We all live longer these days and the default super our employers are paying won’t be enough to meet our needs in retirement. That’s why it is always a good idea to put a little extra into your super fund. Main benefits of growing your super as much as possible are:
- The extra funds will help you live more comfortably
- From 1 July, tax concessions may be available on personal contributions
- Depending on your earnings, you could be eligible for government co-contributions up to $500 per year
The Super Calculator can help you work out what you need in retirement. Access this via the Learning Centre Tools & Tips page
Who Can Make Contributions?
There are certain rules for making contributions, basically it depends on your age as summarised in below table:
|Your Age||Who can contribute|
|Over age 65||You, your spouse1, your employer and a third party|
|At least 65 but under 75||You can make either personal or salary sacrifice super contributions up to age 75 as long as:
- You are gainfully employed for at least 40 hours in no more than 30 consecutive days in the financial year of contribution. I.e. you meet the ‘work test’2.
You can make a contribution to your spouse as long as you meet the work test, and you spouse is not aged over 70 years.
Hint: Employer mandated SG contributions have no age limit.
- Reduces an employer’s potential liability for the Superannuation Guarantee charge;
- Is a payment of a shortfall component; or
- Is a contribution to satisfy the employer’s obligation under an agreement certified, or an award made, on or after 1 July 1986 by an industrial authority.
Here are some ways to boost your Super over time
1. Salary Sacrifice before-tax money into Super
Speak to your employer about making salary sacrifice contributions into your super. You will only pay 15% tax, generally this is lower than tax paid on your take-home pay (average between 34% to 46.5%). Because salary sacrifice is classified as a concessional contribution, annual limits apply as shown below table:
|Financial year||Concessional Cap|
2. Make after-tax contributions and take advantage of government co-contribution
You can also make a contribution from your savings (after-tax money), depends on your income, you could receive the bonus government co-contribution up to $500 a year (providing your income is less than $51,813 p.a.). Go to Super co-contribution section on ATO website for more information.
3. Enjoy an extra tax offset by making a spouse contributions
‘From 1 July 2017, the spouse income threshold will increase, meaning more people will be eligible to claim the tax offset. You will be able to claim the maximum tax offset of $540 if:
- You contribute to the eligible super fund of your spouse, whether married or de-facto,
- Your spouse’s income is $37,000 or less
The tax offset amount will gradually reduce for income above this amount and completely phases out when your spouse’s income reaches $40,000.
You will not be entitled to the tax offset when your spouse receiving the contribution:
- exceeds their non-concessional contributions cap for the relevant year, or
- has a total superannuation balance equal to or exceeding the general transfer balance cap ($1.6 million for 2017–18) immediately before the start of the financial year in which the contribution was made.
Go to the Change to tax offset for spouse contributions on the ATO website for more information.
4. Save money on fees by consolidating all your super into Enterprise Plan
If you have changed jobs in the past, the chances are you will have multiple super accounts. Combining them into Enterprise Plan means, not only you save on multiple sets of administration fees, you will also have less paperwork to do, to help you to top of your retirement planning. Simply complete the Transfer Form and we will look after the rest. Or, if you are confused or unsure where all of your super is located, we can help you find your super and combine them into your existing Enterprise Plan.