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How Does Salary Packaging Work For Not For Profit?

Salary packaging for not-for-profit (NFP) organizations is a valuable strategy designed to enhance the financial well-being of employees while providing the sector with a means to attract and retain highly skilled individuals.

In a realm where every cent holds significance, salary packaging serves as a tax-effective method to deliver income and benefits, allowing NFPs to optimize take-home amounts for their staff.

Let’s delve into a step-by-step exploration of how salary packaging works for not-for-profit entities.

How Does Salary Packaging Work for Not-for-Profit?

Agreement Between Employer and Employee

At its core, salary packaging is an arrangement between the NFP employer and the employee. The employee agrees to permanently forego a part of their future salary, and in return, they receive benefits of a similar cost to the employer. This agreement is essential for creating a win-win situation, maximizing the employee’s take-home pay without adding extra costs for the organization.

Suppose Sarah, an employee at an NFP organization, agrees to sacrifice $5,000 of her annual salary. In return, the organization provides her with benefits such as mortgage or rent, credit card and loan repayments, school fees or even health insurance through their salary packages.

Designated Portion for Benefits

Under the agreement, the NFP employer allocates a specific portion of the employee’s salary in the form of benefits. These benefits can include everyday expenses, meals and entertainment benefits, novated leases for vehicles, and even remote area allowances. This flexibility makes salary packaging for NFPs particularly attractive, offering employees a diverse range of options to suit their needs.

So we can say that Sarah, now equipped with a meal card and a public transport pass, experiences the flexibility and convenience of using these benefits as part of her overall compensation.

Sacrifice Calculation

The maximum annual sacrifice amount currently stands at $15,900. The sacrifice calculation occurs before tax, resulting in a decrease in the overall taxable income. This reduction in taxable income benefits both the employee and the employer, ensuring a more tax-effective method of delivering income.

If Sarah’s original salary was $50,000, the taxable income is reduced to $45,000 due to the $5,000 sacrifice. This reduction in taxable income becomes the basis for calculating income tax.

Payment Structure

The employee’s regular ‘cash’ salary is derived from the lower taxable income amount, paid as a normal wage alongside the designated benefits. This structure ensures a seamless integration of salary packaging into the overall compensation framework.

Sarah receives her regular ‘cash’ salary from the lower taxable income amount of $45,000. Alongside this, she enjoys the added benefits of the meal card and public transport pass. The NFP employer efficiently integrates these benefits into Sarah’s overall compensation package.

Here’s a simple table overview to illustrate how salary packaging works for not-for-profit organizations:



1. Agreement Between Employer and Employee

An arrangement where the employee agrees to sacrifice a portion of their future salary in exchange for benefits.

2. Designated Portion for Benefits

The sacrificed amount is allocated to specific benefits, such as meal cards, transportation passes, or other agreed-upon perks.

3. Sacrifice Calculation

The sacrifice calculation occurs before tax, reducing the overall taxable income based on the agreed-upon sacrifice amount.

4. Payment Structure

The employee receives a lower ‘cash’ salary derived from the reduced taxable income, supplemented by the designated benefits.


Tips for Effective Salary Packaging in NFPs

  • Employee Education: Ensure employees understand the benefits of salary packaging, emphasizing its potential impact on their take-home pay.
  • Tailored Packages: Offer a variety of benefits to cater to the diverse needs of employees, promoting a personalized approach to salary packaging.
  • Regular Reviews: Periodically review and update salary packaging arrangements to align with changes in legislation or employee needs.


In conclusion, salary packaging works for not-for-profit organizations is a powerful tool that goes beyond traditional compensation structures. It fosters a collaborative agreement between employers and employees, allowing for a tax-effective delivery of income and benefits.

The flexibility of designated benefits and the potential for significant tax savings make salary packaging an appealing option for both NFPs and their dedicated staff. As the sector continues to navigate financial constraints, embracing innovative approaches like salary packaging can contribute to the overall well-being and success of not-for-profit organizations and their workforce.

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