your partner in business health and personal wealth


Welcome to our June e-Bulletin.

In this issue ...

Taxation Preparation Checklist forms 2012-13 available now

The time is fast approaching to get your papers in order for your appointment with your accountant. We have prepared checklists to assist you with collecting all the required information. Checklists for individuals, businesses and farming enterprises are available from our website. You can download the forms at:

Alternatively you can drop in to collect forms at our office or simply phone 03 5144 4566 and ask for your forms to be posted.


Phone 03 5144 4566 
to book your tax appointment.

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How much Super is enough for a comfortable retirement?

So, you want to retire? The big question is: 'Do I have enough money to retire comfortably?'

This might sound a bit twee, but it all depends on your lifestyle.

If you simply need to cover your basic living costs, you probably don't need very much. However, add in an active social life, regular alcohol consumption and annual holidays and suddenly your retirement income can't keep up.

The answer is simple: the more luxurious the lifestyle, the more money you need to save, and now is the time to start planning so you can enjoy a comfortable retirement.

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) is the peak policy, research and advocacy body for Australia's superannuation industry. It is a not-for-profit, sector-neutral, and non-party political national organisation whose aim is to advance effective retirement outcomes for members of funds through research, advocacy and the development of policy and industry best practice.

According to a study known as the 'ASFA Retirement Standard', this is what you need:

  • Basic lifestyle (Age Pension only) $21,018 pa ($31,689 for a couple, including pension supplement and Clean Energy Supplement).
  • Modest lifestyle $22,585 pa ($32,555 for a couple).

  • Comfortable lifestyle $41,186 pa ($56,339 for a couple).

Get all the details, including a link to the ASFA retirment calculator by visiting:


If you'd like advice about your super investments and planning for your retirement, contact our Financial Planning team on 
03 5144 5207

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Why DisabilityCare is not a replacement for life and other insurance protection schemes

As we welcome the approach of the launch of the DisabilityCare scheme, which will provide necessary support for those with significant disabilities, we would like to highlight the continuing importance of personal risk protection.     

DisabilityCare Australia will be aimed at those who are most in need, providing long term, high quality support for people with a permanent disability.

While support may be provided if the disablement is permanent or where early intervention can help, the scheme will not cover everyone with disablement. When launched, the scheme will only assist up to 14,000 Australians, not becoming fully operational until 2018-19.

Why it's important to still have life insurance and/or income protection

DisabilityCare will not cover:

  • day to day living costs, such as rent and groceries
  • income replacement (the disability support pension will continue to provide this support).   

In our view, it's not a case of choosing between DisabilityCare and personal insurance. Disabilty Care provides support, but personal insurance gives you control to either replace income or provide a lump sum to use for expenses, such as buying a car or even taking a holiday.


Katrina Van Gunst is a Financial Adviser at Phillipsons and the perfect person to speak to about insurance needs and risk management.

Phone 03 5144 5207 to make an appointment.

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It's time to prepare for 1 July

A word from David Bates, our specialist employee relations partner

Australia's employers should begin preparations now for important changes taking effect on 1 July.

It's time to begin preparing for the upcoming increase to Australia's minimum wage rates.

The Minimum Wage Panel at the Fair Work Commission is responsible for conducting an annual review of Australia's minimum wage rates. Their final decision is released in June and the newly adjusted rates take effect during the first full pay period on or after 1 July. You are then legally responsible for ensuring your employees are being paid a wage or salary that is at least equal to the new minimum wage.

It's important to note that minimum wage rates vary depending upon whether an employee is covered by a Modern Award, covered by an Enterprise Agreement or is Award and Agreement free. Let me explain:

  • Modern Award-Covered Employees: Modern Awards contain employment classifications and corresponding minimum rates of pay that employers must provide to their employees. These minimum wage rates will increase on 1 July 2013 in line with the decision handed down ...

Click here for the full story.



To find out more about our employee relations partner, jump onto their website - Workforce Guardian offers subscriptions to access expert advice and resources:

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Less mining investment equals changes for the Australian economy

This month, our market consultant looks at the factors affecting our economy over the coming years

1.   China's economic development

Over the past 10 years, China has almost tripled its share of the global economy to become the second largest economy after the United States ... (for more see below link)

2.   The economic impact of mining investment in Australia

The Australian resources sector has been undergoing a historically large investment boom driven by increasing demand for commodities ...  (for more see below link)

3.   The outlook for mining investment in Australia

The Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) released its latest biannual Publication 'Resources and Energy Major Projects' on 22 May. The Publication provides a list of major projects in the mineral resources and energy sectors. For the first time, the Publication also provides a Forward Projection of estimated capital expenditures in respect of resources and energy projects up to the end of 2018 ... (for more see below link)

4.   The impact of a reduction in mining investment on the Australian economy

... Even though economic forecasts are subject to considerable uncertainty, in our view the outlook for the Australian economy remains subdued with risks to the downside ... 

Click here to read more.


Fred Strauss

Fred Strauss is an independent and highly regarded investment expert, and is part of our investmnent committee.

If you would like to get more of Fred's insights or to discuss your individual investment strategy, contact our financial advisors on 03 5144 5207.

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Banks warn that shareholders and customers will bear cost of Coalition's $4.3 billion paid parental leave scheme

With CBA, Westpac, NAB and ANZ Bank each facing an annual charge of $80m-$115m, based on Tony Abbott's plan to fund the scheme with a 1.5 % levy on companies with taxable incomes above $5m, the four banks are warning that shareholders and customers will ultimately pay for the $400 million-plus cost to the industry.

A senior banker (who wished to remain anonymous) told The Australian: 'The banks will have to treat it as an increase in their cost base, which means passing it on to shareholders or customers'. The banker also said that business rates would most likely bear the brunt as the levy involved a direct transfer from big business to small business. Business rates, he said, could rise as much as 25 basis points in the case of a full pass-on.

For more on this story, click here:



If you are unsure of how the current or proposed parental leave rules may impact you, talk to a member of our advisory team today.

Phone 03 5144 4566.

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And finally a word from the editor ...

With so much negativity in the world today, we thought it might be worth leaving you with a light hearted view of the way in which societies around the world operate.

Defining Societies with two cows:

FEUDALISM: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

PURE SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all the cows. The government gives you as much milk as you need.

BUREAUCRATIC SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and as many eggs as the regulations say you should need.

FASCISM: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk.

PURE COMMUNISM: You have two cows. Your neighbours help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.

DICTATORSHIP: You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.

MILITARISM: You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you.

PURE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbours decide who gets the milk.

AMERICAN DEMOCRACY: The government promises to give you two cows if you vote for it. After the election, the president is impeached for speculating in cow futures. The press dubs the affair 'Cowgate'.

BUREAUCRACY: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. After that it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.

ANARCHY: You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbours try to kill you and take the cows.

CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

HONG KONG CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax deduction for keeping five cows. The milk rights of six cows are transferred via a Panamanian intermediary to a Cayman Islands company secretly owned by the majority shareholder, who sells the rights to all seven cows' milk back to the listed company. The annual report says that the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more.

ENVIRONMENTALISM: You have two cows. The government bans you from milking or killing them.

TOTALITARIANISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and denies they ever existed. Milk is banned.

Have a great June.

Kurt Best
General Manager


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