deven Billimoria
Chief Executive Officer

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July 2010
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