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Are you short-changing your employees on super?

Posted on December 15, 2016 by admin

A new report has revealed around 2.4 million or almost one third of Australian workers are missing out on some or all of their super entitlements and little is being done about it.

Under the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) employers must contribute 9.5 per cent into the super account of every worker over the age of 18 earning $450 a month.

But, according to data from the Australian Taxation Office and Australian Bureau of Statistics, many Australian employers are dodging compulsory superannuation payments to the tune of $3.6 billion a year (2013-2014). This equates to $1,489 or close to four months of super for the average worker affected.

Small and medium-sized businesses were found to be least likely to pay SG and workers under the age of 30 were more likely to miss out; 37 per cent of 20-24 year-olds compared to 23 per cent of 50-54 year-olds.

Currently, employers have up to four months to pay SG. SG payments must be made to complying funds or retirement savings accounts (RSAs) by the quarterly due dates, which are 28 days after the end of each quarter.

Employers who don’t pay the minimum amount of SG for their employee into the correct fund by the due date, may have to pay the super guarantee charge (SGC).

The SGC is made up of: SG shortfall amounts calculated on the employee’s salary or wages; interest on those amounts (currently 10 per cent) and an administration fee ($20 per employee, per quarter).

Employers who fail to meet their SG obligations may also be liable for a range of penalties or charges on top of the super guarantee charge.

Paying super is an important part of being an employer. To ensure your business remains compliant, remember to: pay the right amount (9.5 per cent) of employee ordinary time earnings; pay on time; pay the right way and keep records to show you have met your obligations.

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Avoiding mortgage default

Posted on August 26, 2020 by admin

As individuals struggle with cash flow through the coronavirus, the Australian Bankers Association records that repayments on almost 500,000 mortgages have been deferred for six months. While repayments can be delayed, they cannot be avoided altogether.

Lenders can send you a default notice the day your repayment is overdue. However, they could also wait until your repayment is overdue by 90 or more days. When you receive a default notice, you are given 30 days to repay the amounts you have missed in addition to the regular repayment on your loan. Individuals who are struggling with their home loan repayments can avoid mortgage default by considering the following.

Contact your lender
Lenders are generally willing to work with you through financial hardship. Don’t be afraid to contact your lender to discuss your situation and find out what options are available for you. Lenders are often willing to negotiate short-term variations to repayment schedules that both parties can agree to. However, make sure that you do not agree to unrealistic repayment conditions that cannot be met.

Many Australian banks are offering a six-month deferral on mortgage repayments (including interest) for customers who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. If this is you, contact your bank to see if this is an option.

Apply for a hardship variation
Mortgage holders may be able to change the terms of their loan or temporarily pause or reduce their repayments under a hardship variation. A hardship variation can still be requested after you receive a mortgage default. To apply for one, contact your lender’s “hardship officer” and tell them that you wish to change your loan repayments due to financial hardship. This will usually require you to explain why you are struggling to make payments and to estimate how long your financial problems will continue to determine how much you can afford to repay.

After submitting a hardship variation request, your lender must contact you within 21 days with the outcome of your request. They may ask you for more details regarding your request; in this case, they must contact you again within 21 days from when you provide the additional information.

Consider selling your home
Selling your home is a tough decision, but in some cases this may be the better option if your circumstances are unlikely to improve. If you get to the point where your lender takes possession of your home and sells it, it’s likely that you won’t make as much as if you sold it yourself. When you sell your house on your own terms, chances are you will get a better price and avoid having to pay the legal fees passed on by your lender. Inform your lender if you decide to sell your home; they may ask for proof, such as a copy of the contract with your real estate agent or property advertisements.

Renting out your home until you can afford to make repayments again may also be an option if you are able to live somewhere else during this period.

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