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  • Oncore Wealth: SMSF and Death

    Apr 08, 2015
    The power of binding death nominations in your Super Fund

    On 25 March 2015, the Queensland Supreme Court in Munro v Munro [2015] QSC 61, handed down a decision in which a document that was expressed to be a 'binding death benefit nomination' (BDBN) within a Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF) was found to be invalid, allowing the trustees of the SMSF to distribute the deceased's death benefit other than as set out in the BDBN.

    Points to consider when writing a Binding Death Nomination based on the above decision:
    1. The BDN must be written as outlined precisely within your Super Fund's trust deed
    2. Your Superannuation assets, including any life insurances to be paid, fall outside of your estate and the direction of your Will
    3. A valid BDN has not been successfully contested to date.
    A correctly drafted BDN will direct the surviving trustee to allocate your super death benefit to either:
    • Your Legal personal representative (to your estate for allocation by your Will)
    • Or directly to your current spouse or dependents (does not form a part of your estate)
    Review your Super estate plan and be satisfied that you understand your wealth will end up in the right hands upon your death.

    Visit the Oncore Wealth Solutions website for more information.

  • Oncore Wealth: Cash and Interest

    Apr 08, 2015
    *The Federal Reserve has given no indication of when it is likely to lift rates, actually softening its view on the outlook for the economy. "The Committee anticipates that it will be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate when it has seen further improvement in the labour market and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to its two per cent objective over the medium term. This change in the forward guidance does not indicate that the Committee has decided on the timing of the initial increase in the target range."

    We have banks throwing 4.45 per cent variable rates at our clients, which is set to remain at these low levels into the medium term. Time to refinance, buy an investment property, an SMSF investment property or even a geared share portfolio; the rates are kind across the board.

    What to do with that cash

    What a predicament we investor types find ourselves in! The cash rate currently sits at 2.25 per cent (offering us a term deposit rate of next to nothing). House prices are at a level where first home buyers are struggling to afford a property, and the ASX is currently trading at a 30 per cent premium to its historical price/earnings ratio (even with commodity prices taking an absolute hammering in the last 12 months).

    It begs the question "Where on Earth do we find conservative income without unnecessary risk?"

    It's a tough question that is certainly being fiercely debated by investment managers and commentators everywhere.

    We believe the answer lies within the fixed-interest/hybrid equity market

    Morgans have recently played lead manager to the ANZ Capital Notes 3 issue. These corporate debt securities offer semi-annual distributions and are very low in volatility. These is also the benefit of liquidity; your cash investment can be redeemed within three days.

    "The security is callable by the Issuer on 23 March 2023 and has a Mandatory Conversion Date of 24 March 2025. Holders will receive gross distributions based on a margin of 3.6 per cent above the 180d BBSW, which equates to an initial gross annual yield of 5.98 per cent. We view current security pricing as attractive and recommend clients add the security to portfolios," - Morgans Research Team.

    Certainly some food for thought as cash, property and other over-priced assets are looking less attractive every day.

    Visit the Oncore Wealth Solutions website for more information.

  • Get involved with the Oncore crew at the 2015 Run Sunshine Coast

    Mar 26, 2015
    Oncore Services is a proud sponsor of Run Sunshine Coast for its second year. This year, we've stepped up to become the event sponsors of the 'Oncore Contractor Payroll Services 12km run' and would love your support!

    Our Sunshine Coast office staffers are committing to participate in one of the available categories; the 6km walk or run, or the 12km run. You can support us by becoming a virtual runner for only $40, with one of our team members running on your behalf! All you need to do is search their name in the registration for virtual runners, and register yourself as a virtual runner with their event. Then simply sit back and let us do all the hard yards (literally)! 

    Run Sunshine Coast 2015 is once again in support of the Children's Development Service (CDS) on the coast. With last year's inaugural event, they raised enough through registrations (and virtual runners) alone to relocate the CDS from a small space at Nambour Hospital to a great area in Maroochydore. But this is only a temporary fix, and more funds are needed for the CDS to secure an area that's large and permanent enough for them to continue providing their valuable services and support to young children and their families.

    While we can be a competitive bunch, the team make no promises on their individual finish time for their event. (Hey, we can only do our best!) However, we do promise we will turn up on the day and show our involvement in support of this great cause. 

    Run Sunshine Coast
  • Best online timesheet and payroll management solution

    Mar 16, 2015
    Did you know how easy the timesheet management of your contractors could be? Oncore’s online portal offers recruiters and corporates an effective solution to manage the administration of contractors through the one, readily available platform.

    All of your contractors are able to submit their timesheets and expense claim requests online. It is then just as easy for you to manage these as the nominated approver. So not only is this all in the one place that’s accessible 24/7, but your approval process is secure and reliable too.

    Through the portal, you also get detailed reporting options across all your contractors, giving you complete visibility and transparency on your contractor expenditure and their hours worked. 

    We take the hassle out of managing the payroll of your contingent workers, with the expertise to provide your payroll solutions and thus reducing your administration costs. We pay your contractors regularly and on time through their PAYG, Pty Ltd or trust structure. And we follow up any outstanding timesheets or approvals to ensure we stick to that agreed timeframe.

    Going hand in hand with this, our online portal also gives you access to a detailed PAYG payment confirmation report after salary payments have been completed. This gives a breakdown of pay and payment date, based on the frequency of pay agreed upon within existing contract arrangements. 

    The cloud-based, online software through which everything is reported and run is the crux of Oncore’s ability to provide you with a comprehensive contractor management solution. This bespoke software solution means there is no upfront investment in the software for you, or ongoing costs for upgrades or maintenance to the system. Rather, it is a secure, online portal that has all the contractor data you need for their management, at your fingertips.

    Contact us to find out more about the benefits you can enjoy as a recruiter or corporate with Oncore!

  • Superannuation for end of tax year 2014-15: Do you know how much you have contributed?

    Mar 03, 2015
    The end of the 2014-15 taxation year is approaching fast and now is a good time to review the contributions that employers (including Oncore) have made to your super fund/s. The best way to check what has been contributed for you is to create a myGov account and link to the ATO to see details of all your super accounts, including any you have lost track of or forgotten about, such as ATO-held super.

    It's important to regularly monitor the contributions made to your super fund if you don't want to inadvertently exceed your concessional cap. An individual has a cap on the amount of concessional contributions that benefit from the concessional tax treatment in their superannuation fund (i.e. taxed at 15 per cent). Concessional contributions include contributions made by the employer and salary sacrifice contributions. The cap for the year ended 30 June 2015 is generally $30,000. A higher cap will apply to people who are 50 years or over.

    At Oncore, we offer all our contractors the option to salary sacrifice additional superannuation. Prior to making the decision salary sacrifice superannuation, Oncore strongly encourages its contractors to obtain independent financial advice or to talk to our team at Oncore Wealth Solutions. To salary sacrifice superannuation, contact your Client Services Manager and they can send you a request form for instructions to payroll.

    For 2013-14 and later years, any amount over the concessional contributions cap will be included in your assessable income and taxed at your income tax marginal rate. You will also be liable for the excess concessional contributions charge. You will receive a non-refundable tax offset equal to the 15 per cent tax paid by your fund on this amount. You can elect to have 85 per cent of your excess concessional contributions released from superannuation, and the released amount will not count toward your non-concessional contributions cap (further information regarding excess concessional contributions can be found on the ATO website).

    Timing of your contributions can also be important. Contributions are counted towards your cap in the year in which they are received and credited by your super fund. For example, Oncore is required at a minimum to send contributions to funds by the 28th day of the month after each quarter, which means that contributions for April-June 2014 (unless you requested an early contribution) would have been received by your super fund in July 2014 and will therefore count towards this financial year (similarly April-June 2015 contributions will typically be paid into funds in the 2015-16 tax year).

    Oncore is also offering contractors the opportunity to send April-May 2015 superannuation guarantee and/or salary sacrificed contributions to funds early*. To request this, send an email to supportaus@oncoreservices.com before 5pm AEST MONDAY 25 MAY 2015.

    Be sure to include the subject "Request for early super contribution" and provide clear instructions on how much you require to be sent. For example:
    • Do you want Oncore to send superannuation guarantee contribution and/or salary sacrifice?
    • Is it the total outstanding for contribution (as deducted - refer to your payslips) or a partial amount?
    • If it is a partial amount, advise the $ you would like Oncore to send early
    • To what super fund do you want this contribution sent? (Note, splitting between funds is not currently available).

    *Contributions sent after 25 May 2015 or returned to Oncore due to outdated or incorrect information on file are unlikely to be deposited into a super fund until AFTER 30 June 2015.

  • Oncore Wealth: Interest rates cut to record low of 2.25 per cent

    Feb 06, 2015
    The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has cut interest rates from the 2.5 per cent cash rate by 25 basis points to a new record low of 2.25 per cent. This move by the RBA hopes to lower the cost business and consumer credit.

    This week's cuts will more than likely see the lowest rates in nearly 50 years. The majority of economists are predicting a second cut in the next 1-3 months, so all this begs the question: What does this low interest rate environment mean for the housing market? More entrants, more buyers and artificial housing prices?

    The Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens has said and acknowledged that cutting the cash rate has risked fueling rising house prices. "The Bank is working with other regulators to assess and contain economic risks that may arise from the housing market," he said.

    Investors will be among the groups most responsive to a rate cut. Negative gearing is becoming less attractive in regards to property. The gross funding gap will be less than one per cent, an incredible low grade for investment property; the result of which may see a popularity shift to the stock exchange and even margin lending for pure taxation purposes.

    This being said, the rate cut could trigger a growth asset as opposed to an income asset for some property investors, conditions pending favourable to a seller. For those who can time their sales to lock in this return may benefit in the next 6-12 months based on their original cost bases.

    For our conservative investors, this cut and any future cuts will also see monies shifted from cash deposits to stocks in search of higher income returns. This is the same with our self-funded retirees, still forced to draw minimum pensions of over double that of the cash rate for our over 65's. No relief has been announced here as yet.

    Take a look at your home loan rate and contact our brokers to compare your rates to those on offer across the market. Some banks have already cut rates to compete. If you wish to seek refuge in the stock exchange for higher investment income returns, please also contact our advisers to discuss your personal situation further.

    Contact the team at Oncore Wealth Solutions today on 1300 654 484.

  • When working from home doesn't work

    Jan 26, 2015
    We recently posted an article with 'Five steps to help you win at working from home', which outlined the reality that professional contractors, more often than not, choose a life of working from home over in an office. This is a great option to have if it suits you. With cloud-computing so prevalent in business, working from home has never been more convenient.

    But working from home isn't everyone's cup of tea, no matter their profession. Sometimes contractors struggle with the isolation that working from home can bring. Where some work well without the distraction of office interactions, others however will happily thrive with the energy of being in an office with other bodies around them.

    Fortunately, many contractor positions are in house, requiring the contractor to be in the office. While those who are pro-working from home may not see the desirability in such a circumstance, there are many who would jump for joy at the idea. And with good reason, too!

    As a contractor, your time working for any one company can be as small as two months through to two years. For those shorter contracts, you could get through a project without really getting the chance to understand that particular company's nuances and best practices. Working in the office can assist you to get to know the company more quickly, which can often be a pivotal point in the difference between doing a good job and doing a great job for the company. Of course, this isn't always the case if in-depth company insight isn't necessary to your role. However, understanding the approach the company takes in its affairs can often give you a sharper edge with your work.

    Sometimes working at home can also dull your focus. Whether it's because you can't think of anything more important to do than cleaning the house, the dog is giving you the guilts for not paying attention to him, or you'd rather hang out with the family, workers often find their motivation and productivity drops significantly when working at home. In an office or shared work space, there are less non-work related distractions, and more people around you getting on with the job to inspire and push you to get more done with your day (whatever 'hours' you happen to work to).

    Another ideal factor in shared work spaces is the ability to build connections. We recently highlighted the importance of networking when you're a contractor and, even as a contractor, what better, everyday way to build your contacts list than working from an office or shared work space? Not only could you expand your list of professional contacts, the work place is often the best way for busy professionals to build great friendships too.

    Whether you prefer to work from home or in the company of others, there are options for any professional contractor to create the work life that suits you. All you need to do is work out which option, or combination of options, works best for you so you can begin implementing your most-desirable work life straight away!

    UK - solutionsUK@oncoreservices.com / 0870 900 2901
    AU - solutionsaus@oncoreservices.com / 1300 654 484 

  • Network like the pro you are

    Jan 16, 2015
    There's an old saying that goes "it's not what you know, but who you know". And this particularly rings true in business. Professional contractors are a notoriously clever bunch, but nothing can get them places better than a solid network of contacts in the industry. Connections can lead to exciting new job opportunities, easily gained and valuable knowledge, or an important network of industry news and information.

    So, how do you build up your network of contacts to a level where the benefits become evident for both you and the other party? There are several outlets from which to network, and several ways to make the most of these as a professional.

    First of all, the art of networking at events or functions has been cultivated for centuries, and altered to suit trends in business as the decades have gone on. But ultimately, it comes down to the one key thing: be present and personable to get your name known. It's not necessary to become an industry celebrity to do this, unless that's your goal. You only need to engage with a few contacts at an event to classify it as a networking success. The acts of being present and personable simply means engaging with those around you, including making eye contact, asking questions about what they do and most definitely not spending the event with your eyes glued to your phone or tablet. Nobody wants to waste their time or energy on someone who comes across as disinterested. 

    If you're the more reserved type and find striking up conversations with relative strangers a bit overwhelming, try and find someone in the room you do know and ask them to introduce you to someone they know. And then repeat the process with those new contacts. It's at this point you'll be glad you came prepared with your business card so you can swap details in order to always follow up after the event. 

    In the past few years, online networking has slowly (but surely) come into the business world as a force that can no longer be ignored by those who are perhaps a little set in their ways. Professional networking platforms play a hugely valuable role in the industry today as a way for old colleagues or connections to keep in touch, or for new connections to be formed virtually. And there are many popular tools available that makes this easy for users! 

    LinkedIn, while not the only option to network online, is largely a tool of choice for professionals of all disciplines to connect with one another, request introductions from mutual connections, search for specific skill sets, and make recommendations of fellow connections. LinkedIn profiles also make it easy to follow up with those people you met at that networking event last week. It adds a personal touch with a virtual 'promise' to keep up to date with what that person is doing is business.

    You can also follow companies on LinkedIn that have a company page set up. This is akin to 'liking' a company page on Facebook, except on an arguably more professional level, and almost definitely more refined to your industry. Following companies or connecting with peers on LinkedIn also helps if you're wondering how you're meant to know about the networking events going on. Connecting ensures you're kept more front of mind with your connections. Companies will also often share news and photos from their events (like Oncore's twice yearly client functions in Australia, or the quarterly functions we hold in the UK), so you know what's going on, when it's going on, and to contact your Client Service Manager or mutual connection to find out how you can get an invite!

    Networking, whether online or in person, doesn't have to be something you dread. It can be easy, simple and, depending on whose event you're attending, even fun! But most of all, it can be hugely advantageous to those in the industry who are willing to connect and share their knowledge and opportunities with each other.

  • Oncore Wealth: China and Australia Free Trade - What it means for our markets

    Dec 16, 2014
    A noteworthy mention goes to the historic Free Trade Agreement Australia has made with China recently. The Australian agricultural industry is a key beneficiary of the of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China, which will result in the elimination of tariffs over the medium to longer term. Here are some key messages from our team of analysts and our investment committee on how to take advantage of this historic decision. 

    A summary of the tariff removals and time frame:

    Dairy -
    Removal of all tariffs of up to 20 per cent, in four to 11 years
    Beef - Removal of all tariffs of 12 to 25 per cent, over nine years
    Wine - Removal of all tariffs of 14 to 20 per cent, over four years
    Horticulture - Removal of all tariffs up to 30 per cent, in four years
    Live animal exports - Removal of tariffs of 10 per cent in four years
    Wool - Australia-only duty free quota for wool.

    The listed companies that are key beneficiaries of the China FTA include:

    Beef/live exports - Australian Agricultural Company (AAC), Elders (ELD) and RuralCo (RHL)
    Dairy - Bega Cheese (BGA), Warrnambool Cheese and Butter (WCB), Fonterra Shareholders' Fund (FSF), Bellamy's Australia (BAL), Freedom Foods (FNP), and Elders (ELD) supply inputs to the dairy industry and exports dairy heifers to China
    Wine - Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) and Australian Vintage (AVG)
    Horticulture (nuts) - Select Harvests (SHV) and Webster (WBA).

    Contact the Oncore Wealth Solutions team on 1300 654 484 to discuss the investment options available to you.

  • Oncore Wealth: How to generate income in low interest rate environments

    Dec 16, 2014
    The current season of AGMs have allowed companies to guide investors on the health of their businesses, as well as update the market on how objectives are tracking for the year. The RBA looks to be leaving rates on hold, or even dropping them again in the first quarter of 2015. Australia's commodity exports are subdued thanks to a growth slow-down in China and our Aussie Dollar is weakening, but not to the point where it becomes undervalued, so all-in-all we are in a low-growth environment.

    As we head into the Christmas period, the overriding question on the lips of investors is"How can we generate income in an environment with such a low interest rate?" The answer is to look for investments with strong underlying revenue streams, a strong balance sheet and consistent fully-franked dividends. To generate the required income it is hard to go past our leading companies such as the 'Big Four' banks, Telstra and Woodside Petroleum; all of which are paying a combined average, grossed-up yield of around eight per cent per annum.

    Off the back of a slight correction in September, the US dollar is now stabilising, which in our view will lead to normalisation in equities. We believe this may be a good time to pick up discounted blue chip stocks and high quality dividend payers to take advantage of some higher returns. 

    The selection of blue chip shares within your portfolio usually comes with the added bonus of a franking credit of up to 30 per cent. Franking credits are pre-paid tax on franked dividends from shares issued to the shareholder. This means if your tax rate is below 30 per cent, like that of your Super Fund at a cool 15 per cent, then the extra 15 per cent can be added to your overall return on investment and paid in the form of a tax refund back to your fund annually.

    Practical example of fully franked shares in Super:
    Imagine this: You bought 500 ANZ shares prior to them going ex-dividend at the start of November for $31.50 per share. ANZ called a dividend amount of 95 cents per share on 7 November, due to pay mid-December. ANZ will pay $475 plus a $204 franking credit, totalling $679. If the Super Fund only pays tax at 15 per cent, you will receive the extra 15 per cent franking credit back as a refund, grossing up your total to $575 after tax.

    If ANZ repeats this dividend again at 95 cents in May 2015, then you would have received a total income of $1,150 or 7.3 per cent after tax for nine months of investing within your Super Fund.

    Investing in direct equities via superannuation with a longer time horizon allows us to compound dividends and gain the benefit of the excess franking credits due to the super fund's concessional tax environment.

    The next round of company dividends will be reported in February, so now is the time to position yourself to get the best of the returns and franking credits on offer.

    Contact Stacy Barnes at Oncore Wealth Solutions on 1300 654 484 to chat about your options.

  • Five steps to help you win at working from home

    Dec 10, 2014
    When you're a professional contractor, chances are you spend a great deal of time working from home. This arrangement probably suits you perfectly, and there's no denying the benefits working from home as a contractor can bring, as long as you know how to make it work for you!

    We're big fans of effective contractor solutions, so we've compiled a list of the top five things people who work from home swear by. These methods help home-workers to increase their efficiency and get the most out of the day. Of course, these depend most upon your personal situation and how you work best. Read this list with yourself in mind and use it to brainstorm best working from home practices that work for you.

    1. Separate your work space from your home space: This is perhaps the most important and most widely supported solution for contractors who work from home. Having space set aside for your work, ideally with a door you can close, will do wonders for helping you consciously make that mental separation. When you step into your 'office', your subconscious knows it's time to engage in work mode. Likewise, this is just as important at the end of the day. When you step back out of the office again, mentally switching off from work things becomes easier.
    2. Set your work hours: Sure, it can sound awesome you can quickly get that small job done when you're struck by inspiration or have a moment to spare on your weekend. But when "just one thing" becomes never switching off, no matter what else you may be doing in your downtime, it can lead to trouble. You'll find you become less productive during your actual work day, and spend far more time getting things done than it would normally take you. This decrease in efficiency will surely be noticed by your clients and won't be healthy for your home life if you're constantly interrupting downtime by checking emails. Set your work hours by the time in a day where you work most efficiently and stick to them as best you can. Then you can walk out of your work space at the end of the day and leave it behind.
    3. Get ready for work: This one might sound like a bit of a buzz kill. What's better about working from home than being able to hang out in your PJs all day? The problem with this is that if you don't shower until after lunch, and wear your slippers and sweatpants while you're working from your laptop in bed, you never mentally engage in work mode. Instead, you'll spend the day too comfortable to actually want to work and will soon find yourself spending more precious hours watching daytime television than getting on with the job. Do yourself and your valued clients (or employers) a favour and put on something smart for your time 'on the job'.
    4. Keep a to-do list: To make sure your productivity doesn't slip without co-workers or bosses around to keep you motivated, make a to-do list for each day. This doesn't need to be lengthy; in fact, it's better if it's not. Keep it to three or four essential items to complete that day, then a secondary list for if and when you check off all the things on the first one. This will help you keep motivated on a day-to-day basis and make sure your productivity results in something tangible.
    5. Log your time: Logging your time will allow you to keep track of how much time each task requires. It also enables you to add up the hours in your day with visibility on time spent on non-productive things. A good example of time ill spent is when browsing the internet. How often do you check social media and browse the internet during your work day, only to find that suddenly it's an hour later and you still haven't gotten back to that task you'd been working on? Time management is an essential skill to have when working from home, so you're best to embrace it.
    Of course this list is not exhaustive. There are many more factors involved in how to successfully work from home. However, most professional contractors will tell you that loving and being passionate about what you do will usually spur you on to working-from-home success!

    For more information on the solutions Oncore can offer contractors in the UK and Australia, contact us today.

    UK - solutionsUK@oncoreservices.com / 0870 900 2901
    AU - solutionsaus@oncoreservices.com / 1300 654 484

  • Making sure your business blooms with a contingent workforce

    Nov 26, 2014
    There are many documented benefits to engaging a contingent workforce in your roster of staff. But looking a step further, just how well are you keeping your contingent workforce accountable for value? With a healthy mix of permanent employees and contractor staff, it's so easy to lose track of the data indicating your return of investment, let alone keep on top of efficiently managing your workers' projects and value.

    Do you have access to the right tools?
    Do you have an efficient system in place that allows you to easily see how many of your workers are contractors? Or what projects they've been hired for? What about where they're located? Or whether your business is sticking to the employment budget?

    It doesn't need to be difficult to answer these questions, nor should they put you off hiring contractors. But without having the right contractor management system in place, you could be missing out on key insights on the costs and benefits to your business.

    Do you have the expertise required?
    Whether or not you have the right reporting tools. the requirements of hiring contractors is a different kettle of fish than your usual permanent employees. While having contingent staff can be very rewarding for your business and workflow, one of the most important things to keep on top of is ensuring compliance. This will help protect your business and prevent it from being open to risk.

    However, this also requires adequate knowledge on not just contractor payroll and back office functions, but also insurance required, any onsite OH&S training that needs completing and the necessary legal certifications that might come as part of your contractor's role.

    So what can you do about it?
    If you want to manage your contingent workforce efficiently and effectively, you're better off consulting the experts. Engaging the services of a contractor management company means your contractor payroll, insurances, expense processing, and risk mitigation is easily taken care of by professionals who specialise in each area. In addition to all of this, you will gain access to detailed reporting functions through a secure and reliable client portal, giving you more control and visibility of your contractors.

    For more information on the contractor payroll and management solutions Oncore can offer you in Australia and the UK, contact us today!

    AU - solutionsaus@oncoreservices.com or call 1300 654 484.
    UK - solutionsUK@oncoreservices.com or call 0870 900 2901.

  • Is it the death of the CV?

    Nov 18, 2014
    As a contractor, you would already be aware of the importance of a professional brand. The same goes for your online presence. In the past, you used to be able to rely on your CV to represent your professional profile. Potential recruiters and clients now rely on your online profile as well.

    Online profiles allow contractors to keep their details updated in real time, unlike the stagnant nature of traditional resumes. With the increased reliance on online digital profiles, CVs quite possibly have become a thing of the past. This is even more apparent when you consider how often employers won't make a hiring decision based on a resume without looking up their prospect online first. It's the online profile that is most often judged.

    The Fair Work Act still rightly maintains a prohibitive stance on adverse or discriminatory action against job candidates, and this extends to information found on online social media and professional profiles. However, there are things you can do to ensure your online presence is an accurate representation of you as a professional and leverage your personal branding.

    1. First of all, get online in a professional sense. As a contractor, your personal brand is paramount. Having personal social media profiles is not enough to impress your professional brand in a digital capacity. Utilising professional networking tools such as LinkedIn can provide a first port of call for prospective employers, allowing you to put your best online foot forward and remove the reliance upon other social mediums like Facebook.
    2. Use the tool properly. LinkedIn has a plethora of best practice guides when it comes to setting up the content in your profile and getting the most out of your time spent on it.
    3. Let people know about it! Even the best set up profile is useless if people don't know about it. Make sure your privacy settings on LinkedIn are open so you're searchable. Customise your public profile URL so you can neatly add it in an email signature when you're contacting those contacts about jobs. This also extends to connecting with your contacts and people you know in your professional network. Again, the more people know of your professional presence, the more you'll get the chance to present yourself how you want to.
    4. Be active on the network. This doesn't mean sharing pictures from your weekend or funny things your cat has done. This means engaging with your network of connections. Like an article someone has shared that you enjoyed reading, congratulate somebody on their new job or work anniversary, or even share insightful articles or news you've come across yourself.
    There are many other emerging networking platforms that can help you grow your network tools like MeetUp, Opprtunity, BranchOut, and Quora. Regardless of which ones you use, it's important that you keep it professional, relevant and make sure you're mixing in the right circles. But keep that CV in your top drawer just in case!

  • When recruiters should choose to outsource

    Sep 12, 2014
    For some recruiters, the effort and cost of outsourcing often seems much larger than it actually is. This is often due to a lack of awareness in both how easy it is to engage a specialised company in the tasks required, and how much is eases internal administration workload.

    Many contractor management functions considered to be draining to an agency's productivity and costs include expense processing, timesheet management and payroll, insurance and superannuation assurance, as well as maintenance of management systems and software.

    Some tips for recruiters to tell if outsourcing these back office functions would be useful:
    • The agency is spending time and money training internal staff on areas outside their immediate expertise or capabilities
    • Staff are finding it challenging to pull comprehensive reports on costs and engagement of all contractors
    • The agency is undergoing, or has recently undergone, rapid growth or reduction in size.
    Introducing in house technology vs outsourcing contractor management
    To effectively manage contractors, it is necessary to have an effective management system in place to ensure consistency across all contractors, reporting and cost functions, as well as ensuring compliance.

    In choosing whether to introduce in house technology to manage these contractors or to outsource contractor management, it is important to first understand if the company is capable of adequately and efficiently implementing a new technology into the business functions.

    Implementing these solutions in house requires a dedicated staff member to spend time becoming acquainted with all the functions to be able to teach and guide other staff in using it effectively. This is often a pricey option that can be very disruptive to the day-to-day workflow and productivity.

    Outsourcing these back office functions to a service that utilises its own established technology and software is a much more time efficient option. The service is its own technology champion, already knowing the inner workings and best ways to get things done. With the functionality of continually upgrading and improving the software, this negates the need for anyone internal to the company to fill that role on top of their existing role.

    When you outsource services through Oncore, you only pay for the outsource system when you have contractors billing in the market and making you money. You are not charged a setup fee or for the non-utilised capacity of when contractors are not working.

    The other large benefit in outsourcing contractor management is that the company in need is not only gaining a ready-made software solution, but also gaining people doing the work who are dedicated experts in their field. Having experts at their disposal is a more efficient option for companies wanting to quickly and easily implement an effective contractor management software.

    Contact the team at Oncore on 1300 654 484 for more information on the contractor management solutions available.
  • Celebrating the ups and mitigating the downs of start up recruiters

    Sep 11, 2014
    Starting a new business venture can be an exciting time. You have made the decision to start your own recruitment agency and work towards your passion. But naturally, in addition to all that excitement, is the hard work involved in getting your new recruitment agency off the ground and, dare we say it, turning a profit. There are a lot of ways new business owners help to drive their agency into a profitable venture and there is a very common, very big misconception that taking on all the back office tasks involved in recruitment is the most effective and valuable method of saving money. However, wearing all the hats as a business owner is actually a sure way to open yourself up to more trouble and stress than not.

    Most back office tasks within a recruitment agency can effectively cost you time, and therefore money, if you try to undertake them without the experience and expertise required. Alternatively, this means that every minute you spend wrestling with tasks outside of developing the business, which is likely the reason you started this whole venture, you lose as minutes you could otherwise spend generating revenue and building the business. Neither of these factors are conducive to a quickly increasing cash flow for the business.

    In picking up these extra tasks without the knowledge of relevant legislation or compliance necessary, you open yourself and your business up to legal risk. Financial and legislative risks can be a significant barrier in carrying out business properly. It is widely agreed how vitally important it is for business owners to understand how to mitigate risks before they become a danger. However, it takes time, money and a certain existing level of expertise to get up to speed on these compliance matters.

    The good news is there are readily available options for start-up recruiters to take advantage of in order to help give their business and workflow the boost it needs in those early days. The best of these are inexpensive and a great support in further growing a new business. You can outsource a variety of those back office functions to a  service such as Oncore with experts in each field, freeing up your time in a much more efficient manner.

    Some tasks that recruiters can outsource include:
    • Contractor payroll and timesheets
    • Invoicing
    • Accounts payable
    • Reporting
    • Expense processing
    • Personal insurances and superannuation
    • Risk mitigation.
    You can engage a contractor management solutions company like Oncore, which offers a complete end-to-end tailored solution for all your contingent workforce payroll and management requirements. This cost effective solution is the best way to allow you to get your business set up and running exactly how you want it to without breaking the bank of a new business.

    For more information on the cost-effective contractor payroll and management solutions Oncore can offer you as a recruiter, contact us using the relevant details for your country below:

    AU - 
    solutionsaus@oncoreservices.com or call 1300 654 484.
    UK - solutionsUK@oncoreservices.com or call 0870 900 2901.
  • Intending to retire in Australia?

    Sep 08, 2014
    If you've worked in the UK, whether you're a UK or Australian citizen, and intend on retiring in Australia, it's not too late to save your UK pension fund. It is possible to transfer most UK retirement monies to an Australian fund as long as it's registered as a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS). 

    A Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF) can become a QROPS registered fund, and Oncore Wealth Solutions can assist in setting this up.

    Australian retirement tax concessions are focused more on the retirement phase and less on the accumulation phase, designed to promote self-funded retirees. This is the reverse of the situation that applies in most overseas countries. Consequently, in most situations, a transfer prior to retirement has a significantly beneficial tax minimisation affect. Under current legislation within Australia, if you are 60 years of age and retired you can draw a tax free pension and pay no tax on income within your Superannuation fund. This is essentially tax free living.

    What and how much can I transfer?
    An Australian fund can only accept a transfer up to the fund-capped contribution limit in a single transaction. The limit is currently $540,000 for people under age 65 (three years in one lot). If you are aged 65 or over at the time of transfer, Australian super funds can only accept an amount of $180,000 currently if you are still working, and nil if you are not. This is important to be aware of as the window of opportunity does shut.

    Tax on transfer
    If you move from the UK and have been a resident of Australia for more than six months, there will be a portion of your rollover that may be subject to tax after this point. This is calculated as the value in GBP when you became a resident, less the amount at date of transfer in GBP. Based on the net gain, there will be tax applied, but you must take into account the exchange rate as it may work for or against you here.

    What happens if I don't transfer?
    We need to consider the situation both before you reach retirement and also when a pension is being accessed from an overseas source. If you are in Australia and you do draw a foreign pension you must be aware that Australians are taxed on a worldwide income.

    Remember too that pensions and lump sum benefits sourced from Australian monies, i.e. an Australian Super Fund for people over the age of 60 who are retired is, under current legislation, tax free and received tax free in the hands of the 'pensioner'.

    Why choose a Self Managed Super Fund?
    Australia offers the Self Managed Super Fund option to enable fund holders to fully control their retirement investment strategy and plan by becoming the trustee of their own Super Fund. A Self Managed Super Fund gives access to investment options such as direct residential or commercial property, direct shares and cash, or fixed interest assets not available through a regular industry or retail superannuation provider.

    To boost your balance before retiring, some people choose to borrow or acquire property, which is then paid off by a combination of employer super contributions and rental payments over time. Prior to pension phase, Super earnings and capital gains are taxed at a maximum of 15 per cent. In pension phase, you are looking at a zero per cent tax rate for earnings and capital gains. So if you are considering a long term investment in real property, this strategy could save you money.

    As with most things, there are of course some risks inherent. Aside from the potential disadvantage of the exchange rate, there is also the risk you may lose any benefits attached to your UK pension fund, such as insurance. There are also rules still in place that give the UK rights to take back or tax the pension transferred for up to six years after the transfer has taken place. Whilst it is difficult to tell when the likelihood of this may be, the law does exist nonetheless.

    This process takes time, as all good things do. If you see the value in the outcome, it is definitely worthwhile. We are willing to assist in getting the Self Managed Super Fund established in the right manner and your rollovers complete and ready for your investment strategy to take effect.

    Self Managed Super Funds are not for everyone. The dollar balance and what your desired investment strategy is, along with the associated costs, will need to be weighed up prior to making the decision to set up this type of tax structure. 

    Contact Stacy Barnes at Oncore Wealth Solutions on 1300 654 484 to discuss if this type of retirement vehicle will suit you, or for other QROPS rollover and retirement planning queries. Alternatively, visit the Oncore Wealth Solutions website for more information on services available.

  • Australian mining company kicking goals: Boom far from over

    Jul 18, 2014
    Rio Tinto delivers very strong first half production
    • Record first half iron ore shipments, production and rail volumes
    • Pilbara ion ore system of mines, rail and ports reached a run rate of 290 million tonnes a year (Mt/a), two months ahead of schedule
    • Production of hard coking coal improved in the first half of 2014
    • Full year production guidance for copper has been increased following strong production during the first half, driven by higher grades and concentrator recoveries at Kennecott Utah Copper and the ramp up at Oyu Tolgoi. These led to a 23 per cent increase on a like-for-like basis in the half, and more than offset the impact of divestments in 2013.
    Get your portfolio on the right track, reviewed or kick started with access to our portfolio management team at Oncore Wealth Solutions for your personal Superannuation portfolios.
  • Superannuation and personal tax changes effective in the 2014 Budget

    Jun 16, 2014

    Last month’s budget announcement was big news in Australia, taking over our radio, news stations and water cooler conversations. The most important thing to really know about it however, is how does it affect you?

    Our Wealth Management team have collated and compiled the relevant information for you that’s come out of the budget so you can see it laid out clearly. Here are some of the big proposed budget changes regarding superannuation and personal tax that could affect you. 


    Along with the Super guarantee set to increase to 9.5 per cent on 1 July 2014, there are additional increases and changes to various functions within super that are expected to be implemented.

    Increase in Retirement Pension age

    One major change that affects a vast majority of workers in Australia is the increase in the age at which point the retirement pension is made available. For individuals born 1 January 1966 onwards, the qualifying age is now set at 70 years.

    If you were born after this date and want to retire before reaching the age of 70, you must consider how much additional superannuation income is required to fund the gap in between until you reach the pension age. For example, a person who is currently 48 (born in 1966) who wishes to retire at 65, will require approximately $96,432 to generate the equivalent of the maximum age pension, currently $29,912 per annum, for singles, to fund the five year gap. For members of a couple, they require approximately $72,689 each to fund the five year gap. This is a substantial amount to accumulate over the next 16 and a half years in pre-tax contributions.

    With this is mind, what better time to consider your retirement options than now? Self-funding your retirement would be a more attractive option than the age pension for most. How to do this will mean a focus today on your super contributions, investment maintenance and planning. Remember this lift to the Age Pension acceptance has not affected the Superannuation access age. See below table to help you understand your goal timeframes:

    Date of Birth

    Preservation Age

    Before 1 July 1960


    1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961


    1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962


    1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963


    1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964


    From 1 July 1964


    Super contributions caps and tax

    The Federal Government expects the non-concessional cap to increase to $180,000 for the 2014/2015 financial year, in line with the expected increase in the concessional cap for the same year. Having said this, the contributions caps have failed to have been adjusted in line with inflation as promised, with the government freezing the contributions caps since originally being introduced in July 2007.

    It has been promised by the Federal Government that as of the 2014/2015 financial year, the non-concessional contributions cap will be indexed along with increases in the concessional before-tax cap, which is six times the level of the indexed concessional cap. If this goes through, the non-concessional cap could rise to $180,000 from the 2014/2015 financial year.

    Income year

    Amount of cap


    $180,000 Proposed



    Concessional Contribution Caps (Employer and Salary Sacrifice)

    The concessional contributions cap will be temporarily increased to $35,000 for the 2014/2015 financial year or a later financial year if you are aged 49 years or over on the last day of the previous financial year, or if you are aged 59 years or over on 30 June 2013 for the 2013/2014 financial year.

    Income year

    Cap for those aged 59 years or over on 30 June 2013

    Cap for those aged 49 years or over on 30 June 2014







    Concessional Excess Contributions Tax at your tax rate

    From 1 July 2013, any amount above the annual cap is included as assessable income, and is subject to tax at your marginal tax rate. Where the annual cap is exceeded, the ATO will send you a tax assessment which is payable by you. It is no longer deducted from the super account and sent to the ATO.

    Prior to 1 July 2013, concessional contributions in excess of the annual cap were subject to an additional tax of 31.5% (including the Medicare Levy). This made the total tax 46.5%

    The new law applies in respect of the 2013/14 and subsequent years, so if you exceed the concessional contributions cap in respect of 2012/13 or prior, the old law still applies.


    Personal tax rates increase looming

    The new personal income tax rates and thresholds have been summarised without including the Medicare levy, which is currently sitting at 1.5 per cent, but set to rise to two per cent from 1 July 2014. If the Medicare levy were to be included, the top marginal rate would be 49 per cent from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2017.

    Personal income tax rates and thresholds




    2015-16 and 2016-17








    1st tier







    2nd tier







    3rd tier







    4th tier







    Budget Repair Levy

    There has been a Temporary Budget Repair Levy placed on income earners earning over $180,000, which applies as of 1 July 2014 with a projected end date of 30 June 2017. This is a levy of two per cent applied to an individual’s taxable income over $180,000.

    Taxable Income

    Temporary Budget Repair Levy







    It is also important to be aware that while the Temporary Budget Repair Levy is applicable to high income earners, it also has the potential of applying to people with income below $180,000 where they:

    • Sell an asset and realise capital gains
    • Take a superannuation lump sum benefit consisting of taxable component between the age of 55 and 59, as this amount will be included in the taxpayer’s taxable income and could push the taxpayer over the $180,000 threshold.

    Taxpayers considering selling assets or taking superannuation lump sums between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2017 may therefore need to take into account any additional levy they may incur as a result.

    The rate of Fringe Benefits Tax will also increase to 49 per cent as a way of preventing high income earners from using fringe benefits to avoid the levy. The increase in Fringe Benefits Tax rate will exist from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2017, to align with the Fringe Benefit Tax year.

    Company tax rate to decrease by 1.5 per cent

    As of 1 July 2015, the company tax rate is set to decrease from 30 per cent to 28.5 per cent. Although, benefits from this reduction won’t be evident for those companies whose taxable income exceeds $5 million. This is because they will need to pay the 1.5 per cent paid parental leave levy in addition to the company tax. This is not expected to affect unincorporated small businesses. 

    If you would like to discuss your wealth management solutions with our specialised team, contact us on 1300 654 484.
  • Contractor payroll solutions and wealth management: A perfect match

    May 12, 2014

    Did you know, in addition to our contractor payroll solutions, Oncore also has a wealth management service? Oncore Wealth Solutions is a newly created division of the Oncore Group and is run by a dedicated team of experts who can offer you viable wealth solutions no matter your circumstances.

    Oncore Wealth Solutions offers a wide range of options for individuals, whether you're single or a family with one or more streams of income, already using our contractor payroll solutions or completely new to the range of Oncore services. These options include personal risk and family protection, retirement planning and preparation, and wealth maximisation and sustainability.

    A large factor of the wealth management service Oncore Wealth Solutions provides, however, is the assistance in establishing and utilising your own Self Managed Super Fund. This will allow you to take control of your future and retirement lifestyle goals, and see every detail of your investment clearly with the flexibility to diversify your Self Managed Super Fund choices to further suit your unique needs. These factors work together to ensure your Self Managed Super Fund outperforms other industry and retail fund options.

    Oncore Wealth Solutions also provides solutions for business owners to assist in wealth creation and sustainability. We can provide valuable tools to help you understand the rate and direction of your cash flow, with extensive financial reporting options and training to cover the needs of your business.

    We're delivering this wealth management service to not only our existing clients through Oncore's contractor payroll solutions, but to anybody who understands the need for an effective retirement plan.

    Visit the Oncore Wealth Solutions website for more information or call 1300 654 484 to speak to one of our dedicated wealth management experts.

  • Mitigating risk around Work Health and Safety

    Mar 07, 2014

    The world of Work Health and Safety can be a complex and often uncertain one for employers, particularly when you throw recruiters and a contingent workforce into the mix. When contractors are recruited and then hired out via a host employer, or contractor management outsource company, there is a joint responsibility between both recruiters and host employers to uphold Work Health and Safety standards.

    With many companies unaware of their legal liability for the Work Health and Safety of contractors when payroll has been outsourced, Oncore, as part of its contractor payroll solutions, has made efforts to ensure the risks are mitigated for its contractors, recruiters and host employers.

    Through a partnership with WorkPro, Oncore is committed to ensuring all contractors remain free from risk to their health and safety. Pre-engagement inductions and screenings, vital to ensure contractors are prepared for their contract role, have become part of due process. WorkPro is the most widely used and recognised Work Health and Safety induction provider in Australia, and will deliver easy to access Work Health and Safety online inductions and training for Oncore contractors.

    So what’s the importance and need for all of this? The primary concern is obviously to ensure all contractors are able to perform their role in a safe working environment. The Corporate Risk is that without appropriate inductions and ongoing procedures relating to WH&S being adhered to, businesses will face the unfortunate circumstances of being exposed  to increased liability should a workplace accident occur due to inadequate procedures.

    Mitigating this risk for all parties involved is therefore of paramount importance. It is simply not enough for shortcuts to be taken when it comes to Work Health and Safety, when such an issue not only includes physical injuries, but those relating to stress, bullying and harassment as well. Part of the solution is in providing the right training in the most efficient and adequate way possible for all parties involved.

    As an industry-wide contractor solution, once an Oncore contractor has completed a WorkPro profile and the requirements, the information is stored in their profile. The information can then be securely shared with other potential agencies or clients, saving the contractor from having to complete the same paperwork and training each time a contract role is applied for.

    To find out more about Oncore’s contractor payroll solutions and how risks around Work Health and Safety can be mitigated, call 1300 654 484 and speak to one of our dedicated team members.

Australia: 1300 654 484   UK: 0870 900 2901