Category Archives: Blogs

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Fringe Benefits on Motor Vehicles

Category : Blogs

The proposed change, recently announced by the current government, takes effect from the 16th July 2013 with the immediate removal of the ‘Statutory Method’ to calculate the fringe benefit on motor vehicles.  The statutory method will only be available to contracts entered into before this date.  All new contracts entered into on this date and after will require the use of the ‘log book’ method.  This method is more complex and difficult in that it requires an employer to track costs relating to each separate car, and relies on the employees, who drive each vehicle, to adequately complete a log book for 12 weeks every four years, or whenever there is a significant change in the driving usage of the vehicle.

One of the largest areas to be affected will be to employees who ‘salary package’ cars with the benefits of the statutory method, which has given rise to a huge take up of the vehicle salary packaging in recent years.

This will obviously have a large effect on employees who get the greatest benefit from the double combination of the Motor Vehicle FBT statutory concession and the further concessions available to those who work for charities and public benevolent institutions, which have the highest take up of motor vehicle salary packaging.
At this time, there is very little factual evidence, advice or legislation regarding these changes, other than the initial announcement.  However, the change and its effect are quite simple and effective, with, likely, little change to what was announced if the legislation is passed.


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Out of Pocket and in Trouble

Category : Blogs

We don’t realise that our life and ability to earn is the biggest asset that we possess. We insure all the items which we may be able to collect again in our life if we are healthy and earning. But we do not insure our life.  Once health and life is lost, it’s lost forever.

Things are always beautiful and perfect till the time we face any difficult situation. For us the money we spend on our insurances whether compulsory or not, are waste, till the time we actually need it, for example CTP, Car Insurance or Home and Content Insurance. We had a car accident, first thing we think about is “Thank God.. our car insurance is in place!!”, we have a theft in our house, “Best thing I did is that I took Home and Content Insurance!!”

Fortunately, with general insurance we can still get insured even after we have the accident or thefts. These items are replaceable. We just need to spend some money and then we can buy them. This is not the case with our health and life. Irony is that we don’t realise that our life and ability to earn is the biggest asset that we possess. We insure all the items which we may be able to collect again in our life if we are healthy and earning. But we do not insure our life. Once health and life is lost, its lost forever

Life insurance will never be able to get your lost health or life. However, it can reduce the financial stress on you or dependents at the time when you need the most relaxed and stress free environment to get well soon.

A recent article in “The Age” newspaper which will clearly demonstrate how due to the lack of proper insurance this lady had to suffer.

According to the article Janet was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 53. She had an aggressive tumour in her breast. She did not have any insurance in place. For treatment in public hospital, she will have to wait for months which she could not wait as the cancer can grow. Initially, she had to borrow money from the family to get the treatment done in private hospital. After the Chemotherapy was over, the expenses did not end. Now the treatment was required for the side effects of Chemotherapy for which three more hospital stays were needed. This made returning to her job as an administrative assistant impossible, so she resigned and remains unemployed. Other than this, money was needed for breast prosthesis, gap payments, drugs, biopsies, PET, MRI, wig etc.  To meet the ever increasing expenses and unable to pay for the mortgage she had to sell her house.

Under Medicare, all Australians are meant to receive free care in a public hospital as well as some tests and procedures. But as Janet discovered, free public hospital care can have limitations and for some, it comes with an intolerable waiting list. Also, some diagnostic tests are not covered by the MBS, such as $555-$1600 MRI scans for women with breast cancer, even though their doctors order them.

While these costs may be tolerable for healthy people who use the system infrequently, they quickly add up for those who get sick, particularly those on low incomes who face multiple chronic diseases.  Hence, we strongly recommend Trauma Insurance which can help you manage this financial risk, by paying a lump sum in the event of a specified medical condition, regardless of whether you are prevented from working or not.  It can alleviate financial pressure in a period of intense shock and trauma, giving you and your family time to adjust to the crisis and rethink your future.