Super contribution caps

Understanding contribution caps that apply to contributions made to your super in a financial year can make all the difference to the tax effectiveness of your super and your balance at retirement. Take some time today to work out how to get the most out your super tomorrow.

Types of contributions and the caps you need to be aware of for each.

A contribution cap is the total amount you can contribute towards your super in each financial year. A member whose total contributions in a year exceed the contribution caps may be liable for additional tax on the excess contributions.

  • Types of contributions

    These are the types of contributions the ATO includes in the concessional contribution cap:

    • Employer contributions, such as:
      • Compulsory Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions
      • Additional voluntary super contributions your employer makes at your request
      • Any fund costs paid by your employer on behalf of your super fund, such as administration fees and insurance premiums
      • The equivalent of your employer contributions under a defined benefit scheme as determined by the trustee
      • Salary sacrifice amounts
    • Personal contributions by an eligible person that are allowed as an income tax deduction
    • Transfers from reserves (defined by the regulations of the legislation)
    • The taxable component of a directed termination payment (or the total of directed termination payments plus any transitional eligible termination payments) in excess of $1 million.
    TIP: Your SG employer contribution plus any personal or voluntary contributions have a yearly cap of $25,000. This is called a concessional contribution cap. It means contributions made within this limit will benefit from the 15% tax rate. Any contributions in excess of this amount may be subject to higher tax.
  • Concessional contributions cap amounts 2019/2020

    Below are the concessional contribution cap amounts for the 2019/2020 financial year. Please note the caps are amended annually.

    Concessional contributions caps

    Income year

    Date

    Your age at this date

    Your concessional contribution cap

    2020-21

     

    All ages

    $25,000

    2019–20

     

    All ages

    $25,000

    2018–19

     

    All ages

    $25,000

    2017–18

     

    All ages

    $25,000

    2016–17

    30 June 2016

    <49

    $30,000

    2016–17

    30 June 2016

    49+

    $35,000

    2015–16

    30 June 2015

    <49

    $30,000

    2015–16

    30 June 2015

    49+

    $35,000

    2014–15

    30 June 2014

    <49

    $30,000

    2014–15

    30 June 2014

    49+

    $35,000

    2013–14

    30 June 2013

    <59

    $25,000

    2013–14

    30 June 2013

    59+

    $35,000

  • Carry forward contributions

    From 1 July 2018, if your superannuation balance is less than $500k, you will be able to make 'carry-forward' concessional super contributions. This means that you will be able to access your unused concessional contributions cap in future years.

    The first year in which you can use a 'carry-forward' cap will be in the 2019-20 financial year, so you cannot make use of it yet, but it is handy to know. Amounts carried forward that have not been used after five years will expire.

    Description

    2017–18

    2018–19

    2019–20

    2020–21

    2021–22

    General contributions cap

    $25,000

    $25,000

    $25,000

    $25,000

    $25,000

    Total unused available cap accrued

    Not applicable

    $0

    $22,000

    $44,000

    $69,000

    Maximum cap available

    $25,000

    $25,000

    $47,000

    $25,000

    $94,000

    Superannuation balance 30 June prior year

    Not applicable

    $480,000

    $490,000

    $505,000

    $490,000

    Concessional contributions

    nil

    $3,000

    $3,000

    nil

    nil

    Unused concessional cap amount accrued in the relevant financial year

    $0

    $22,000

    $22,000

    $25,000

    $25,000


    Source: ATO, Concessional contributions cap, Australian Taxation Office, 14 April 2020, <https://www.ato.gov.au/Rates/Key-superannuation-rates-and-thresholds/?page=3>

    This table is available here at the ATO alongside additional information regarding contribution caps that you may find beneficial.

  • Non concessional caps

    Non-concessional contributions are contributions made to your super from your after-tax income. These are subject to a contributions cap with an annual limit on the amount of non-concessional (after-tax) contributions you can make.

    Be aware that there is no contributions tax applied when contributed to the super fund. Once in the fund, the normal fund tax rates apply to earnings.

    The current non-concessional cap limit for the 2017/2018 year is $100,000 with "bring forward cap" of $300,000 moving forward.

    What is the “bring forward option” non-concessional contribution cap?

    The bring-forward option allows you to bring forward up to three years’ of non-concessional contributions from future years. If you’re under the age of 65, you may be able to bring forward three years of non-concessional contributions, making it possible to make up to $300,000 in non-concessional contributions in a single financial year.

    For example you can make $150,000 in non-concessional contributions in the first year and the balance of $150,000 over the following two years, or any financial combination that adds up to $300,000 over the 3-year period commencing 1 July 2017.

    It’s important that you monitor the contributions you bring forward. If you exceed the cap, you will trigger the rule and be You don't have to do anything to have the rule triggered, except to go over your $100,000 cap.

  • Want help investing your money

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    Financial advisers can help you with a range of enquiries including:

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