On Wed 27.7.2016, the ATO issued the Class Ruling CR 2016/55 (Searoad Ferries Early Retirement Scheme). It applies from 27 July 2016 to 30 September 2016.

[LTN 143, 27/7/16]

Extract from Class Ruling


9. The Company operates the Sorrento-Queenscliff vehicle and passenger ferry service. In 2011, the Company began to fundamentally change its business from being a public transport service operator to a high quality tourism based ferry service. To do so, the Company has reorganised its policy, procedures, marketing, infrastructure and management.

10. The purpose of the Scheme is to reorganise the Company’s current business mode of operations by better aligning its employee mix. The Scheme seeks to offer early retirement to a fixed number of its long-serving senior employees.

11. Implementation of the Scheme is anticipated to provide opportunities for a younger generation of employees who will be required to assume not only the roles of operating a vessel but also being prepared and willing to take on both tourism and technology responsibilities.


27. The ‘Searoad Ferries Early Retirement Scheme’ is an early retirement scheme for the purposes of section 83-180.

28. Accordingly, so much of the payment received by an eligible employee that exceeds the amount that could reasonably be expected to be received by the employee in consequence of voluntary termination of their employment at the time of the retirement will be an early retirement scheme payment.

29. In addition, so much of the early retirement scheme payment as falls within the threshold calculated in accordance with section 83-170 is not assessable income and is not exempt income.