Andrew from Vista Financial

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About Andrew from Vista Financial

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  1. Work Bonus (Age Pension)

    Work Bonus The Work Bonus provides an incentive for pensioners over Age Pension age to participate in the workforce by allowing them to keep more of their pension when they have earnings from working. How does the Work Bonus affect pension rates? The Work Bonus increases the amount an eligible pensioner can earn from employment before it affects their pension rate. The first $250 of fortnightly employment income is not assessed and is not counted under the pension income test. The Work Bonus operates in addition to the pension income test free area. From 1 July 2015, for single pensioners, the pension income test free area is $164 a fortnight and for couples combined, it is $292 a fortnight. For example, this means a single pensioner over Age Pension age with no other private income could earn up to $414 a fortnight from employment and still receive the maximum rate of pension. Work Bonus Income Bank Pensioners over Age Pension age accrue any unused part of the $250 fortnightly Work Bonus exemption amount in a Work Bonus income bank, up to a maximum of $6,500. The income bank amount offsets future employment income from the pension income test. The income bank amount is not time limited; if unused, it carries forward, even across years. The Work Bonus income bank is useful for pensioners who wish to work, particularly those who undertake intermittent or occasional work. How does the new Work Bonus work for single pensioners? Example 1: Bob is an age pensioner working as a school crossing supervisor, earning $300 a fortnight. He has no income other than the Age Pension. Under the Work Bonus, the first $250 of Bob’s employment income is not assessed, and only $50 is counted under the pension income test. This is less than the pension income test free area of $164 a fortnight for a single pensioner, and Bob will still receive the maximum rate of Age Pension. Example 2: Maria is an age pensioner who works for three fortnights as an accountant. She has no other income. As Maria has not worked in the previous 12 months, she has accumulated the maximum income bank amount of $6,500 (26 fortnights x $250). During the three fortnights that she works, Maria earns $2,000 a fortnight, a total of $6,000. As Maria’s income bank amount is more than her employment income, none of the $6,000 is assessed under the income test and she will still receive the maximum rate of Age Pension. In addition, Maria will retain $1,250 in her income bank to offset any future employment earnings ($6,500 - $6,000 earnings + $250 Work Bonus concession for each of the three fortnights that Maria works). How does the Work Bonus affect the employment income of your partner? The Work Bonus applies to individual pensioners. It cannot be shared by a pensioner couple. Example: Mary and Jim are a couple who both receive the Age Pension. Mary has employment income of $550 a fortnight and Jim has employment income of $200 a fortnight. They have no other income. Under the Work Bonus, the first $250 of an individual’s employment income is not assessed. Only $300 a fortnight is assessed as income for Mary and nothing is assessed as income for Jim. Under the pension income test, pension is reduced by 50c for every $1 of income over the income test free area. Mary and Jim’s combined assessed income of $300 a fortnight is $8 higher than the income test free area ($292 a fortnight for a couple) and their combined pensions are reduced by $4 a fortnight ($2 a fortnight each). If Jim was under pension age, he would not be eligible for the Work Bonus and all of his earnings of $200 a fortnight would be assessed as income. Who is eligible for the Work Bonus? All pensioners over Age Pension age are eligible for the Work Bonus if they have employment income. This includes: Age Pension, Carer Payment, Bereavement Allowance, Disability Support Pension, Widow B Pension and Wife Pension recipients. Employment income Employment income is income from paid work undertaken by the person as an employee in an employer/employee relationship. This includes but is not limited to salary, wages, leave payments, commissions, employment-related fringe benefits, bonus payments, supported wages and casual loading. Employment income does not include income from self-employment or business income. Pensioners who are self-employed or running a business are not entitled to the Work Bonus, but are able to make business deductions from their income. Application for the Work Bonus Pensioners do not need to apply for the Work Bonus. If you are a pensioner with variable fortnightly employment income, you must keep Centrelink informed of your income. The Work Bonus can only be applied to employment income that has been reported. Pensioners can report over the phone (including Voice Recognition), in person at a Centrelink office or by using the internet. For more information For more information about the Work Bonus, contact the Department of Human Services (DHS) on 13 2300 or visit the DHS website.
  2. Driving Licence

    Hello I can't remember if you have to do something different the first time you get one (been here for almost 10 years now). I'm sure you have seen the website: https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/driving-and-transport/motoring-fees/driver-s-licence-and-permit-fees It looks like that's for the year and then there is the admin charge so probably better getting longer then 1 year. There is an enquiry button on the site, maybe send an email to them, I'm sure they will be happy to confirm. Regards Andy
  3. Have you have transferred your UK Pension to an Australian Superannuation Fund (under QROPS rules) prior to April 2017? If so and particularly if you did this through your Bank (especially the Major 4 Banks) or one of the big UK Pension Transfer companies then a review of your Superannuation Fund really should be considered. There are many reasons that a review could benefit you and add value to you for your retirement (which of course is the whole reason for having a pension/superannuation fund). Some of the reasons for reviewing could be: You are paying high fees for your fund when they are not warranted; Your money is not invested in the correct Risk Profile in accordance with your needs/comfort zone; You money is sitting in Cash and is not invested at all and therefore is not providing any/minimal returns for your retirement; You are paying fees to a Financial Adviser who you feel you are receiving no benefit or value from OR even worse you are paying fees to a Financial Adviser who is not even contacting you for Financial Planning Reviews;; Your investments are performing below expectations; You do not think you can move your super monies to another Super Funs due to UK (HMRC) penalties (which actually may not be the case). If you have any of the concerns listed above then a Review of your (former UK Pension monies) Superannuation Fund is most certainly warranted. If you would like to review your situation then we are able to assist. We are licensed Australian Financial Planners (former UK Advisers) who work with and maintain strong connections with UK Advisers and who deal with UK Expats daily (our business is predominately UK Expat based). We will be in a position to help alleviate any of your above concerns by reviewing your Super Fund and if is it not appropriate AND a move is allowable (under UK rules which we will confirm) we can advise on a more appropriate Super Fund and/or Investment Portfolio for your monies which is more suitable for you.
  4. Tax on overseas money without interest gain

    Hello Eugene Welcome to the forum. Have a look at this thread on our Sister site Perth Poms: https://www.perthpoms.com/topic/18395-can-you-help-any-advice/ This may assist. Regards Andy
  5. Spouse Super Contribution (Tax Offset)

    If you make contributions to a complying superannuation fund or a retirement savings account (RSA) on behalf of your spouse (married or de facto) who is earning a low income or not working, you may be able to claim a tax offset up to $540. For 2017-18 and later income years the sum of your spouse's assessable income, total reportable fringe benefits amounts and reportable employer super contributions was less than $40,000 and the contributions were not deductible to you. See here for further information or talk to us: Click here
  6. QROPS / ROPS - query with pension transferred in 2011 from UK to Aus

    Thanks for this Nic, appreciated. Hello Ali Yes the rules have changed recently however there should still be a difference as to when the member payment charges apply based on pre and post April 6 2017 transfers. Do you wish to perhaps email me and we can pick this up offline? Email is in my signature. Regards Andy
  7. Financial planning is about protecting your wealth as well as building your wealth. It is easy to think that we won’t get sick or hurt and ignore the need to protect the very thing that generates our wealth, our own health and our ability to work. But if accident or serious illness does occur the impacts can be devastating. It’s worth remembering that no matter how much expert advice you receive or how well you manage your finances there is always a risk that you could suffer an early death or serious illness or injury. Where that leaves you and your loved ones in the future depends on the wealth protection strategy you have in place. Risks you could face in the future may include: Emotional, physical or mental trauma Death or serious illness Loss of income due to temporary or permanent incapacity Damage to your house or other personal assets Theft and/or damage to business assets Public liability and/or professional indemnity risks Your financial plan should include a strategy to minimise risks that could jeopardise both your present and future plans. In simple terms, if you cannot afford to lose something then you should try to protect your exposure. Insurance can provide a cost-effective protection mechanism. This may take a combination of personal, general and health insurance policies. There are many different aspects to insurance and it is best to tailor a package that suits your needs as well as your budget. How the Strategy Works Personal risk insurance protects your wealth accumulation strategy by providing money if you are no longer able to earn an income due to disability, trauma or death. The money received can help with medical bills, loan repayments and living expenses. Many people often underestimate the importance of personal insurance which has led to a problem with underinsurance in Australia. It is important that you consider having enough cover to replace your income and cover expenses so that the personal tragedy does not create financial tragedy. You can apply for insurance to cover you in the event of death, temporary or permanent disability, or trauma (critical illness). Outlined below is a brief outline of types of personal risk insurance. Life Insurance The most common type of cover is life insurance (term life insurance). Life insurance will pay a lump sum to your estate or specific beneficiaries in the event of death or in some cases, terminal illness. The advantage of life insurance is peace of mind that your death will minimise any financial hardship for your loved ones. Life insurance can be used to pay off debts, provide an income for dependents, cover funeral expenses and generally assist in maintaining your family’s lifestyle in the event of your death. With this type of cover, your family would not be burdened by debt and may be protected from selling assets to pay debts or cover living expenses. Total and Permanent Disability Insurance Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) can prevent you from working and require expensive medical treatment and ongoing care. TPD insurance aims to provide a lump sum if you suffer an illness or injury and you: Are permanently unable to work again or Are unable to care for yourself independently, or Suffer significant and permanent cognitive impairment. TPD insurance pays a lump sum which can be used to pay for medical expenses, ongoing care costs and to meet living expenses for you and your family. The definition of TPD can vary and may include options for a range of occupations, including homemakers. Options that you can choose from include: Any Occupation TPD: The benefit will be paid if you are unlikely to be engaged in any gainful business, profession or occupation to which you are reasonable suited by your education, training or experience. This definition is generally less expensive than an Own Occupation definition but for some people may be harder to meet. Own Occupation TPD: The benefit will be paid if you are unlikely to ever be engaged in your own occupation again. Own Occupation TPD provides a generous definition as it is specific to your occupation and is particularly suitable for specialist occupations. The premiums for this type of definition are more expensive than Any Occupation TPD. You should discuss your circumstances with your financial planner. Trauma Insurance A serious illness or injury can prevent you from working for a period of time and may require expensive medical treatment. Trauma insurance (also known as critical illness, crisis or recovery insurance) aims to provide a lump sum upon the diagnosis of a specified illness or injury such as life threatening cancer, stroke or heart attack. Trauma insurance pays a lump sum which can be used to pay medical expenses and reduce any financial pressure while you focus on recovery. This payment is made regardless of whether you are able to return to work, and is designed to relieve financial pressure at a time when you are under great stress. Child Trauma insurance can be added to your policy to cover a seriously ill or injured child. This provides a lump sum to help you cover medical treatment and eases financial worry for parents who may need to take time off work to provide care. Income Protection Insurance Income Protection insurance aims to minimise the financial impact of sickness or injury by replacing income lost during a prolonged absence from work. A monthly benefit will assist you to meet living expenses and debt repayments. Income Protection policies will usually pay a benefit up to 75% of your gross income (some policies may pay higher) after a waiting period. Payments continue for a set term or until you return to work. Generally premiums for income protection are fully tax deductible. Waiting period: This is the time period that you must be off work before an income benefit is payable. Waiting periods range from 14 days to two years. Generally, the longer the waiting period, the lower the cost of the income protection insurance. Benefit period: Starting at the end of the waiting period, the benefit period is the maximum time the benefit is paid. Options range from two years, five years or until a specified age such as age 65. Types of contracts include: Agreed value: The monthly benefit is agreed at the time of application and will not reduce even if your income decreases after your policy commenced. This option provides certainty and peace of mind on how much income you will receive. If details of your income are provided at the time of application the benefit can be guaranteed so that no further financial assessment is required at the time of claim. Indemnity value: The monthly benefit paid depends on your earnings at the time of a claim rather than at the time of application. If your income at the time of claim is lower than it was when the policy started, the monthly benefit may be reduced accordingly. Details and proof of income will be required at the time of claim. You can generally claim a tax deduction for the premiums paid on an income protection policy to reduce the effective cost but any income payments received are considered taxable income. Business Expense Insurance Business expense insurance can help to keep your business running if you are unable to work due to temporary illness or injury. This may be particularly appropriate for a sole trader. This type of insurance will usually cover up to 100% of your eligible business expenses, for example rent/lease payments, interest costs, accountant’s fees, telephone, electricity, etc. However, not all expenses are covered so you should check the policy wording before taking out a policy. Alternatively, if you run a larger business you may need to consider life, trauma, TPD or income protection insurance to cover ‘key’ employees or your business partners in case they die or become disabled and are unable to work. This type of insurance protects your business in the event of the loss of a person who makes a significant contribution towards the profitability or stability of the business. As an example, ‘key person’ insurance may provide the business with a lump sum that could be used to either hire a temporary replacement, cover costs of training a new staff member or just compensate the business for any reduction to profit. The premiums may be deductible as a business expense depending on the insurance purpose and the proceeds may also be considered taxable income. Premiums Premiums for all types of personal insurance will vary with age, gender and smoking status. Occupation and medical history may also affect the cost of premiums. Premium options include: Level premiums: The premium rate is fixed when you start the policy and does not change as you get older except in line with CPI indexation. Level premiums are initially higher (than stepped premiums) but will be more stable over time. This can help with affordability and reduce the risk that premiums will become unaffordable as you get older. Stepped premiums: The premium rate increases each year according to your age. Stepped premiums are initially more affordable than level premiums but over time may become more expensive. However, this option can provide you with flexibility as your needs change over time. Your financial adviser can assist in determining which premium option is most appropriate for you. Ownership Life, TPD and income protection policies can be owned personally or through a superannuation fund. Trauma insurance can be owned personally. When held within a superannuation fund, the policy is owned by the trustees usually for the benefit of the member. When making a choice of how to own the policy you need to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each option. Inside Superannuation In Personal Name Advantages · Premiums are paid using contributions into the fund (e.g. employer contributions) or your superannuation savings – this can help to ease your cash flow. · Tax concessions on contributions may reduce the effective cost of the premiums (e.g. salary sacrifice to cover the cost of premiums) · In some funds you may be eligible for automatic acceptance (for some cover) which means you will not have to provide evidence of health or income · The claim proceeds are usually tax-free · Claim proceeds will be paid directly to you, your estate or nominated beneficiary as appropriate. This ensures the money is available when you and your family need it · A wider range of benefits and features may be available · Income protection premiums are generally tax deductible Disadvantages · The policies may have less benefits and features than those offered outside superannuation due to legislation restrictions · Tax may be payable on claim proceeds, depending on circumstances and rules at the time · Your disposable income will be reduced as you need to pay premiums from your after-tax income · Premiums need to be paid from after-tax money and so may be a higher cost to you than premiums inside superannuation Taxation How insurance premiums and claim proceeds are taxed will depend on the type of insurance policy and beneficiary, but will also depend on whether you choose to hold the policy inside or outside of superannuation. You should seek specialist taxation advice to check the taxation applicable to your circumstances. Inside Superannuation In Personal Name Premiums · Premiums are deductible to the fund · Not deductible except for income protection policies Claim Proceeds · Life policy – the proceeds are taxable only if paid to a non-tax dependant · TPD – if you are under age 60 when you take this money out of superannuation tax may be payable · Income protection – the benefits are assessable income to you and are taxed at your marginal tax rate · The proceeds from a life, TPD or trauma policy are generally tax-free. However, the benefits from an income protection policy are assessable income and taxed at your marginal tax rate Application and Underwriting When applying for insurance you will need to complete an application form providing both personal and medical information so that the underwriter can assess the application. Some applicants may also need to undergo a medical examination and/or blood tests or a report may be requested from their usual doctor to determine whether to accept or decline the cover. Depending on your circumstances and health you may be asked to pay an additional premium, known as a loading, if you have an unfavourable medical history or display higher risk factors for developing chronic illness such as being overweight or high blood pressure. In some cases, the life insurance company may apply an exclusion to your policy. For example, a decision may be made to not cover your for high risk activities and sports or a pre-existing injury/illness. This means that if an event occurs that is excluded, the benefit under the policy will not be paid. Many policies are guaranteed renewable. This means that as long as you pay the premium you will continue to receive cover regardless of any changes in your circumstances or health. If you do not pay your premiums, your insurance will lapse. Some life companies may provide a short window of opportunity to pay your overdue premiums to maintain the cover if you have missed the due date. If your policy lapses and your health or circumstances have changed it may impact on your ability to get the same cover at the same premium. It is important to understand the benefits included in your policy, and optional extras. Benefits included are at no extra cost however optional extras may increase your premium. Your financial adviser can discuss the features of the recommended policy with you.
  8. Changes to Superannuation - Video overview

    There are some BIG changes coming to Superannuation from 1 July 2017. Watch this short video for an overview of them:
  9. Info about my private pension

    Hi Tracy What was the reason that you moved your UK pensions to Gibraltar in the first place? Regards moving them to Australia, can I ask how old you are? It is now only possible to move them to Australia if you are over age 55. We do have UK associates that would be able to assist with advising on investments within a Gib QROPS, if you would like further details please feel free to email (address in signature). Regards Andy
  10. SA miss out on Infrastructure spending

    From Jay Weatherill's Facebook page: Of the $70 billion allocated for infrastructure in the Federal Budget, SA will receive no new funding. No new projects. No new roads. Disappointingly, our state has been completely ignored in favour of the eastern states and WA.
  11. 2017 Federal Budget Analysis

    First home savers, downsizers and small business are the winners in Treasurer Scott Morrison’s second Budget – while taxpayers face an increase in the Medicare levy. Note: These changes are proposals only and may or may not be made law Superannuation Contributions from downsizing the home Date of effect: 1 July 2018 Individuals aged 65 or older will be able to make non-concessional (after tax) super contributions of up to $300,000, using proceeds from the sale of the family home. This limit will: apply on a per person basis be in addition to the ordinary non-concessional contribution cap, and be available where the home has been owned for at least 10 years. Unlike other non-concessional contributions, it will not be necessary to meet a work test or have a ‘total super balance’ under $1.6 million. The amount contributed will not be exempt from the assets test used to assess eligibility for the Age Pension. First home super saver scheme Date of effect: From 1 July 2017 First home buyers will be able to save for a deposit by making voluntary concessional and non-concessional super contributions. Contributions will be limited to $15,000 per year (up to a total of $30,000) and will count towards the relevant contribution cap. Withdrawals can be made from 1 July 2018. Concessional contributions plus assumed earnings withdrawn will be taxed at the person’s marginal tax rate, less a 30% tax offset. The Government has provided an online estimator to help individuals calculate the potential benefit of the scheme. SMSF borrowings Date of effect: When law is passed Broadly, when new limited recourse borrowing arrangements are established, the loan balance will be included in an individual’s ‘total super balance’. The total super balance is used to determine a person’s ability to: make non-concessional contributions qualify for a Government co-contribution or a spouse contribution tax offset, and make catch-up concessional contributions above the annual caps from 1 July 2018, where certain conditions are met. Also, repayments made from the SMSFs accumulation balance will count towards the member’s transfer balance cap, if the borrowing supports a pension account. The transfer balance cap limits the total lifetime transfers a person can make to retirement phase pensions. Taxation Medicare levy increase Date of effect: 1 July 2019 The Medicare levy will increase from 2% to 2.5% pa to fully fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme. This increase will flow to a range of other taxes such as Fringe Benefits Tax. Small business accelerated depreciation Date of effect: 1 July 2017 The ability for small businesses with an annual turnover of $10 million or less to claim an immediate deduction for eligible assets costing less than $20,000 each will be extended for 12 months. HELP thresholds and rates Date of effect: 1 July 2018 The annual income threshold at which Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) repayments commence will be reduced to $42,000 (currently $54,869). Also, the repayment rate will start at 1% and increase progressively to 10%. Social Security Pensioner Concession Card Date of effect: From 1 July 2017 Individuals who lost entitlement to the Pensioner Concession Card as a result of the 1 January 2017 assets test changes will be reissued with the card. Energy Assistance Payment Date of effect: 20 June 2017 Eligible pensioners will be entitled to a one-off Energy Assistance Payment of $75 for singles and $125 per couple. Eligible recipients include Australian residents who qualify for the Age Pension, Disability Support Pension and Service Pension. Residency requirements for pensioners Date of effect: 1 July 2018 To be eligible for the Age Pension and Disability Support Pension (DSP), claimants will need to have 15 years of continuous Australian residence unless they have either: 10 years continuous Australian residence, with 5 years of this being during their working life, or 10 years continuous Australian residence, without having received an activity tested income support payment for a cumulative period of 5 years. Existing exemptions will continue to apply for DSP applicants who acquire their disability in Australia. Family Tax Benefit – Part A Date of effect: 1 July 2018 A single taper rate of 30 cents in the dollar will apply to income that exceeds the Higher Income Free Area ($94,316 in 2016/17). Currently, two tests are applied and the higher payment determines the entitlement. Family Tax Benefit – Part A and B Date of effect: 1 July 2017 The payment rates will not be indexed for two years. Indexation will resume on 1 July 2019. Liquid Assets Waiting Period Date of effect: 20 September 2018 The maximum Liquid Assets Waiting Period (LAWP) will increase from 13 to 26 weeks. The LAWP is a period an individual will be ineligible to receive Government income support. The new maximum period will apply to: singles without dependents with liquid assets of more than $18,000, or couples, or singles with dependents, with liquid assets of more than $36,000. Liquid assets are readily available assets such as bank accounts, terms deposits, shares and managed funds. Important information The Federal Budget Analysis prepared by the MLC Technical team, part of GWM Adviser Services Limited, appears below. The information contained in this Federal Budget Analysis is current as at 9 May 2017 and is prepared by MLC Technical, part of GWM Adviser Services Limited ABN 96 002 071749, registered office 150-153 Miller Street North Sydney NSW 2060, a member of the National Australia Bank Group of Companies. Any advice in this Federal Budget Analysis has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on any advice, consider whether it is appropriate to your objectives, financial situation and needs. Any tax estimates provided in this publication are intended as a guide only and are based on our general understanding of taxation laws. They are not intended to be a substitute for specialised taxation advice or a complete assessment of your liabilities, obligations or claim entitlements that arise, or could arise, under taxation law, and we recommend you consult with a registered tax agent. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Before acquiring a financial product, you should obtain a Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) relating to that product and consider the contents of the PDS before making a decision about whether to acquire the product.
  12. HMRC Overseas Pension List Re-released

    HMRC has re-released the Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (ROPS) list released following the temporary suspension it put in place on 14 April. This follows the March UK budget where vast changes to the QROPS system were made and so required Scheme Managers of QROPS to essentially reconfirm in writing to HMRC that they remain QROPS by the 13 April. The new list is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/list-of-qualifying-recognised-overseas-pension-schemes-qrops/list-of-recognised-overseas-pension-schemes-notifications#australia The sole Australian Retail Scheme has again appeared on the new list which as a reminder is exclusive to members age 55 and over. Regards Andy
  13. New Tax introduced for UK Pension Transfers to QROPS

    This looks like it will impact on Australian resident UK expats who might wish to transfer their UK pension to a QROPS that is not Australian domiciled. https://www.gov.uk/government/public...e-on-transfers
  14. State Aged Pension from the UK

    Hi John I am not sure what the assets test and UK state pension have got to do with each other........................claiming the UK state pension will not have any impact on the assets test (and vice versa), the income test perhaps (depending whether you are under or over the assets test threshold).