You can help your spouse save for their retirement by making contributions on their behalf or by transferring contributions from your account (contribution splitting). If you are an existing member of Club Super, your spouse may also be eligible to apply for spouse membership.1
You can make contributions on behalf of your spouse if your spouse is:
under age 65 (your spouse does not need to be working); or
aged between 65 and 69 years and has worked at least 40 hours in a period of 30 consecutive days in the financial year in which the contribution is made. As a once only exception, from 1 July 2019, your spouse can also receive such contributions if they do not meet the above work test rules in the year the contribution was made, but they did meet it in the prior financial year, and their total superannuation balance (across all funds) is less than $300,000.
You can’t make spouse contributions if your spouse is aged 70 or more.
If your spouse is already a Club Super member, you will need to complete a Spouse Contribution Advice Form to make a spouse contribution. If your spouse is not already a member of Club Super, both you and your spouse will need to complete the Spousal Member sections of the Member Application Form which can be found in the Club Super PDS.
You may be entitled to a tax offset of up to $540 per year for any after-tax superannuation contributions made on behalf of your spouse, depending on their income.
The offset is calculated as 18% of contributions, up to a maximum contribution of $3,000. The $3,000 limit reduces by $1 for every $1 that your spouse’s income exceeds $37,000. The rebate phases out when your spouse’s income2 is $40,000 or more.
For more information about claiming the spouse contribution tax offset visit the ATO website.
Contribution splitting is when you transfer some of the concessional contributions made into your account, to your spouse’s3 super account. Only concessional contributions such as employer contributions, salary sacrifice contributions and personal contributions where a tax deduction has been claimed can be split. Up to 85% of concessional contributions for either the current or prior financial year can be split (in most cases, only the contributions made in the previous year can be split). If you have a higher concessional contributions limit as a result of the unused concessional limit carry forward, then this will also apply in regard to contribution splitting.
To split your concessional contributions with your spouse, they must be aged under 65, or if they’re between their preservation age (the age they can access their super) and 65, they can’t be permanently retired from the workforce or have left employment after the age of 60.
1 You must be an existing member of Club Super who lives with your spouse on a bona fide domestic basis in a relationship as a couple for your spouse to be eligible for spouse membership. A spouse includes married, de-facto and same-sex partners.
2 Income is defined as assessable income plus reportable fringe benefits (RFB) plus reportable employer superannuation contributions (RESC). RESC is generally superannuation contributions which you have asked your employer to make as salary sacrifice (before tax) or additional employer contributions (in addition to Superannuation Guarantee or award contributions) paid on your behalf as part of a remuneration package. Check with your employer to determine if you have any RFB or RESC for the financial year.
3 A spouse of a person includes another person (whether of the same or a different sex) with whom the person is legally married; and another person (whether of the same or a different sex) who, although not legally married to the person, lives with the person on a genuine domestic basis in a relationship as a couple.