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Offering employees non-cash benefits

Most small business owners would love to be able to offer their more valuable employees a pay rise.

Increasing an employee’s pay is likely to reduce staff turnover, increase job satisfaction and boost productivity by raising motivation and commitment.

Unfortunately, most small business owners are simply not in a position to offer their staff a larger pay packet. However, there are a number of non-cash benefits that you may care to consider as an alternative course of action for recognising and rewarding good work.

These non-cash benefits may not have a dollar value. For example, allowing employees to work from home once a week or rearranging their working hours to better suit other commitments. Non-cash benefits may also have an identifiable dollar value, and in this case employers need to be aware of fringe benefits tax (FBT) before they decide to offer a non-cash benefit.

Non-cash benefits that attract FBT include, but are not limited to, personal use of a company car, cheap or interest-free loans, and entertainment in the form of food and drinks. Typically, where an employee is provided with a fringe benefit, the cost of the benefit is deducted from their gross (before tax) pay and the employer must pay FBT on this amount.

Most employers will pass this tax cost onto the employee. In most cases, FBT will not apply to benefits that are provided to independent contractors.

There are also some types of benefits that are not subject to FBT or receive an FBT concession, including some types of work-related items, living away from home allowances, and benefits that are classified as ‘minor benefits’ (less than $300).

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Understanding various kinds of super fees

February 16, 2018

No matter the kind of superfund you opt for, you will be subject to super fees. Understanding how these fees work and the difference they can make to your next egg is vital.

When it comes to superfund fees, there are two factors you need to get your head around; the kinds of fees you are being charged and the rate of fees you pay. Opting for a superfund based on these two factors can see you retire with hundreds of thousands more money.

You should be aware of the various types of fees you are being charged. If you would like to find out the fees you are being charged, you should do two things. Firstly, Google your fund’s product disclosure statement and scroll through to the fees section. You should see a list of different types of fees, with an explanation of what they are, how they are applied, and how often they will be incurred. Secondly, you should log in to your superfund account and take note of all the fees being charged to you. Investigate how closely these correspond and correlate with the product disclosure statement.

If you feel there are discrepancies, do not hesitate to contact your superfund or financial advisor and ask for clarification. It is worthwhile doing your research and comparing the fees you are being charged against other super funds and what they charge. Being complacent and not paying attention to your super is extremely irresponsible; the dividends you will receive later in life for being diligent now outweighs the burden of taking time to be informed today.

Some of the common super fees across the board include:

Another major factor contributing to how much you accumulate in your super account throughout your working life is the rate of fees you pay. Plain and simple, some funds offer much lower fees than other, creating a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars when it comes time to retire.

Generally, funds are categorised into three groups; low super fees, medium super fees and high super fees. Ultimately, you want to be in a fund that charges low super fees. In saying this, it’s not only about super fees, as some funds have medium-high super fees but also perform better based on investment strategy, meaning you will get more back from your investments.