LeasePLUS Group announces game changing move in acquisition of Salary Options

LeasePLUS Group has solidified its position within the Salary Packaging industry by announcing the acquisition of the Melbourne based Salary Packaging company, Salary Options Pty Ltd.

Salary Options offers market leading products and services to its clients that are complimentary to the LeasePLUS Group businesses. The move will send shock waves into the current Salary Packaging industry which is dominated by two significant listed entities, Smartgroup Corporation Ltd and McMillan Shakespeare Limited.

LeasePLUS Group Managing Director, Mr Aytunc Tezay said “We’re thrilled to welcome all the staff and customers of Salary Options to the LeasePLUS Group family”.

This acquisition now makes one of Australia’s longest established Salary Packaging brands “LeasePLUS / SalaryPackagingPLUS” the third largest salary packager in Australia – the main difference being LeasePLUS Group are proudly 100% Australian owned and operated as opposed to being listed on the stock exchange. “This allows us to still be driven by our original customer service values rather than shareholder returns” said Mr Tezay.

This commitment to exceptional customer service was also recognised by Salary Options’ Managing Director, Mr. David Wenban in his formal announcement to the market, “We decided to sell to [LeasePLUS Group] because of their similar belief in customer service as the cornerstone of the relationship with…employees.”

The LeasePLUS Group’s dedication to offering Salary Packaging services to the Health and Aged Care sectors has long been clear. Their partnership with the Victorian Healthcare Association (VHA) began in 2016 and positioned them as the leading Salary Packaging provider for the Health and Aged Care sectors. This announcement further illustrates that servicing this sector is in the LeasePLUS Group’s DNA.

The LeasePLUS Group will immediately incorporate the Salary Options brand into its recognised SalaryPackagingPLUS business, combining the best of both brands into a single offering. “We will continue to look for other investment opportunities to expand our service offering as our market share grows” said Mr Tezay.

For further information on this announcement please email enquiries@leaseplusgroup.com.au.

 

Salary Packaging Industry Update by the LeasePLUS Group

As you may be aware, there has been significant change in the Salary Packaging and Novated Lease industry in recent months, with larger publicly listed companies acquiring several of the small and medium sized providers whose clients in most cases have now been absorbed into the large groups.

Unfortunately, most acquisitions result in customer service and tailored solutions being sacrificed in favour of high margins and a relentless drive for shareholder profits and this is often seen with large corporate organisations who apply a one size fits all approach to what is in essence an extension of your individual organisation.

By contrast, the LeasePLUS Group remains privately owned and proudly 100% Australian operated with a “Less is More” approach to delivering simple but effective salary packaging and leasing services. We tailor individual solutions for each client to maximise the uptake of the Employee Benefits Program and increase your profile as an employer of choice.

LeasePLUS are pleased to advise that we have further strengthened our team with the addition of Christian Walkerden as our Commercial Director with a focus on salary packaging, novated leasing and improved service delivery. Christian brings over nine years’ experience with the Selectus Group where he performed various roles including National Manager – Sales, National Manager Business Development and General Manager.

Christian supports Leigh Penberthy, longstanding CEO of LeasePLUS and Chairman of the Australian Salary Packaging Association (ASPIA). LeasePLUS has a close involvement in the formation and ongoing importance of ASPIA, ensuring that we are active in the development and continuous improvement of the industry and have immediate access to key Federal Government and ATO officials to discuss and promote the core issues relating to the salary packaging industry.

The LeasePLUS Group has the capacity to deliver effective and consistent services and would welcome the opportunity to discuss our innovative solutions with you. We guarantee that we will be able to improve your uptake and your employee satisfaction by tailoring a solution for you that ticks all the boxes.

Please feel free to contact me directly to discuss what LeasePLUS can do for you or call Christian Walkerden on 0400 977 664, christian.walkerden@leaseplus.com.au.

Aytunc Tezay
Executive Chairman
LeasePLUS Group
p: 1300 13 13 16
e: aytunc.tezay@leaseplus.com.au
w: www.leaseplus.com.au

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What is the Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT)?

Fringe benefits tax (FBT) is a tax employers pay on certain benefits they provide to their employees, including their employees’ family or other associates. The benefit may be in addition to, or part of, their salary or wages package.

If you are a director of a company or trust, benefits you receive may be subject to FBT.

Fringe benefits tax is separate to income tax and is calculated on the taxable value of the fringe benefits provided.

The FBT year runs from 1 April to 31 March.

Follow the links below for more information on:

Source: https://www.ato.gov.au/General/Fringe-benefits-tax-(FBT)/ 

Does size matter in Salary Packaging?

3406bbd.jpgIn some situations ‘bigger’ is most certainly better.

Let’s start with pay-cheques – not many people want a smaller one of those.

And how about a single bed over a luxurious king? A shy smile from your child, or a beaming grin?

One decision where ‘bigger’ does not equate to ‘better’ is when it comes choosing your Salary Packaging provider.

Why? The success of a salary packaging program has little to do with size and everything to do with the technological infrastructure and the customer service ethos that underpins its delivery.

Most providers are comfortable to offer the same tried and tested approaches to service their clients regardless of quality – are these more likely to be the bigger or the smaller providers?

The real value is gained when salary packaging companies invest in new technologies that consistently improve the customer experience and lead to greater efficiency. Who is more likely to be proactive and embrace changes in technology, the big or the small end of town? I don’t think I have the answer but this is where you will need to do your homework.

The sign of a good salary packaging provider is that they have the capacity to address and respond with solutions to your employees’ queries in a timely manner and this has nothing to do with size but a lot to do with technological capability.

The exponential growth in the popularity of mobile platforms as a customer service tool should be leading many providers to improve their game in this sphere. This is something I’ll cover in further depth another time but for the purposes of this conversation remember that this technology is not out of reach of the small fellas.

It’s also important to remember your role as an employer in the salary packaging relationship.

Advocacy, as the principal advocate for your employees you need to demand information to be delivered in a timely and considerate fashion from your salary package provider. This isn’t something that should be left to the supplier as they tend to get lazy and the bigger they are the lazier they can get.

Communication, the key is to clearly communicate your service-level expectations to your provider – ideally at the outset – but doing this during any stage of the relationship is better than not doing it at all and the smaller they are the more likely they will listen and importantly respond.

If your salary packaging provider regardless of their size does not have the capability, resources or technology to respond to employee communications in what you deem a timely manner, you need to reconsider who you’re working with.

Salary Packaging Breakfast Forum

This is an open invitation for organisations who actively offer or are thinking of introducing a Salary Packaging program to their employees.

Overview

Organisations within the health industry, corporate, not-for-profit and government sectors will benefit from the latest updates within the industry with key speakers talking candidly about their thoughts and opinions.

You will also learn about the latest developments and advances in Salary Packaging software systems, significant drops in current market pricing for administering outsourced services, along with current FBT and other statutory changes that effect the industry.

This forum will also give you the insight you need to ensure you’re getting value from your existing salary packaging provider.

Hosted by:

Aytunc Tezay – LeasePLUS Group Chairman and Managing Director Aytunc Tezay is among Australia’s leading novated leasing and Salary Packaging experts and was integral in the inauguration of the Australian Salary Packaging Industry Association (ASPIA) and was its President for the initial four years.

Keynote Speakers

Elizabeth Lucas (Grant Thornton) – Elizabeth has extensive experience in providing Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) and Salary Packaging advice to not-for-profit bodies, corporate clients and Government organisations. She regularly sits on various Federal Government tax based reviews or Boards which acknowledges her years of service and broader understanding of the wider industry.

Leigh Penberthy (ASPIA) – In his role as ASPIA Chairman, Leigh works closely with politicians and other key stakeholders to discuss, highlight, debate and promote the core issues relating to the salary packaging industry. Leigh regularly represents the Industry at Government and other Independent reviews as well as playing an important function in supporting the establishment of key policy settings at both a Federal and State level.

Linden Footman (SalaryPackagingPLUS) – With more than 15 years of experience , Linden has helped to maximise the Salary Packaging benefits for thousands of employees through the delivery of tailored packaging solutions across wide ranging industry sectors including corporate, health, emergency services, charities and not-for-profit. He is regularly called upon to help solve complex Fringe Benefits Tax matters while ensuring that the cost to the employer is kept to a minimum.

Claudio Scarpellino (SafeCode) – Claudio has been involved in the development of industry leading software across the automotive and finance sectors for a large part of his career. With this knowledge he has taken the reins of SafeCode as CEO where he was instrumental in the development of the leading web based Salary Packaging software known as MySalPack, as well as other Applications that are both advanced and innovative. Claudio’s wealth of experience in the building of long term relationships and a high degree of emphasis on delivering quality products and services is what sets him and SafeCode apart.

Dates and venue

Melbourne: Wednesday 28th of October 2015, 7.30am to 9.30am – Quay West Suites, Southbank, 26 Southgate Ave, Melbourne.

Sydney: Thursday 29th of October 2015, 7.30am to 9.30am – Quay West Suites,
98 Gloucester Street, Sydney.

RSVP:

If you wish to attend this free breakfast forum please send an email to rsvp@leaseplusgroup.com.au by the 18th October 2015. Alternatively, please call Natalie Gray on 0432 010 638. Please tell us which session (Melbourne/Sydney) you would like to attend, along with your contact details. We will contact you to confirm your registration.

Hostage to your Salary Packaging software provider?

Salary Packaging Alternative Rout

Aytunc Tezay
Founder & Chairman – LeasePLUS Group of Companies

Recently a LinkedIn contact working in the Health industry approached me to ask what other Salary Packaging software options are available in the market.
If you currently use the same tired, inflexible and uninspiring software as many others in the market place, I recommend you read on!
For many years software providers have provided the same old and clunky salary packaging software to its clients and ignored the need to upgrade the look, feel and functionality of its product. My LinkedIn contact was told that their software was being refreshed, however it will come at a cost through significant higher licencing costs. The alternative is….. well… there isn’t an alternative because the current version which they have been using and putting up with for so many years is no longer going to be supported. Or the other alternative given to my LinkedIn contact was to have the same company providing the software, outsource the whole salary packaging administration function – how convenient!
This doesn’t seem very fair does it? Clients who have been patient and loyal over many years supporting software that hasn’t met expectations, are now being forced to pay more or get out!
If the story above relates to you, there is now an alternative – MySalPack.
The MySalPack software is a web based solution to facilitate the processing and reporting of salary packaging in the Corporate, Rebatable, Public Hospital and Not-for-Profit employment sectors. The functional aspects of the MySalPack software is to support the business by automating the processing of data efficiently and accurately while meeting all regulatory and compliance requirements.
One of the significant strengths of MySalPack is the MyKiosk customer portal that delivers live data and information to employees about their salary packaging account on both their desktops and mobile devices.
This is achieved by understanding the specific requirements of the various organisations within each industry sector. MySalPack has the capability of supporting both the outsourced as well as the in-house solutions, integrating robust security, audit and importantly flexible reporting capabilities.
Key features:

  • Ability to calculate Meal Entertainment and show the share of saving and admin as a separate line item.
  • To incorporate direct data feeds through file transfer protocol from Payroll to take into account specified factors for calculating an employee’s package.
  • Uploaded files are produced in the correct format for loading into Payroll and includes an adjustment file for any changes.
  • Automation of banking details can be loaded from Payroll to reduce manual entry, reducing error rates and improving productivity and compliance.
  • Detailed evidence register that updates automatically when a package is entered or copied from a previous year.
  • Efficient reporting tools including payroll reconciliation after each pay.
  • Easier access to updating of tax rates, benefit items, cost centre and facility lists, pay periods and banking.
  • On-line calculators for General, Novated Leasing, GST worksheets plus many more features, that can be emailed, saved and printed.
  • Form letters can be produced based on criteria, including the bulk send out of renewal letters each year.
  • Novated Leasing functionality with the ability to interface to external systems if required.

The team behind MySalPack is a Australian company called SafeCode who can provide you with further information and demonstrate the software.

website safecode.com.au
phone 1300 20 82 77

Federal Budget 2015 – Workers pushed into higher tax brackets

Hundreds of thousands of Australian workers will find themselves in higher tax brackets after [the] federal budget left tax brackets unchanged.

The failure to reset tax brackets will push the average full-time worker, earning $78,000 a year, into the second-highest tax bracket in 2015-16, with any earnings over $80,000 subject to a 37 per cent tax rate, 39 per cent including the Medicare levy. As a result, the average worker will be slugged an extra $1200 in tax a year, and the average income tax rate will rise from 21.7 per cent to 27.4 per cent over the next decade.

It’s not a pretty picture.

The picture is even less pretty for the thousands of individuals who will pushed into the top tax bracket, which kicks in at $180,000… “This makes the top marginal rate 49 per cent, giving a 10 per cent hike in the marginal tax rate, so beyond $180,000 the employee loses almost half of every extra dollar earned…” notes HLB Mann Judd Sydney taxation services partner Peter Bembrick.

For families at the lower end of the pay scale, increased earnings can also mean the unwelcome end of government benefits, such as family tax benefits.

“It is important that people know their effective tax rate and not just their marginal tax rate to determine if how hard they are working is worthwhile, especially those in the lower brackets,” says the managing director of  BFG Financial Services, Suzanne Haddan.

Prescott Securities senior economist and financial adviser Alan Hutchinson says there are a number of options for taxpayers who are in danger of jumping into a higher tax bracket.

Cutting back on the hours worked is one option, although possibly not the best if there are mortgages and school fees to pay, he says. Another strategy is salary sacrificing into superannuation.

“Salary sacrificing is the main strategy available to people wanting to avoid bracket creep, and it is the one that works,” says Hutchinson.

ipacSecurities head of technical services Colin Lewis says salary-packaging motor vehicles and laptops used for work-related purposes may be an option for some employees as a way of reducing assessable income.

Employees of public benevolent institutions such as public hospitals or not-for-profit organisations are still able to salary-package almost anything including living expenses, education costs, loan and mortgage repayments, rent, credit card payments and bills, he says.

AFR Contributor

*Source Bina Brown – Australian Financial Review

See the full report here.

2014 Federal Budget

FRINGE BENEFITS TAX AND SALARY PACKAGING

FBT rate
The FBT rate is being increased from 47% to 49% to align with the highest marginal tax rate inclusive of the Temporary Budget Repair Levy of 2%. Whilst the increased income tax rate will apply from 1 July 2014, the increased FBT rate will not apply until 1 April 2015. Further, whilst the Temporary Budget Repair Levy applies until 30 June 2017, the FBT rate is to drop again as of 1 April 2017.

Changing the FBT rate also changes the FBT gross-up rates, as follows:

2014-15 FBT year 2015-16 FBT year 2016-17 FBT year 2017-18 FBT year
FBT rate 47% 49% 49% 47%
Type 1 gross-up 2.0802 2.1463 2.1463 2.0802
Type 2 gross-up 1.8868 1.9608 1.9608 1.8868

Salary packaging
The reason for increasing the FBT rate is stated to be “To prevent high income earners from utilising fringe benefits to avoid the levy”. But you would need to salary package a lot of income to take advantage of this 2% differential. For instance, packaging $20,000 would only produce a saving of around $400.

So whilst there appears to be an opportunity in both the year ending 30 June 2015 and the year ending 30 June 2017, for high income earners to take fringe benefits in the period where the lower FBT rate applies, it would only be useful to the extent the employee earns above $180,000 and the minimal savings probably mean they are unlikely to bother.

Not-for-profit caps
In order to protect the value of fringe benefits provided in the not-for-profit sector, that otherwise diminishes with an FBT rate increase, the annual caps for concessional treatment are to be increased. Confirmation of the new amounts has not yet been provided.

FBT rebate
The FBT rebate (currently 48%) is to be aligned with the FBT rate as of 1 April 2015.

Leight Penberthy
Chief Executive Office

*Source Elizabeth Lucas – Grant Thornton Australia

Media release – Innovation patent supplied to SalaryPackagingPLUS for its MySalPack software

We are proud to announce the grant of our innovation patent 2014100041 by the Australian Patent Office on 20 February 2014. This patent covers our SalaryPackagingPlusTM product, and is testament to the creativity of the team involved.

I especially thank Linden Footman and Abhi Mishra who worked tirelessly to overcome the many hurdles that are inevitably faced in creating a product such as this. Their problem solving skills were key in achieving a quality product.

I thank also Ronnel Magdaluyo who was employed by us to write a proportion of the code under the direction of myself, Linden and Abhi.

Sharks ‘muscle’ up in 2014

Muscle Meals Direct, providing delicious fully prepared meals designed to build muscle, lose fat and help to achieve health and fitness goals, have come on board as the Official Meal supplier to the Cronulla Sharks for 2014.

A national brand with outlets in NSW, Queensland, Victoria, Western and South Australia, as well as in Canberra and the Northern Territory, Muscle Meals Direct will supply post game meals for NRL, NSW Cup and NYC teams, both home and away, at all Remondis Stadium games this season.

The food supplied to the Sharks by Muscle Meals Direct has been approved by the club dietician and will feature ‘clean eating’, focused meals for the playing group.

“When it comes to leading a healthy and active lifestyle nothing is more important than eating clean fresh food from a variety of different sources,” Luke Schembri, Director of Muscle Direct, said. “We are pleased to be forming a partnership with the Sharks and confident they will find our meals more than suitable for their post match requirements.”

Meals are cooked fresh every week, takes all the hard work out of preparing these foods by providing nutritionally balanced, calorie controlled, high protein meals with a choice of carbohydrates or fresh vegetables.

Meals can follow standard meal plans or can be customised for individual needs and are freshly cooked and portion controlled.

For more information or to make an order visit www.musclemealsdirect.com.au, with

Muscle Meals cooked fresh each week and delivered to an outlet nearby.