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Salary sacrifice to super to save on tax and grow your savings
If you earn more than $45,000 per year, salary sacrificing to your QSuper Accumulation account can help you pay less tax now and have more money in retirement. Or you can make after-tax voluntary contributions instead.
If you earn more than $45,000 per year, you pay less than your normal tax rate (up to 45% + 2% Medicare Levy) on salary sacrifice contributions (15%, or 30% if you earn more than $250,000).
Salary sacrificing from your before-tax salary lowers your taxable income. So you could pay less tax, or use it as part of your transition into retirement.
Any extra contributions you make now create a big difference to how much you end up with, as they grow because of compound interest.
Depending on where you work, you can also salary sacrifice into other things like buying a car, rent/mortgage payments, or school fees, with companies in Australia like Advantage salary packaging, RemServ salary packaging, or Smartsalary.
Salary sacrificing to super is different to making after-tax voluntary contributions.
Your payroll office or salary package provider can add a salary sacrifice deduction to your pay going forward, or you can ask them for more information about how salary sacrifice works.
Once it's started, you can view your salary sacrifice contributions in our app or in Member Online.
Not yet a member of Australian Retirement Trust? Find out whether you're eligible to open a QSuper account or a Super Savings account.
Is salary sacrifice worth it? We've done the sums so you can see how extra contributions to your super add up over time.
Discover more ways you can add to your super, such as other contribution
types. Or find out ways to claim a benefit, such as a tax deduction or the government co-contribution.
If you have a Defined Benefit account, salary sacrifice works differently, so read the Defined Benefit Account Guide (pdf) before making a decision.
Depending on who you work for in the Queensland Government, you may be already contributing 2%-5% into your super as standard contributions. Standard contributions are normally made after-tax, but you can choose to salary sacrifice them instead if you want to. You can arrange this with your payroll office or salary package provider.
If you work for Queensland Health, you can definitely salary sacrifice to your super. You can either choose to salary sacrifice an extra amount of your choice to your super, or you could change your voluntary contributions from after-tax to before-tax (salary sacrifice) contributions. You can arrange this with your payroll office or salary package provider.
Yes, you do pay 15% tax on money that you salary sacrifice into your super (or 30% if you earn more than $250,000). But because you're taking that money out of your before-tax pay, you don't then pay your normal tax rate as well.
If you made after-tax contributions to your super instead (also called personal contributions or voluntary contributions), you wouldn't pay any more tax unless you claim a tax deduction for it. If you do claim a tax deduction, you would pay both your normal tax rate on your salary and the 15% super tax as well.
You can contribute up to $27,500/year to your super, including salary sacrificed contributions. Above the limit, you'll pay your marginal tax rate on the extra contributions. Find out more about contribution caps.
For the limits on how much you can salary sacrifice outside super, such as fringe benefits tax (FBT) items, see your salary packaging company's website (e.g. Advantage, RemServ, Smartsalary).
Salary sacrificing to super and salary packaging super are the same thing. So you can ask your payroll office or salary package provider how to set up either salary sacrifice or salary packaging to your super, and they'll know what you mean.
The main things to consider are your current budget and your income level, and you can get financial advice about whether salary sacrificing to your super is right for your situation.
You need to make sure you'd have enough left in your take-home pay if you salary sacrificed. There's no point saving extra for the future if you leave yourself short today.
And if you earn under $45,000/year, there's not as much of a tax benefit to salary sacrificing - whereas on that income, making after-tax contributions can make you eligible for the government's super co-contribution.
Another option is to make a voluntary contribution (after-tax contribution) to your super and then claim a tax deduction on those contributions.
Salary sacrificing can be very tax-effective, but it's not right for everyone. A few things to consider are:
To learn more about salary sacrificing, download our Personal Contributions Guide (pdf).
Find out more ways you can grow your super, such as after-tax personal/voluntary contributions.
Try our salary sacrifice calculator to find how much you could benefit and how much you could salary sacrifice.
If you're a member, get financial advice over the phone to help decide what type of contributions are right for you. Not yet a member?
After using the QSuper Salary Sacrifice Calculator, Kerry arranges for their employer to salary sacrifice $50/week into their super.
If Kerry makes this before-tax salary sacrifice contribution every week for a year, their income tax will decrease from $18,067/year to $17,170/year (including Medicare levy but not tax offsets).1
While Kerry's take-home pay decreases by $1,703 for the year (from $61,933 to $60,230), they contribute $2,600 to their super. After the 15% super contributions tax, their super is $2,210 better off.
This means Kerry's overall financial position is $507 better off per year, because of the extra super less the decrease in take-home pay.