Where are you at with your super?

Contribution limits

There are some limits on how much you can contribute to super before additional tax applies.

Making additional contributions can be a great way to help reach your retirement goals sooner, however going over the contribution limits can mean you have to pay extra tax.

Concessional contributions are contributions that are made before tax. Examples of concessional contributions include:

  • Employer contributions such as Superannuation Guarantee;
  • Salary sacrifice contributions; and
  • Personal contributions claimed as a tax deduction.

Concessional contributions are taxed at 15% when they enter the fund, unless your annual income (including concessional super contributions) exceeds the threshold in which case they will be taxed at 30%. From 1 July 2017 this threshold was reduced to $250,000.

Concessional contributions are subject to a yearly limit. For 2018-2019, the concessional contributions limit is $25,000. If you exceed your concessional contributions limit, you may have to pay additional tax. For more information about the non-concessional contributions limit, please read Additional Information – How super is taxed  or visit the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website.

Non-concessional contributions are contributions that are made after tax. Examples of non-concessional contributions include:

  • Personal contributions (where no tax deduction has been claimed);
  • Spouse contributions; and
  • Excess concessional contributions.

They are subject to a yearly limit, which for 2018-2019 is $100,000. If your super accounts (across all funds) exceed $1.6 million (indexed with CPI) at the previous 30 June, you will not be able to make any further non-concessional contributions. If you exceed your non-concessional contributions limit, you will be able to withdraw any excess non-concessional contributions or keep them in your super account and have a higher rate of tax applied.1 The ATO will contact you if this applies to you.

From 2017/18, people age under 65 may be able to make non-concessional contributions of up to $300,000 over a three-year period. This is known as the ‘bring-forward’ option. The amount you can bring forward depends on your super balance (across all funds) as shown in the table below:

 Total super balance on 30 June 2017

 Non-concessional contributions cap for the first year

 Bring forward period

 Less than $1.4 million

$300,000

3 years

 $1.4 million to less than $1.5 million

 $200,000

2 years

 $1.5 million to less than $1.6 million

$100,000

 No bring forward period, general concessional cap applies

 $1.6 million

 Nil

 NA

Transitional arrangements apply if you have made a non-concessional contribution in 2015-16 or 2016-17 financial years that triggered the bring-forward option.

For more information about the concessional contributions limit and bring forward arrangements, please read Additional Information – How super is taxed  or visit the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website.

More information

  • Additional Information - How super is taxed 100 KB PDF

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1 This applies to contributions made from the 2013/14 financial year onwards, plus associated earnings. Individuals who have made excess non-concessional contributions have the option to either:

a. Withdraw excess non-concessional contributions and 85% of the earnings. These earnings will then be included in your income tax assessment; or
b. Keep the excess non-concessional contributions in their super account and they will be taxed at the top marginal tax rate (49%).