Cycle to Work Scheme - Torpedoed by JPA

Not sure how many people were aware that the Government has an initiative to allow people to buy bicycles tax free. Not a bad idea for those of us who'd like to ditch the car, save the environment, fight paunch etc and I've been looking forward to a nice shiny new one after my last one was nicked in Kensington of all places!

As part of this it would appear that your employer has got to sign up to the scheme. Not a problem I thought as surely all government departments will have done this ..... joined up government, etc ......

Imagine my surprise to come across this thread (relevant bit is an extract from Soldier magazine):

Maj Stuart Whitticase said:
BIKE to Work is a Government initiative to encourage all of us to cycle to work and which the MoD has, so far quite dismally, failed to adopt despite pressure from the Services cycling organisations.

It offers the employee the benefit of significant discounts (as much as 49 per cent) on bicycle purchase through a salary sacrifice scheme. The employer (MoD), in return, gets a healthy, happy and invigorated employee and the knowledge that there are real benefits to the environment.

Why has the MoD failed to adopt this initiative? It makes absolutely no sense to me. Besides, I need a new bike so would like to benefit from the discount. –
Capt P Griffiths said:
I RECENTLY discovered that the Government has set up a scheme so employees can take advantage of tax exemptions to buy a bicycle and safety equipment to use for journeys to and from work.

The scheme costs nothing to the employer and the employee can save around 33 per cent on the cost of equipment from new. It sounds like a fantastic scheme for those who wish to do their bit for the environment, save a fortune on commuting and burn off a few calories. I want to know if the scheme is operated by the MoD but have drawn a blank.
Brig Jamie Gordon said:
Thank you for your letter regarding the Cycle to Work scheme, which allows employers to provide tax-free loans of up to £1,000 to cover the purchase of bicycles and safety-related cycling equipment for use when commuting to work.

At present, Service personnel do not have access to a Cycle to Work scheme. One of the prerequisites is for payments to be made to employees through a salary sacrifice mechanism, which has some tax and National Insurance contribution advantages for individuals.

Existing pay systems, and JPA, do not have this facility at present. It is intended to introduce salary sacrifice to JPA after full roll-out, but the priority to do so is for a Childcare Voucher Scheme, which offers higher potential savings to a larger group of Service personnel and their families than does the Cycle to Work scheme.

The MoD is considering whether to introduce other salary sacrifice schemes, such as the Cycle to Work scheme, as part of ongoing remuneration work. Once a decision has been made on the issue, personnel will be informed accordingly.
I can see why, from what I understand JPA is only just beginning to settle down to a level of adequacy that those in civi street would say was utter shite :D

The only way is up.

But if I were running JPA and was getting to the end of a very long to do list I would be very reluctant to add something else.

No doubt about it, JPA was an utter disgrace but the problem is not the software but the ridiculously complex pay and allowance structure the three services have. As we all know, simplicity makes things easier.

Surely there are other ways around this other than direct deductions
Lets give JPA and it's info smashers a chance to get used to each other first - until then; Any decent bikes in your sports stores?



Book Reviewer
I'm aware of the scheme through my civilian company. Essentially, the cost of the bike is taken from your gross salary each month, so saving on tax and NI. The cost of the bike is also spread over the year so you don't even notice it being deducted from salary.

Having spoken to some payroll bods it is also apparently very easy to administer.

Like the correspondents above I fail to see why the MoD find this so difficult to implement. All you have to do is lower the notional salary by the sacrifice amount. Not hard to do.
And the chance of extending it to their 'spare time' employees...

Thought not.



Book Reviewer
msr said:
And the chance of extending it to their 'spare time' employees...

Thought not.

To be fair msr, I can't see how it would work with us; you have to sign up for the scheme over 12 months and whilst we may have a reasonable idea of what our TA earnings will be, it's not exactly a dependable income due to ever changeable circumstances.

You sacrifice a set amount each month and what happens if you don't earn that amount in that month (injury / family stuff / hectic at work)?
The gov scheme has all sorts of clauses. You would be better off just doing a mass order with a discount ticket through arrse.

I looked at the scheme in the early hours at work. You sign up to safety stuff and all manner of things concerning yourself and the cycle.

Check out the clauses.

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