Jobs & Wages in Australia
SuperannuationThe most common non-salary benefit is superannuation. All employers are legally obliged to pay an amount (the superannuation guarantee) into a superanuation fund for each employee. The rate is currently 9% of salary, but is set to rise to 12% over the next few years. Although the money is locked away until retirement, it is obviously of great benefit to an employee (as opposed to contractors or self-employed people who do not get this).
Fringe BenefitsEmployers can offer a whole range of other non-salary benefits, such as:
- Cars - perhaps a company car, payment towards a lease car, or an allowance towards a car you own personally, or just a fuel allowance.
- Loans - Home loan or car loan at preferential interest rates.
- Accommodation - which becomes the employee's usual place of residence.
- Flights - which are provided to employees of an airline either free or at discounted prices.
- Living-away-from-home allowance - an allowance for temporary accommodation away from the employee's normal place of residence.
Reportable Fringe Benefits
In general, the employer is responsible for reporting fringe benefits to the Tax Office and for paying any tax applicable - Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT).
There should be no increase in the employee's assessible income for income tax.
However, the value of the fringe benefits are included in a number of income tests, eg. in calculating the Medicare Levy Surcharge, or entitlement to income-tested government benefits. For more information, see the Australian Taxation Office website