Frequently asked questions about Salary Solutions and our products.

Salary Packaging

  • Can I change my salary packaging once it is set up?

    Yes, you can change your salary packaging allocation at any time once your account has been set up. Call us on 1800 680 180 anytime you want to make a change.

  • How do I check my account details and transaction information?

    You can access and check all your details including your transactions and latest balance information by logging in to your Salary Solutions account.

  • How will my pay change if I salary package?

    Each pay cycle, your employer will deduct a nominated amount from your salary before tax is applied and then send that money to us. We then use this money to pay for the items you have selected, such as your mortgage, rent or daily expenses. It’s still your money and you can still spend it on the things you need, but it’s taken out of your pay before your tax is calculated. The remainder of your salary is then taxed and paid to you as normal. As your salary package amount is taken before tax is applied, you are left with more to spend each pay cycle.

     

    EXAMPLE

    The example below is based on a charity employee earning $50,000 and salary packaging $15,900 a year.

    Gross wages $1,923.08 per fortnight
    Pre-tax Salary packaging ($15,900/26) – $611.50
    New gross (before tax) $1,311.58
    Less tax (Includes 2% Medicare levy) – $142.43
    Net wages $1,169.15
    Money deducted for salary packaging + $611.50
    Total pay $1,780.65 per fortnight

    NOTE: Fees and charges have not been included in the above calculations.

    See how much you can save by using our Salary Packaging Calculator.

  • Is there a maximum amount I can salary package?

    Yes. The maximum amount you can contribute from your pre-tax salary depends on the type of employer you work for. This is known as the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) limit, cap or threshold. You will pay FBT on any amount over this limit.

    If you work for a qualifying organisation, such as a charity or Public Benevolent Institution (PBI), you can salary package up to $15,900 per year for everyday expenses such as your mortgage or rent, bills, shopping and petrol. If you work for a public or private not-for-profit hospital or the ambulance service, the annual limit is $9,010. As it’s deducted from your pre-tax salary, it significantly reduces your annual tax bill.

  • I work in private education and my employer is classed as a 'rebatable employer.' What does this mean?

    Working for a rebatable employer means that you do pay FBT, but not the full amount. For the 2018 FBT year you will receive a rebate of 47% of the gross FBT payable (up to $30,000). This effectively means you will pay 53% of the gross FBT up to $30,000 and the full amount for anything over this.

  • What happens to my funds if I don't spend them by 31 March?

    Any funds remaining on your card on 31 March will be carried over to the next FBT year. If this happens it will reduce the following year’s allowed threshold. So, in order to get the maximum benefit of salary packaging we encourage you to spend your card balances by 31 March or contact us to discuss other options.

  • What if I don't work full-time?

    It doesn’t matter if you work full-time, part-time or casual, you may still be able to benefit from salary packaging. Due to the Government’s existing tax-free threshold, salary packaging won’t be beneficial to you if you earn less than $18,200. However, if your annual salary is more than the threshold amount and you pay tax, you should be able to benefit from choosing a salary packaging solution.

  • What if I have a HECS/HELP debt?

    If you have a HECS/HELP debt, salary packaging is likely to increase your fortnightly HECS/HELP repayment whilst still making a considerable tax saving and increasing your take home pay.

    EXAMPLE

    The example below is based on two charity employees, one who does not salary package, and one who does. Dave works for a charity but does not salary package, his income is $50,000 per year. Dave’s annual salary is below the minimum HELP repayment threshold of $55,874 for the 2017-2018 financial year, therefore Dave does not make any HELP payments.

    Dave’s Take Home Pay Calculation

    Gross wages $50,000 per year
    Less tax (Includes 2% Medicare Levy) $8,797
    After-tax Take-home pay $41,203 per year
    Fortnightly take-home pay ($41,203/26) $1,585 per fortnight

    Rachel also works for a charity and earns a salary of $50,000 per year, but she chooses to salary package the full $15,900 per year limit. This decision takes her salary above the HELP repayment threshold so she has to make the compulsory payment.

    Rachel’s Compulsory HELP Repayment Calculation with Salary Packaging

    Gross wages    $50,000 per year
    Pre-tax Salary packaging – $15,900
    Taxable income    $34,100
    Reportable FBT amount -grossed up amount
    (this is the amount need to earn before tax to get the same benefit)
       $30,000
    Total HELP repayment income (taxable income + reportable FBT amount)    $64,100
    Compulsory HELP Repayment (4.5%)    $2,885 per year

    NOTE: Fees and charges have not been included in the above calculations.

    Even though Rachel is paying her HELP debt, she still saves money with salary packaging.

    Rachel’s Take Home Pay Calculation with HELP Repayment and Salary Packaging

    Gross wages    $50,000 per year
    Pre-tax Salary packaging – $15,900
    Compulsory HELP repayment – $2,564
    Less tax (includes 2% Medicare levy) – $3,703
    Money deducted for salary packaging + $15,900
    Total pay    $43,412 per year
    Fortnightly pay ($43,412/26)    $1,670 per fortnight

    NOTE: Fees and charges have not been included in the above calculations.

    As a result of her decision to salary package, Rachel repays $2,885 of her HELP debt each year and has additionally increased her take-home pay by $85 each fortnight ($2,210 per year) compared to Dave who does not salary package.

  • What remote area benefits are available?

    If you live and work in a remote area, you may be entitled to receive benefits that will reduce your taxable income, meaning you pay less tax on your salary.

    Remote area benefits include rent or mortgage interest, fuel, and holiday travel.

    • Rental costs can be included if you’re renting that property under a formal lease arrangement. You can be reimbursed 100% of your rental costs and since only 50% of these costs are applied to your tax-free cap, the effective value of the cap is increased by the same amount.
    • You may be able to package the interest component of home loan repayments that relate to the dwelling you live in as your usual residence.
    • Your electricity or gas expenses can also be packaged when you include rent or a mortgage as a remote area benefit.
    • You may be also be able to package some of your remote area holiday transport expenses (e.g. airfares, accommodation and meals) incurred en route.

    Contact us if you would like more information

  • Will I benefit from salary packaging with my rebatable employer?

    If you work for a rebatable employer then in most instances you will only benefit from salary packaging general living expenses if you earn over $85,000 per year. However, you can benefit from salary packaging a car (also known as a novated lease) and paying for your vehicle and running costs from your pre-tax income, as the savings you make with a novated lease are linked to the value of the car rather than your salary.

    See how much you can save by using the Novated Leasing Calculator.

Novated Leasing

  • Can anyone apply for a novated lease? How do I know if I'm eligible?

    A novated lease is a three way agreement between you, your employer and a finance company. As it is a form of salary packaging, your employer must have an agreement with a salary packaging organisation like Salary Solutions before you can apply.

  • Can I change my leasing budget during the term of the lease?

    Absolutely! Simply contact us on 1800 680 180 and speak with one of our customer service officers.

  • Can I package running costs as well as the vehicle finance?

    Yes! With novated leasing, almost all the costs of buying and running a car are included.

    Items that can’t be packaged include road tolls and e-tag expenses, fines and infringement notices and any accessories or modifications fitted to the vehicle after purchase, e.g. towbar, roof racks, window tinting etc.

  • Do I have to buy a new vehicle?

    With a novated lease, you have the flexibility to package the best car for your needs, whether that’s a new, used or ex-demo vehicle. You can even package your existing car if it’s less than 8 years old.

  • Do I have to use the vehicle for business purposes?

    No, the vehicle does not need to be used for business purposes. Novated leasing is actually designed specifically for employees to purchase the vehicle of their choice.

  • What are the GST savings with a novated lease?

    By packaging your vehicle with a novated lease, you will not pay any GST on the vehicle purchase or maintenance costs*. This means you will be exempt from GST for most vehicle running costs for the term of the lease.

    *If your employer can claim a refund of GST, your employer can pass this benefit on to you, meaning you can save GST on fuel, insurance and other maintenance costs. Please speak with your leasing consultant to confirm if this applies to your employer.

  • What happens at the end of the lease?

    Before the end of the lease term, you will be contacted by a Salary Solutions customer service team member to discuss your options:

    • Purchase another vehicle: Salary Solutions can help you find a new vehicle and arrange your new budget, taking into consideration any outstanding balance from your previous lease. To finalise your existing lease you will need to pay the residual value by either selling your vehicle privately or trading it in and receiving cash (you cannot use this to negotiate a reduction on the new vehicle’s purchase price).
    • Lease the same vehicle again: If you are happy with your current vehicle and it is less than 8 years old, you can choose to lease it again. This results in a lower finance repayment and lower residual amount at the end of your new lease term.
    • Buy the vehicle outright: You can finalise your lease agreement and buy your vehicle outright by paying the residual value in full.
  • What happens if I leave my job, or go on maternity leave or leave without pay during the lease period?

    If for some reason you are no longer being paid a salary by your employer, your novated leasing packaging arrangement will cease. However, you are still responsible for making the loan repayments.

    If this occurs, there are a number of options available to you:

    • Continue to make the lease repayments and running costs yourself out of your after-tax income
    • Request a payout figure and finalise the lease with payment in full*
    • Transfer your lease to a new employer (if the employer allows).

    *A novated lease is a commercial finance product where interest is applied upfront and a residual is payable. This can result in a payout figure greater than the value of the vehicle in the event of early lease termination.

  • What if I already have a vehicle that I want to trade-in? Will the trade-in reduce the finance amount?

    Any trade-in or deposit you make will be refunded back to you by the dealership on delivery of your vehicle, it will not affect the finance amount.

  • What is a novated lease?

    A novated lease is a way to purchase your vehicle through your employer and access savings on income tax and GST.  A portion of your salary is deducted from each pay to cover the finance and running costs of your car.

  • Why are my payments made from my pre- and post-tax salary?

    A novated lease is classed as a fringe benefit, which means you will be liable for Fringe Benefits Tax. For every dollar that you pay post tax, you reduce this tax liability. We calculate this amount first to make sure you have no liability and then we take the rest of your payment from your pre-tax salary.

Cards

  • Can I set up regular payments from my Everyday Purchases card?

    Yes, you can set up regular payments from the card for expenses such as insurance premiums, subscriptions or sports memberships. However, apart from your pre-tax salary, no other funds can be added to the card.

  • Can I use my card overseas?

    Yes, your card can be used where VISA is accepted both in Australia and overseas. If you are planning on using your card overseas, please notify Westpac on 1300 650 107 (8am – 8pm ACST 7 Days) prior to your departure to assist in managing fraudulent use. There may be an overseas transaction fee so make sure you check this too.

  • Can I use my Everyday Purchases card with PayPal?

    Yes, you can use your Everyday Purchases card to make purchases via PayPal. However you cannot receive payments into a PayPal account that is linked to your card.

  • How can I check my card balance?

    Real-time balances can be checked through Westpac Live, at an ATM or by calling Westpac on 1300 650 107 (8am – 8pm ACST 7 Days). You may also check your card balance by logging in to your Salary Solutions account, however this balance will not be real-time and is only updated daily.

  • How can I make a BPAY transaction?

    To utilise the BPAY option, you first need to be fully identified at a Westpac branch. When you visit the Westpac branch, advise the branch staff that you would like to be ‘fully identified’ to be able to use Westpac Live. They will conduct a 100 point ID check. Once verified and registered for Westpac Live, you can follow the instructions online to make the payment. It is important that you check if the bill you are paying accepts payment via credit card through BPAY.

  • How do I change my PIN?

    Cards are managed by Westpac. If you need to change your PIN, log in to your Westpac Live account or contact Westpac on 1300 650 107 (8am – 8pm ACST 7 Days).

  • How do I register for Westpac Live?

    You can check your card balance and transactions at any time with Westpac Live. It’s easy to register for Westpac Live.

    Stage 1: Call 1300 650 107 to establish Westpac Live
    Stage 2: Select option 2
    Stage 3: Do not enter customer number and wait
    Stage 4: Say the words “Employee Benefit Card”
    Stage 5: Do not enter customer number and wait
    Stage 6: Call centre will complete identification and establish Westpac Live
    Stage 7: Provide your Westpac Solutions/Entertainment Card Number
  • How does the Everyday Purchases card work?

    Your employer deducts an agreed amount from your salary every pay and transfers it to us. We then add this money to your Everyday Purchases card and it’s usually available for you to spend the following day.

    With an Everyday Purchases card, you don’t need to worry about submitting claims or receipts. Your account balance is updated as you spend, with statements available online showing a detailed transaction history.

    The card is managed by Westpac and you can check your real-time balance any time on Westpac Live. To find about the Westpac Live registration process, contact Westpac on 1300 650 107.

  • Is there a limit to how much money I can put on my Everyday Purchases card?

    You’re allowed to package the full tax-free limit to your Everyday Purchases card each FBT year. If you work for a charity or public benevolent institution, your tax-free limit is $15,900. If you work for a public or private not-for-profit hospital your tax-free limit is $9,010.

    To make the most of your tax-free benefit, you need to spend all money on your card by 31 March each year.

  • Is there anything I can't use my Everyday Purchases card for?

    You can’t use your Everyday Purchases card for cash advances of any kind, or to transfer cash online to any other account. You also can’t use the card to pay an existing credit card bill.

     

     

  • What if my card is lost or stolen?

    If your card is lost or stolen, contact Westpac as soon as possible on 1300 650 107 (8am – 8pm ACST 7 Days).

  • What is the benefit of having a Meal and Entertainment card as well as an Everyday Purchases card?

    If you already have an Everyday Purchases card,you’re taking advantage of your general tax-free limit. By including a Meal and Entertainment card, you get an additional $2,650 tax-free limit on top of your general tax-free limit. This means that each FBT year, as well as the $15,900 you can salary package ($9,010 if you work for a public or private not-for-profit hospital) to an Everyday Purchases card, an additional $2,650 can be added to a Meal and Entertainment card.

  • Why is my card balance delayed on my Salary Solutions account?

    As the cards are managed by Westpac, there can be a delay of up to 24 hours on balance information coming through to your Salary Solutions account. For the most up-to-date balance on your card(s), login to your Westpac Live account.