Aston University signs "salary conversion" deal with Tusker
The new scheme is believed to be the first salary sacrifice initiative of its kind with a university in the UK, and forms part of Aston’s Flexible Benefits Scheme which also covers pension contributions and bicycles amongst a number of other benefits.
As well as setting a financial limit, the university has also set a carbon cap on the new arrangement, allowing employees to only select vehicles from a range of 600 models with emissions of 120g/km or less.
University vice-chancellor, Professor Julia King, who was appointed the UK’s Low Carbon Business Ambassador by the Prime Minister in November last year and is author of the 2007 "King Review" on green vehicle and fuel technologies, has given the scheme her full backing because of its environmental credentials in promoting green, low-emitting vehicles.
Aston University launched the new scheme to university staff at a special employee benefits exhibition, which was very well attended and at which some 10% of staff registered an interest in taking part in the Tusker scheme.
Aston staff benefit from lower income tax and National Insurance Contributions as a result of selecting a new car under the scheme, although they do have to pay BiK tax on the value of the benefit, albeit at a much lower rate than income tax and NIC combined.
'The new scheme is one of a number of initiatives we have embarked on to encourage the uptake of green practices within the university,' said Cliff Vidgeon, director of human resources at Aston.
'There was a very positive reaction amongst university staff at the benefits exhibition to the new car scheme, including our vice-chancellor Julia King, who thought it a very suitable scheme for promoting the uptake of greener cars,' he added.
The new scheme, in setting a carbon cap of 120g/km, is in line with Tusker’s latest findings that employees who choose cars through a salary sacrifice car scheme are driving down their organisation’s carbon footprint by selecting much greener vehicles.
Tusker currently has more than 30 live salary sacrifice car schemes covering more than 400,000 employees, and analysis has shown that employees who select new cars under its Salary Sacrifice4Cars scheme (SS4C) typically select models with average emissions of 30-40g/km less than their previous vehicle.