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When thinking about working as a nurse in Australia there are a few things to consider. Below is some advice about nursing jobs, and other useful tips for working in the nursing industry in Australia. 

THE BACKBONE of many major city hospitals in Australia is provided by overseas nurses.  The growing pressures of an ageing population means that non-residents are in high demand.

Those aged 18-30 will not only find it relatively easy to get work, but discover they are highly valued by agencies and hospitals alike.

However, before you take the plunge, there is much to consider – you will need the right sort of visa and there are strict rules about what you can do and how long you can work for.

Nursing Types

THERE are several types of nurse that can enrol in Australia: registered nurses, enrolled nurses, assistants in nursing, wardsmen, orderlies, registered midwives and disabilities support workers.

All specialities within these areas are currently being hired, but there is a particularly high demand for intensive care and theatre nurses at the moment.

All jobs require experience – the minimum is six months full-time for registered staff – but it is generally more than 12 months for agency workers. New graduates can apply directly to hospitals for work.

Registered nurses can earn in excess of $24-$34 per hour depending on experience and can also work under a 457 business visa.

Many agencies and hospitals offer sponsorship, but not all, so check their websites first.

For further information, interested candidates should check out www.immi.gov.au

Regulations

NURSES are required to register with the regulatory authority in the state or territory in which they intend to practice. All original documents are required for this registration, such as a transcript of training, character reference, diploma or degree certificate and registration fee.

All healthcare workers must have a national criminal record clearance and a working with children background check before they can start work. This is obtained on their behalf by the hospital or agency they work for.

NSW Health requires all workers including agency staff to provide written evidence of occupational assessment, vaccination and screening for specified diseases, before they can commence work in any public hospital. 

Working Holiday Makers

For a working holiday visa your start point is Form 1150, the application to participate in the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) programme.

The working holiday visa is available for one year, is electronic and visa holders can work for any one employer for six months or study for four months.

General Skills Migration

Nurses who wish to migrate to Australia under the General Skills Migration category need to have their qualification assessed before applying to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).

This assessment is undertaken by the Australian Nursing Council Incorporated (ANCI).
Overseas nurses can work in Australia without achieivng Australian registration as assistants in nursing.
Once workers leave Australia for good they can claim back their superannuation and tax.

USEFUL LINKS FOR WORKING AS A NURSE IN AUSTRALIA

www.ntmedic.com.au

www.247nursing.com.au

www.healthcareaustralia.com.au

www.in2nursing.com.au 

Source  :  www.bbmlive.com

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SUPERANNUATION balances have recovered about $70 billion in the past few months as the share market continues to gain ground.      super

The average growth fund is believed to have jumped another 1 per cent in May, adding $10 billion to balances.

This takes the recovery since February to about 7 per cent, or $70 billion.

According to independent research house Chant West, despite recent improvement, the average growth fund is still forecast to lose 13 per cent for the financial year.

Chant West investment research analyst Mano Mohankumar said yesterday results were still being held back by the share market and an continuing fall in unlisted assets, expected to show up to a 25 per cent loss for the year to June.

A separate survey released yesterday showed the downturn has put retirement plans of hundreds of thousands of Australians in doubt

Every second retiree or soon-to-be retiree had lost up to $50,000 in the past year from retirement savings or investment portfolios. About one in three had lost up to $100,000, it said.

The Bankwest survey, Retiring in the Downturn, said retirement plans of 74 per cent of older Australians had been disrupted.

“While younger Australians have years to recover, many retirees have little chance to recover lost wealth,” Bankwest’s Ian Corfield said.

Source  :   www.news.com.au

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What is superannuation?

Superannuation is a way of saving for your retirement. Both you and your employer can make contributions that accumulate over time andsuper this money is then invested in shares, government bonds, property, or other appropriate investments.                                 

On retirement, or after disability or death you then receive the money (less charges and taxes) as regular periodic payments (ie, a pension), a lump sum payment, or a combination of both.

Employers must contribute to an employee’s superannuation fund. This is called the Superannuation Guarantee, which came into operation on July 1, 1992.

The amount of the contribution is 9 per cent of an employee’s wages (excluding overtime, leave loading and fringe benefits).

Some employees are left out. The Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act says that employers do not have to pay the Superannuation Guarantee in certain circumstances.

Some of the exceptions are:
• employees earning less than $450 per month;
• employees under the age of 18 who work 30 hours per week or less;
• employees over 70 years of age;
• anyone paid to do domestic or private work for 30 hours per week or less.

Can the employer pay more?

An employer can make payments above the compulsory superannuation guarantee as:
• a reward for a worker’s performance;
• a type of co-payment, where the employer’s contribution increases in line with the employees voluntary contribution; or
• a ‘salary-sacrifice’ – this is where the employer makes a contribution that would otherwise be paid as salary.

Note, there are limits to the amount of salary sacrifice that can be made in a financial year.

If you want your employer to pay more, you should get advice from a financial advisor, but keep in mind that employers are limited in the amount that can be claimed as a deduction for superannuation contributions made for a particular employee.

Check with your superannuation fund or the Australian Tax Office to find out what these limits are – they change each year.  www.ato.gov.au

Should I contribute too?

If you have money left over after your weekly expenses, and you want to save for the future, you may want to consider making superannuation contributions as compared to other forms of investment.

Note, there are aged base limits that affect whether or not you can contribute to superannuation – for details, see the Australian Taxation Office web site.

Some of the advantages are:
• generally, you pay less tax on interest from superannuation savings than bank interest;
• with a ‘salary sacrifice’ the superannuation contribution is taken straight out of your wages, so you are not tempted to use it for purposes other than savings.

There are limits to the amount that you can “salary sacrifice”;
• the interest on superannuation savings is ‘compounded’, that is, interest earned by the superannuation fund is added to the total investment, so the interest earns more interest.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority estimates that a sum of money ‘compounded’ at 7 per cent a year will double in value in ten years; and
• you may be able to access the benefits of the low income super rebate and low income spouse rebate.
• you may be able to access financial incentives offered by the Government such as the co-contribution scheme. Under this scheme Government will contribute up to $1500 (depending on your income) when you contribute to your fund.

Check the Australian Taxation Office web site for details.

Ultimately, the pros and cons of contributing to superannuation is something you should get advice about.

What are the tax advantages?

The maximum tax rate for your employer’s contribution is 15 per cent.

The income you earn through the fund’s investments is also taxed at a maximum 15 per cent rate.

Salary sacrifice contributions will be taxed at 15 per cent.

Once you reach 60 you can withdraw your superannuation as a lump sum or income stream tax free.

There are also tax advantages if you contribute to your spouse/de facto’s super fund. The set off depends on their income. Check the Tax Office for details.

What laws apply?

The main laws that apply to superannuation are the:
• Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act and Regulations (regulates most private superannuation funds);
• Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act and Regulations (tells employers the minimum contribution they must pay);
• Income Tax Assessment Act,.

The jargon

Accumulation funds – money is invested and the final benefit depends on the total contributions, plus earnings of the fund.

Annuity – like a pension. You receive regular periodic payments for either fixed amount of time or until you die.

Benefit – the money paid to you out of the superannuation fund or held on your behalf within the fund.

Contribution – the money paid into the superannuation fund by either you or your employer.

Defined benefit funds – the final benefit is paid on the basis of a specific formula, so the employer carries the risk if the growth of the fund does not cover the benefit.

Lump sum – money received in a single payment.

Preserved – money that you cannot withdraw from your fund until retirement or certain other events, eg reaching a certain age and leaving employment either temporarily or permanently. This includes money paid by your employer, interest earned on that money or contributions paid by a self-employed person which have been claimed as a tax deduction and any undeducted contributions you make after 1 July, 1999.

Rollover – transferring money from one fund to another.

Unrestricted or non- preserved amount – money that can be paid to you at any time form your superannuation fund

Rights to information

You are entitled to certain information from your superannuation fund. This includes:
• a member statement which shows the amount of your benefit at the start and end of the relevant period, the amount that is preserved and contact details (generally provided annually);
• a fund report which shows the fund’s financial position (generally provided annually);
• notification of changes that affect you, e.g. a change to the superannuation fund’s rules; and
• a statement that shows your benefit, including death benefits when you leave.

Source  :  www.news.com.au

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People who do not provide their tax file number to their superannuation fund before July 1 will be penalised with a 46 per cent tax rate on any money which their employer contributes to the fund. 

 Superannuation contributions are normally taxed at 15 per cent and the extra 31.5 per cent penalty is designed to encourage people to provide the tax file number, making it easier to consolidate superannuation funds in the future. 

 The tax file number may also be necessary if you want to make extra top up payments or spousal contributions, depending on the type of fund.

  Basil Palassis, chartered accountant and senior financial planner at Fusion Planning Group, said it was important for the public to understand risks and penalties associated with their superannuation funds, because there were big financial  the ramifications. 

News from www.thewest.com.au

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