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.

Benefits of salary sacrifice to your super

Pay less tax

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).

Reduce your taxable income

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.

Grow your retirement savings

Any extra contributions you make now create a big difference to how much you end up with, as they grow because of compound interest.

What is salary sacrifice?

Salary sacrificing to super is when you pay part of your salary into your super account before tax, instead of it being part of your take-home pay. This is an extra payment on top of your employer's compulsory SG contribution.

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.

How does salary sacrifice work?

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.

What is salary sacrifice and how does it work?

Is salary sacrifice worth it? We've done the sums so you can see how extra contributions to your super add up over time.

Other ways to grow your super

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.

Find out more

FAQs about salary sacrificing

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:

  • If you earn less than $45,000/year, there's less of a tax benefit to salary sacrificing into your super.
  • There are limits to how much extra you can put into your super fund each year – the contribution caps – and if you go above the limits, you'll pay your marginal tax rate on them.
  • You can't claim a tax deduction on salary sacrificed contributions to your super, because you didn't pay any income tax on them.
  • If salary sacrificing into super or another method would mean you don't have enough take-home pay to pay your bills, it's not worth it.

To learn more about salary sacrificing, download our Personal Contributions Guide (pdf).

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.

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 standard contributions from after-tax to before-tax (salary sacrifice) contributions. You can arrange this with your payroll office or salary package provider.

If you work for the Queensland Government, you're probably 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 have a Defined Benefit account, salary sacrifice works differently, so read the Defined Benefit Account Guide (pdf) before making a decision.

Find out more ways you can grow your super, such as after-tax personal/voluntary contributions.

Next steps

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Use the QSuper Salary Sacrifice Calculator

Try our salary sacrifice calculator to find how much you could benefit and how much you could salary sacrifice.

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Get advice about salary sacrificing

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?

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1. This case study is provided for illustrative and educational purposes only, and the members shown are not real. Additionally, figures may be rounded for ease of understanding. Members should seek advice from a qualified licensed professional, regarding their own circumstances. These figures were calculated using the MoneySmart super contributions optimiser calculator and the MoneySmart compound interest calculator (as at 8 March 2022). The calculation assumes the interest compounds monthly and that earnings are reinvested and fully credited at the end of each month. The calculator's estimate of the future value of savings could vary significantly over time if any change is made to these assumptions. The interest rate assumed for the compound interest calculator is 5% p.a. and is net of fees and taxes. The information should not be used as a guide to future performance of any investment. Investment returns can be positive or negative and this does not guarantee a future outcome. The total saved does not take inflation into account. Check with your chosen savings product provider in regard to actual interest calculations. These figures are provided only to demonstrate the principle of compounding. They are not intended to represent projected returns in a QSuper Accumulation account. This case study is for illustrative purposes only to show how salary sacrificing works, and does not take into account your personal tax liability. The calculation is based on tax rates for the 2021-22 financial year and it is assumed for the purpose of the case study that all terms and conditions have been met.