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 eNewsletter – Autumn/Winter 2015

Welcome again to the latest edition of the EmployerNews eNewsletter. 

We trust that this electronic version of EmployerNews provides you with an easy to read and informative summary of what is  happening at NESS Super and superannuation in general.

Please let us know what you think, we welcome your feedback.

From all of us here at NESS Super, happy reading and best wishes for a super new financial year!

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Your End of Financial Year NESS Super Reminders!

With the end of the financial year just around the corner, you are probably thinking to yourself, how quickly has this year gone by? So, it is important to note some timely reminders to help you and your business meet your end of financial year business requirements, as well as prepare yourself for the financial year ahead.

Payment of super and claiming at tax deduction the 2014/15 financial year 

If you are considering making employer super payments (including Superannuation Guarantee) and claiming a tax deduction this financial year (2014/15), the super payments must be paid and received by NESS Super and other super funds by 30 June 2015. It is sometimes overlooked that payments must also be received by the super fund prior to 30 June 2015 to claim a business tax deduction this financial year. This also includes Self-Employed contractors contributing super payments on their own behalf.

Superannuation Guarantee (SG) payment amount 

The SG minimum payment amount for employers on behalf of eligible employees for this financial year 2014/15 financial year is 9.5%. This is scheduled to remain at 9.5% until 1 July 2021.

It’s also important to note that as from 1 July 2013, there is no upper age limit for SG payment for eligible employees.

Whilst the SG minimum amount remains frozen until 2021, the updated ATO superannuation thresholds show the maximum contributions earnings base for eligible employees will rise to $50,810 per quarter, from 1 July 2015. This is an increase from $49,430 per quarter for the 2014/2015 financial year.

Don’t forget the Super Contributions Cap! 

Whilst the superannuation contributions cap effects employees based on individual circumstances, it is prudent to be aware from an employer’s perspective what contributions cap applies to employer super contributions (especially when salary sacrifice contributions are also involved), so as to assist your employees keep an eye on their contributions cap. This can help your employees avoid paying any additional penalty tax on contributions that exceed the cap.

The concessional contribution caps (including SG, salary sacrifice and employer additional contributions) for the 2014/2015 financial year are as follows: 

  • General cap – $30,000 (new indexed amount).
  • Individuals aged 50 and over – $35,000.

The Government SuperStream clock for employers is ticking… 

The ATO has continued to remind employers of their requirements and the timeframes in order to meet the new Government Data and Payment Standard (SuperStream) requirements.

This commenced from 1 July 2014 and will eventually require all employers to make super payments and send the applicable payment data electronically. As a reminder:

  • Medium to large employers (having 20 or more employees) must have the new requirements in place by 31 October 2015 (extended from 1 July 2015, see NEWSFLASH article below).
  • Smaller employers (having 19 or less employees) must have the new requirements in place by 1 July 2016.

It’s important to prepare now, especially if you have 20 or more employees (and have not already commenced your implementation) to ensure you are able to comply and meet the upcoming requirements by necessary timeframes.

NESS Super can help participating employers with the SCH Online clearing house solution. Please see the NESS Super website http://nesssuper.com.au/employers/forms-publications/ and click on the “SCH Online” tab or contact us on 1800 022 067 for more information.

NEWS FLASH: The Government SuperStream deadline for medium to large employers has been extended to 31 October 2015 

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will not be taking any compliance action against medium and large employers who miss the 30 June 2015 SuperStream deadline.

In a recent ATO Media Release published on 9 June 2015, the ATO National Program Manager for Data Standards and E-Commerce (SuperStream), Philip Hind, said employers who were not ready for the deadline would have until 31 October 2015 and that the ATO would work closely with employers over the next few months to continue providing education and support.

“We want to ensure businesses do not rush into this at the last minute, but take the time to get ready and ensure they get their implementation right,” Hind said.

“Where necessary, we will work with employers having difficulties to help them transition-in to the new requirements.”

Hind said once implemented SuperStream would provide employers with a consistent process for making super contributions.

“In many cases, this will enable them to submit a single contribution for their employees rather than have multiple interactions in different formats previously required by each fund,” he said.

The ATO has continued to remind employers of their requirements and the timeframes in order to meet the new SuperStream requirements, which commenced from 1 July 2014 and will eventually require all employers to make super payments and send the applicable payment data electronically. As a reminder:

  • Medium to large employers (having 20 or more employees) must have the new requirements in place by 31 October 2015 (extended from 1 July 2015).
  • Smaller employers (having 19 or less employees) must have the new requirements in place by 1 July 2016.

Whilst the Government has extended the deadline requirements for medium to large business, it’s important to prepare now (especially if you have 20 or more employees and have not already commenced your implementation) to ensure you are able to comply and meet the upcoming requirements by the necessary timeframes.

NESS Super can help participating employers with the SCH Online clearing house solution. Please see the NESS Super website http://nesssuper.com.au/employers/forms-publications/ and click on the “SCH Online” tab or contact us on 1800 022 067 for more information.

Let NESS Super work for you if you are Self-Employed!

Are you Self-Employed or work as a contractor? Super may not be your top priority amongst all the things you need to manage, but there may be some incentives to help you maximise your super and have enough to live on in your retirement.

Did you know that if you are Self-Employed or work as a contractor …..

  • You may be eligible for a tax deduction on your super contributions. Remember to make a contribution to NESS Super before 30 June 2015 to make a deduction for your 2015 tax return*
  • You may also be eligible for a Government Co-contribution of up to $500 in respect of your non-concessional contributions if you earn $49,488 or less per annum**
  • A Low Income Super Contribution of up to $500 may also apply if you earn $37,000 or less per annum**.

*Remember, in order to make a claim, you must provide NESS Super with a “Notice of Intent to claim a deduction for personal contributions” before the end of the following financial year and BEFORE you lodge your tax return. For example, to claim a deduction for contributions made this financial year (1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015) you must provide a notice before 30 June 2016. You must receive an acknowledgement from NESS Super before claiming a deduction. Please contact us on 1800 022 067 if you would like help.
**The ATO will automatically assess your eligibility and pay this to NESS Super if you are eligible. There are other conditions, such as ensuring NESS Super has a record of your Tax File Number. Please call our contact centre on 1800 022 067 if you need more information. A non-concessional contribution includes a contribution that you do not claim as a tax deduction. This applies only to Self-Employed and substantially Self-Employed members as defined by the ATO.
We recommend that you consult with a suitable qualified person before making any financial decisions.

Self-Employed contractors who join NESS Super will enjoy the many benefits of being a NESS Super member, including: 

  • our simple and competitive fee structure
  • 24/7 online access to your account through MemberAccess
  • access to financial planning advice, including roll in other super accounts into NESS Super and the ability to consolidate online (no paper!) through MemberAccess
    default insurance cover of 2 units of Death and Total and Permanent Disablement and 2 units of Temporary Salary Continuance (subject to terms and conditions)
  • access to low-interest home loans and discounted health insurance through ME Bank and NIB respectively
  • pension options including potentially tax effective transition to retirement option for members who have reached their preservation age (currently age 55) who wish to take their super as a regular income in retirement or while still working.

Joining NESS Super is simple. 

If you are eligible, all you need to do is go to our website www.nesssuper.com.au and click on thejoin_NESS_buttonbutton and follow the prompts. Alternatively, you can complete the Application for Membership Form for Self-Employed Members available by CLICKING HERE or by calling us on 1800 022 067. It is important that you read the NESS Super PDS which is also available from our website.

REMINDER: Updated Superannuation (Super) Standard Choice Form 

The Super Standard Choice Form (NAT 13080‑08.2014) was updated by the ATO for the new SuperStream requirements for employers. Please note that the updated form replaces forms previously issued by the ATO.

Generally speaking, employers must provide a Super Standard Choice Form to employees within 28 days of:

  • hiring a new employee who is eligible to choose a super fund
  • an existing eligible employee ask you for it in writing, provided the employee has not been given a form in the previous 12 months
  • you can no longer contribute to an employee’s nominated super fund or it is no longer a complying fund
  • you change your employer-nominated super fund and need to advise employees affected by this change.

NESS Super can help! You can access and download the latest Super Standard Choice Form (with NESS Super details pre-completed), from the NESS Super website by CLICKING HERE

Federal Budget 2015/16 – Super and Retirement Update 

The Abbott Government’s second Federal Budget did not contain any major changes to superannuation or the taxation of superannuation. This was no great surprise given recently commenced Tax Review process, which will involve a thorough examination and review of the taxation of superannuation. It is likely to produce its own set of recommendations.

The most significant developments on retirement incomes concerned the Age Pension. As widely reported prior to Budget, the proposed changes to the Asset Test will benefit an estimated 170,000 less well-off pensioners but will tighten the eligibility for those pensioners with higher assets.

Among the limited changes to superannuation, the Budget contained new conditions of release to improved access superannuation for the terminally ill. This will allow more time for people to sort out their affairs or help pay for medical treat treatment.

For more information on the Federal Budget 2015/16, please visit the Government’s Budget website at www.budget.gov.au

Helping you to promote positive mental health in the workplace…

“SuperFriend” is a nationwide health promotion foundation that helps “all profit to member” superannuation funds (like NESS Super) to promote and support improved mental health and wellbeing for their members, throughout the workplace.

SuperFriend’s mission is to reduce the incidence of suicide and the impact of mental illness on individuals, employer, workplaces friends and families.

To find out more about how SuperFriends can help your workplace with mental health matters, CLICK HERE to view SuperFriend’s booklet titled “Promoting Positive Mental Health in the workplace, Gudelines for organisations”.

NESS Super benefits for employers 

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Oliver from NECA NSW, a NESS Super employer

  • We make it simple, easy and convenient for employers to administer their employees’ super.
  • Self-Employed contractors or principles of unincorporated partnerships can also join NESS Super.
  • We are “MySuper” approved and help employers meet the compulsory Superannuation Guarantee and Award obligation.
  • We help employers meet the upcoming Government Data and Payment Standard “SuperStream” requirements with our electronic (online) contribution payment facilities, via EmployerAccess and SCH Online (Super Clearing House facility). This allows employers to contribute electronically to NESS Super and other super funds through the one secure website. It simplifies the process of providing member data and making super payments, through various electronic payment methods, including BPay.
  • We offer personal, onsite service at your workplace. Our friendly and experienced service centre staff are available to assist you and your employees with your enquiries.

 

At NESS Super, we’re here to help…

Mynas

To find out more about how NESS Super can help your business and employees with any of the topics outlined in this newsletter (including Super for Self-Employed contractors and a Super Clearing House, SCH Online solution for the Government SuperStream requirements), please contact Mynas Leontios, NESS Super’s employer service representative on 0448 432 443 or by email at mynasl@neca.asn.au

 

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