4 Quarterly 2013 - Issue 2

Posted on 14 May 2013

Superannuation Update

As of July 1st 2013, the new SG contributions will begin to rise annually as set out below:

Financial Year New Rate
2013-2014 9.25%
2014-2015 9.50%
2015-2016 10.00%
2016-2017 10.50%
2017-2018 11.00%
2018-2019 11.50%
2019-2020 12.00%

Australian employees who are eligible to be paid super guarantee payments now include:

* Employees aged between 18 and 70 years

* Employees 18 years or over paid at least $450 gross per month

* Employees under 18 year of age working more than 30 hours per week and paid at least $450 gross per month

* Employees who receive a super pension or annuity whilst still working

* Directors of a business who receive salary, wages or director’s fees or a family member working in a business and who meet the above wage and age criteria

If you believe you are not being paid the correct entitlements, please contact us.

New Laws to Curb Workplace Bullying

On 21 March 2013, the Federal Government introduced the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2013. If enacted by Parliament, the Bill will allow a worker, who alleges that they have been bullied at work to apply to the Fair Work Commission for an order to stop the bullying.

Any person who carries out work in any capacity for a person conducting a business or undertaking will be defined “a worker” and includes a contractor and student gaining work experience or a volunteer.

A worker is deemed to be bullied at work if the worker is at work and either an individual or group of individuals repeatedly behave unreasonably towards the worker, or a group of workers of which the worker is a member and the behaviour creates a risk to health and safety.

Where the FWC is satisfied that the applicant has been bullied and that there is a risk that the bullying will continue then they may make any order it considers appropriate to prevent the worker from being bullied. Examples of the orders that the FWC may make include an order requiring: a) the individual or group of individuals to stop the specified behaviour; b) regular monitoring of behaviours by an employer; c) compliance with an employer’s workplace bullying policy; d) the provision of information and additional support and training to workers; or e) review of the employer’s workplace bullying policy.

Divorce Woe for Baby Boomers

Many people plan their financial future and retirement around having sufficient funds to support themselves together with their partner. Unfortunately, many people are now separating later in life causing their ‘financial future and retirement plans’ to fall apart.

For those Baby Boomers whose relationships and marriages are breaking down later in life, they are essentially having to halve their asset pool causing them to face having to fund their retirement as 2 singles. The cost of which is significantly greater.

If you are a Baby Boomer and your relationship of marriage has broken down, it is important to make sure that in reaching a property settlement with your former spouse you take into account this ‘change in your plans’ and think about the effect of the settlement on your financial future, particularly how it will affect your plans for retirement.

Your family law Solicitor should not only ensure that a property settlement is properly formalised to secure your financial future, they should also work with your financial planner to help you to put in place a new plan for your future. We have a good relationship with a number of professional and reputable planners. Contact us for a referral.

Property Ownership Choices Explained

In today’s real estate and investment world, there are many different groups of people purchasing properties. You may be investing with a spouse, a friend, a relative or a business partner. Which form of ownership, should you be looking at to best suit your needs?

Joint Tenancy refers to ownership of a property by two or more people. Each owner holds an equal share. If one owner should die, his or her share will automatically go to the other owner (s) irrespective of any provisions made in their will. Instructions in a will cannot override joint tenancy. This form of ownership is commonly used for property owned by married couples and if for example, the husband should pass away, the wife then automatically obtains the husband’s share of the property.

Tenants in common is the alternative method for holding property. Tenants in common can be in equal or unequal parts. Should one owner pass away, his or her share of the property can be left to whomever they desire, as set out in their will. If there is no will then it forms a part of the deceased land owner’s estate and will be dealt with under the laws of intestacy.

If nothing adverse happens to the owners of a property during the period of ownership, there will be no problems but if the correct structure is not in place and something unforeseen then occurs, your wishes as to that property may not be upheld.