Blog & Updates

Autopia on TV!

Author: Barry Scott / Published Date: 28 June 2011

Categories: Events, Novated Leasing, Consultancy

After a busy couple of months of conferences, budgets, end of FBT year and seminars, Autopia were rewarded with five seconds of fame on Channel 10 news last week.

Director of Corporate Benefits Greg Parkes, and Marketing Manager Barry Scott were seen discussing the merits of novated leases and car salary packaging with attendees at the AHRI National Convention.

Here's a quick run down of the last few months.

Remuneration and Reward 2011 - April

Greg spoke to an intimate gathering of remuneration and reward professionals about best practice vehicle salary packaging, the inherent risk involved in offering financial advice to employees, and introduced Autopia’s new Total-Annual-Value™ process.

This innovative forecasting system measures the increase in profitability an organisation experiences, as a result of an effectively run vehicle salary packaging program.

The event was such a success it is to be repeated in Melbourne in September. Autopia will be there, presentation topic yet to be confirmed, although chances are the recent FBT changes in the budget will be on the agenda.

End of FBT year - April

One of the busiest times of the year for a company that only does novated leasing, and we achieved a 100% completion rate on statutory declarations from our drivers. If you'd like to find out how we managed it, contact Linda.

Budget Breakfast Briefing - May

Autopia and AonHewitt hosted a timely breakfast briefing on the implications of the FBT budget changes.

Autopia Managing Director, Jeffrey Morton reviewed the changes, analysed their immediate affects on employees and Australian businesses, and provided insights into the future of vehicle salary packaging.

“Good summary of the issues. Highlighted some issues that I hadn't picked up on.”

Jairus Ashworth, Head of Reward at AonHewitt discussed the effects on remuneration, the increasing costs of company cars, and the flow on effects for corporate vehicle policy. 

“The meeting was faced paced and relevant.”

And finally Greg Parkes examined the challenges and opportunities, focusing particularly on HR and finance, and presented useable strategies for organisations to capitalise on the new regulatory environment.

“The presentation was great.”

The feedback from the event was extremely positive, so we decided to bring the presentation online.

If you’d like to view the recorded webinar event, please contact Linda Fitzhardinge.

AHRI National Convention 2011 - June

Maintaining a furious pace, Autopia reprised their role for the fifth year running as the only novated leasing specialist at the Australian Human Resources Institute National Convention.

Soaking up the latest thinking in employee engagement, how to encourage innovation in organisations, and the future of business as we transition from a bipolar world into an environment of genuine uncertainty... a great talk from one of the worlds leaders in management thinking Dr. Kjell A. Nordstrom of the Stockholm School of Economics. We’ll review his keynote opening speech in the coming weeks.

Coming up next…

At the moment the next planned event for Autopia is Remuneration and Reward 2011 - Melbourne on the 18th – 19th October, although I’m sure we’ll squeeze something in before then…

If you’d like to attend the conference, please contact Linda, and she just might be able to organise a discount for you.

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FBT Budget Clarification

Author: Jeffrey Morton / Published Date: 15 June 2011

Categories: Novated Leasing, Consultancy

After the budget announcement in May, there were a number of items regarding the actual implementation of the new FBT rules that required clarification.

Autopia spoke to insiders at the time and received an indication of how things were likely to pan out. Now that the draft legislation has been released, our answers have been confirmed.

Quoted below are the relevant sections of the draft legislation, and our translation into Plain English.

I ordered my car before budget night

Q. Will I be subject to the new or the old rates?
A. "All car benefits will be covered by the new rules unless it can be proved that an agreement was in place prior to 7:30 pm, AEST on 10 May 2011, committing to the transaction. The car benefit does not need to have been delivered by 10 May 2011, but the commitment needs to be financially binding on one or more of the parties." Quoted from draft legislation.

Translation:
If you, your employer, or the financier committed to the transaction after 7:30 pm, AEST 10 May 2011 – new rules, beforeold rules.


I already have a novated lease that is nearly over

Q. If I refinance the residual and start a new novated finance lease for the same car at the same employer will I be subject to the new or old rates?
A.
"If the new rules would begin to apply part way through a year (because of a change in commitment), the changes will commence from the beginning of the next FBT year." Quoted from draft legislation

Translation:

If refinanced after 7:30 pm, AEST 10 May 2011 – old rules will apply until the beginning of the following FBT year, and then the new rules will apply.


I already have a novated lease and I'm doing under 15,000km

Q. If I refinance now (so I can take advantage of the better rates) and start a new novated finance lease for the same car at the same employer will I be subject to the new or old rates?
A.
"Employers and employees who seek to end existing contracts early and immediately enter into new contracts, just to get the benefit of new arrangements, may be caught by the general anti-avoidance provisions." Quoted from draft legislation

Translation:

You’re not allowed to do that.


I drive over 40,000km/pa, and I’ve decided to take out a new novated lease, post-budget announcement

Q. Will I get the 10% rate for the entire length of my lease, or will the rate change to 13% from April 2012, 17% from April 2013 and 20% from April 2014?
A. "Changes for new contracts will be phased in over four years unless an employer elects to skip the transitional arrangements. However, an employer cannot force an employee to bear the impact of by-passed transitional arrangements merely to save on compliance costs. The general intent of the transitional arrangements is to leave employers/employees who have pre-existing commitments (that is, those who have made financially binding decisions, in relation to a particular car, based on the old rules) under the old arrangements." Quoted from draft legislation

Translation:
It will change every year.


I salary packaged my car before the budget, however now I'm changing jobs

Q. Does my re-novation to a new employer mean that I'm subject to the new rules or the old rules? I still have the same finance lease but it will have a new novation agreement.
A. "Changes made after 7:30 pm, AEST on 10 May 2011 to commitments made prior to 7:30 pm, AEST on 10 May 2011, such as re-financing a car, altering the duration of an existing contract or changing employers, are new commitments and will therefore be subject to the new arrangements. If the new rules would begin to apply part way through a year (because of a change in commitment), the changes will commence from the beginning of the next FBT year." Quoted from draft legislation

Translation:
Old rules will apply until the beginning of the FBT year following your re-novation, and then the new rules will apply.

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Changing lives for the better in Nepal

Author: Barry Scott / Published Date: 14 June 2011

Categories: Team Updates

As reported a couple of months ago, our very own doyenne of novated leases Linda Fitzhardinge, visited Nepal with 99 other Australian women to help build housing for 250 poor female headed households.

As a women’s empowerment coach Linda felt drawn to the opportunity to help out fellow women in what is the second poorest country in the world.

In the end however, it was a young boy called Deepak who made the greatest impression.

“It was all a bit overwhelming when we arrived in Katmandu to begin with, it really is another world over there. By the time we moved onto Itihari, where we built the houses, we had all acclimatised a little – and it was time to get stuck into the work!”

“We split bamboo with machetes, used hand saws to cut it to size and then wove the pieces into panels to form the frame of each two-room house,”

“We sifted by hand, lugged, mixed cement and made our own render. I did a fine job of getting the render to stay on the wall but was thankful for the finer finishing touches from our mason!”

“The difference we made to the lives of these Nepalese women was really amazing and very moving, but it was a young boy called Deepak who really brought it home to me.”

“He spent the week with us, helping out with the materials and playing with all of us in the team. At the end when he was told that the house that had materialised before his eyes was actually his, his gratitude was palpable.”

“That moment had to be the most rewarding and personally touching of my time in Nepal. The difference in Deepak’s level of confidence from when we met him 5 days earlier was just amazing.”

 “People in third world countries have never known the security and opportunity we enjoy in Australia. Thankfully organisations like Habitat for Humanity are constantly working to change that, one house and one family at a time.”

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