A focus on strong performance
Money magazine’s Best Retirement Innovator 20232
Growing your superannuation savings can help you to retire well with confidence. But there are limits to how much you can contribute to your super each year.
What helps to make super so effective is that it is a low-tax savings environment. Before-tax contributions (concessional contributions) and fund investment earnings are generally taxed at 15%. That means more of your money is left to ‘compound’ and grow over time. Here’s how compound interest works.
There are limits on the amount of money you can contribute to your super. These limits are called contribution caps.
Contributing too much to your super, or going over the cap, could mean extra tax, so it pays to understand how contribution caps work.
Super contribution caps in detail
Your employer is required by law to pay 10.5% of your ordinary time earnings (OTE) salary1 into your super fund – this is called the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contribution. The SG contribution rate is legislated to rise to 11% on 1 July 2023.
SG contributions are taxed at a concessional rate of 15% within the super fund, which is lower than most employees’ marginal tax rates2. If your income plus concessional contributions is over $250,000 per year, an additional 15% tax may apply to your concessional (before-tax) contributions.
You are generally permitted to contribute before-tax contributions up to $27,500, including your employer contributions, into your super fund each year at the 15% concessional tax rate.
You can make before-tax contributions to your super by:
It’s important to be aware that there are tax consequences if you exceed the caps. You may be able to contribute more than $27,500 in concessional contributions in a financial year if you did not contribute up to the full amount in previous years, depending on your total super balance. This is called the carry-forward of unused concessional contributions3 and you can check on any unused contributions with the Australian Taxation Office via your myGov account.
You can make extra contributions to your super account from your after-tax earnings. These are non-concessional contributions or personal contributions. If you’ve already paid tax on your money, which means it might be money you have in your bank account, then there’s no more tax to pay when it goes into your super account. Along with other eligibility requirements, you must be under 75 years old to make an after-tax deposit into your super.
The cap on after-tax contributions for 2022-23 is $110,000 per year4. These types of contributions also have bring-forward provisions, if you’re eligible, of up to $330,000 in a three-year period. If you use the future caps, they won’t be available in those future years. Learn more about contributions in our Personal Contributions Guide.
Your total super balance is a way to value your superannuation interests in all your super funds. It is calculated on a given date, usually 30 June (the end of the financial year).
Your total super balance is used to determine whether you’re eligible for some super-related measures in the following financial year, such as non-concessional contributions, the government co-contribution, and the spouse tax offset.
It’s important you keep track of how much money is being paid into your super. If you go over your contribution caps you may need to pay extra tax. The contribution caps apply across all your super accounts, including accounts with other super funds.
Once your total super balance reaches $1.7 million, different contribution rules apply. Please refer to the Personal Contributions Guide for more information.
Personal financial advice could help you get your super on track so you can live well in retirement. As member with us, you can access financial advice from a qualified financial adviser about your super account as part of your membership5.
Find out more
1. Ordinary time earnings (OTE) salary is generally what you earn for your ordinary hours of work, including commissions, shift loadings and allowances, but not overtime payments. ATO, List of payments that are ordinary time earnings, at ato.gov.au accessed 16 March 2023
2. ATO, Individual Income Tax Rates at ato.gov.au, accessed 16 March 2023.
3. ATO, Concessional Contributions and Contribution Caps, Understanding contribution caps, at ato.gov.au, accessed 16 March 2023.
4. Cap is nil if your total super balance was $1.7 million or above at the previous 30 June.
5. Australian Retirement Trust employees provide advice as representatives of QInvest Limited (ABN 35 063 511 580, AFSL 238274) (QInvest) is a separate legal entity responsible for the financial services it provides. Eligibility conditions apply. Refer to the Financial Services Guide at qsuper.qld.gov.au/disclosure for more information.
Claiming a tax deduction for your personal super contributions may help you reduce your tax.
You might make life easier by finding and consolidating your super through Member Online.1
Get smart with your super contributions. Salary sacrificing could make tax work in your favour to give you more money now and for the future.
You could feel more in control of your future in 2022 with these 5 simple actions.