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Severance & redundancy

Frequently asked questions

When you separate from your employer

If you lose your job or stop work for any reason, you can make a claim from your Protect account. These reasons may include:

  • Termination
  • Resignation
  • Redundancy*
  • Promotion to an above award position, or 'off the tools'
  • Retirement
  • Death

If your employment ceases, an initial claim can be made from your online Protect account via the yellow worker log in button on each page of our website, or from the Protect phone App, at any time of day.

For all other claims, please call us to discuss your circumstances so that we can assist you with any necessary paperwork.

* Only a payment for a genuine redundancy is eligible for the tax-free limit, all other termination event payments are taxed according to ATO rules.

The reason for leaving employment otherwise known as the 'termination event', dictates the tax applied. 

*The tax free threshold for the 2020/2021 financial year is $10,989 for the initial year, and $5,496 for each full year of service with your employer.

Use the App

An initial severance claim can be made via:

  1. The Protect App or
  2. Your online Protect account

Claims made via these online options can be made at any time of day and are the quickest and simplest avenues for accessing your entitlements.

Exception:

  • If you're retiring please download and complete this claim form.

For all subsequent claims, please call us so that we can help you with any necessary paperwork.

Need help?

Our Member Services Team can help step you through the process phone 1300  344 249 or email info@protect.net.au 

The application form is online

To help counter the financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 Coronavirus, Protect has been granted approval by the Tax Office to make a hardship payment to workers from their account balance in the event that you are stood down without pay and are not relying on other forms of payment (annual leave or long service leave), and you remain employed. Where a worker is terminated and is unemployed, a termination or redundancy payment would apply.

Access the application form here

The Protect update is online

Information relating to Protect severance and coronavirus COVID-19 can be found at this news link:

Protect Severance - Coronavirus COVID-19 Update

You will need to complete a claim form

  1. Your employer confirms your redundancy
    Your employer is required to confirm your redundancy details via their online Protect account however, you may proceed with your claim as soon as you have separated from your employment.
  2. You complete a claim form
    To lodge a redundancy claim, you must complete a Protect claim form. For fastest results you should do that electronically via the App or by logging in to your online account, accessible via the workers portal accessible via the yellow button on the top right of every page of this website.
  3. If details are missing, we follow up with your employer
    If your employer hasn’t provided us with a termination date you can upload a separation certificate as confirmation of termination or Protect will contact your employer to confirm your termination.
  4. You are paid into your nominated bank account
    When your redundancy status is confirmed by the employer, you will be entitled to your funds tax free, up to your tax free threshold. Please allow 1-3 business days for the funds to 
appear in your nominated bank account.

Redundancy and termination initial claim limit is $6,500

Due to the impact of the coronavirus some changes have been introduced to smooth cash flow while maintaining workers’ full entitlements. We expect these to be temporary measures to assist in dealing with an expected large increase in claims.

Initial claims due to termination or redundancy will be paid to a limit of $6,500. The remainder of a genuine redundancy claim tax free component will be paid out in instalments, 5 weeks apart.

Tax free redundancy payments are now aligned with the age pension qualifying age

Tax free redundancy payments are now aligned with the age pension qualifying age

As of 1 July 2019, you are eligible to receive tax free redundancy claims up to your age pension age.

Claims on a Protect account due to genuine redundancy attracts a tax free component, based on the person’s length of service with their employer. Previously you could only benefit from this if you were under the age of 65. However, new legislation has extended the age limit to match an individual’s age pension qualifying age, which means those working longer in life are no longer exempt from the tax benefits of being made redundant.

No - you can make a retrospective claim

With Protect you don’t have to be unemployed to make a claim on your Protect severance account. If you’re in new employment you can make a retrospective claim from a previous employer.

Within 5 days

Payment will be made to your account within five business days of receiving your initial severance claim, provided your claim is accepted. 

The Member Services Team

The Member Services Team

1300 344 249

Our Australian based Member Services Team is available to answer all queries relating to your Protect account. Calling 1300 344 249 will also grant you access to our Field Officers who are able to visit you in person should you require that level of assistance.

Email: info@protect.net.au

Tax is determined by your termination event

*The tax free threshold for the 2020/2021 financial year is $10,989 for the initial year, and $5,496 for each full year of service with your employer.

Claims above the tax free threshold are taxed at 32% if below the preservation age and 17% if above.

Other payments and Government Benefits

Your Protect severance payment may affect other Commonwealth Government benefits, such as the family tax benefit, childcare benefit and private health insurance rebate. You should consult your financial advisor, the Australian Tax Office or Centrelink for advice on how your personal circumstances may be affected.

Additional tax information

Late termination payments

We are legally required to withhold 47% tax from all severance claims made beyond 12 months of your retirement/termination date.

This law does not apply to redundancy claims.


Eligible Termination Payment Cap

Concessional tax rates of 32% (or 17% if you have reached your preservation age) only apply to the first $215,000 of all Eligible Termination Payments (ETP). Beyond this cap we are required to withhold 47% tax.


Deceased Claim Tax Rates

If you die, payments from your Protect severance account are generally not taxed if the beneficiaries are your financial dependents or your estate.

If your beneficiaries are not your financial dependents, 32% tax will generally apply to the payment from your account.


Whole-of-Income Cap

Any payment received not resulting from redundancy may also be subject to higher taxation via your personal tax return, if your taxable income plus this payment exceeds $180,000.

Please consult your financial advisor if you believe this may apply to you.

The tax free limit on redundancy payments

A genuine redundancy payment is tax-free up to a certain limit, based on the number of whole years of service you've completed with your employer.

For the 2020/21 financial year, the limit is:

$10,989 plus $5,496 for each complete year of service

Example of savings:

  • Jim has a balance of $7,000 in his Protect account
  • He is under 65 years old
  • He has been with his current contributing employer for two and a half years

When Jim is made redundant he lodges a claim with Protect. Jim is entitled to a tax-free redundancy payment of up to $21,981. Calculated as: ($10,989 + [2 x $5,496])
Therefore the entire balance of Jim’s account will be paid out to him tax-free.

No

All retirement claims are subject to tax as determined by the Australian Taxation Office. The only 'termination event' (reason for employment ending), that attracts a tax free component is genuine redundancy. 

It depends on your date of birth

It depends on your date of birth

Your preservation age is generally the age that you can retire and access your superannuation or other retirement-related benefits. Your preservation age depends on your date of birth and affects the rate of tax you will pay on a severance claim.

Protect members who have retired and are over their preservation age may claim their entire severance balance.

It depends on your date of birth

It depends on your date of birth

Your preservation age is generally the age that you can retire and access your superannuation or other retirement-related benefits. Your preservation age depends on your date of birth and affects the rate of tax you will pay on a severance claim.

Protect members who have retired and are over their preservation age may claim their entire severance balance.

No, there is now just one Protect account

Protect has one severance account that combines the best features of our old genuine redundancy (GRA) and termination (TER) accounts. The new account allows you to claim at any time that you leave employment AND it offers the best tax rates applicable to your termination event.

Members are not required to do anything to take advantage of this change. If you previously had a TER or GRA account you now have the new account in place and your membership number remains the same.

Why did Protect roll the two account types in to one account?

Protect were proudly the first severance scheme to offer members a choice of account types so workers could either claim in a wide range of circumstances OR choose a redundancy only account that allowed for a tax free component. In December 2019 however, we obtained Australian Tax Office approval to combine the benefits of both accounts in to one account allowing us to pay severance claims to workers based on the event which caused their employment to terminate. 

More options

You will still be able to access tax free initial claims on a genuine redundancy. In addition, you will be able to lodge a claim should you resign, or your employment is terminated for any reason other than redundancy. Under the old account, you were unable to access your severance if your employment terminated for any reason other than redundancy or retirement now you can!

Members are not required to do anything to take advantage of the change to one account type. Your Protect member number remains the same.

Potential for tax savings

Previously all claims payable on a TER account, were subject to tax. Under the new rules, if your employment terminates due to a genuine redundancy, your initial claim will be paid tax free.

Members are not required to do anything to take advantage of the change to one account type. Your Protect member number remains the same.

Claims lodged prior to the change are processed under the old tax rules

All initial claims processed before the change was implemented, are under the old claiming rules. Therefore, should you lodge a subsequent claim for the balance of your account, that claim will be treated under the old claiming rules.

Questions? Give us a call on 1300 344 249.

Your Protect account

Protect benefits have been negotiated into your workplace agreement

Your employer has registered you with Protect because they are paying severance contributions and/or income protection insurance premiums to us on your behalf. The amounts paid will be in accordance with the terms of the industrial agreement that determines your pay and conditions, such as your enterprise bargaining agreement.

Severance or income protection contribution amounts differ for Protect members working under different agreements. You can contact your employer to access your agreement, or search via the Fair Work Commission website.

Only people registered by a Protect contributing employer can become worker members of Protect.

Expect a welcome pack and membership card

Within three weeks of being registered, worker members will receive a membership card in the mail plus information on the new benefits your employer has afforded you. You may be eligible for a severance account, income protection or both. All members have access to free counselling.

Do I have to do anything?

All you have to do is give us a call to set up online access to your account. Our Australian based Member Services Team is available during AEST office hours Monday to Friday on 1300 344 249

Once registered you can access your Protect account at any time by using the yellow 'workers login' button at the top of this page to access the worker portal. The same log in details will give you access to the Protect App.

Sometimes, but you'll need to check

Sometimes, but you'll need to check

Eligibility is determined by your Agreement

Agreements that include income protection for non-apprentices will usually also include it for apprentices. Entitlement to severance contributions however, depends on your workplace agreement. In the electrical contracting industry, for example, it's usually only after completing your apprenticeship that you are entitled to receive severance payments.

Please check with your union or give us a call to determine your eligibility. Call or email our Member Services Team on 1300 344 249 or via info@protect.net.au

Option 1

Update via your online account

Once you have registered for online account access by messaging our Member Services Team, simply follow these steps to update your contact details:

  1. Log in to the members portal using the yellow 'workers login' button available at the top of every page of this website
  2. From the dropdown menu at the top left of the screen, select 'Account Details / Balance'
  3. Select 'Edit Account Details' at the top of the screen
  4. Update your details as required
  5. Press 'Submit'

 

Option 2

Use the Protect App

If you've registered for online access, your password will also log you in to the Protect App. To update your contacts:

  1. Navigate to 'Account Details / Balance
  2. Select ' Contact Details'
  3. Touch on the details displayed on the right to edit your contact details
  4. Press 'save' at the top right of the screen

 

Download the Protect App:

     

 

Unfortunately no

Unfortunately no

EMPLOYERS JOIN PROTECT AND SIGN UP THEIR  EMPLOYEES AS WORKER MEMBERS

Protect is limited to accepting contributions made under an industrial agreement and cannot accept registration of, or contributions from, individuals. This maintains the Fringe Benefits Tax exempt status of severance contributions to Protect, as an Australian Tax Office recognised Approved Worker Entitlement Fund. Protect income protection insurance is only offered as community cover, keeping premiums down and coverage up.

For more information:

Speak to your union for information on negotiating Protect into your workplace agreement.

Employers interested in joining can use our online enquiry form to kick off the application process or contact our Employer Relations Manager.

The Protect App

Great for accessing your account via your phone, the Protect App is available for download from:

.    

The online worker portal

Features available to you via the App are also available online. Log in to the worker's portal using the yellow button available at the top right of every page of this website. 

The log in area for worker members

Account management features available to you via the Protect Services App are also available online. Log in to the worker's portal using the yellow button available at the top right of every page of this website. 

Didn't find your answer? Submit a question or get in touch

Email & Phone

Email: info@protect.net.au
Phone: 1300 344 249