Rules around super contributions – catch up contributions

Making ‘catch-up’ contributions to your superannuation account can boost your savings for long term financial security.

Rules around super contributions allow certain individuals to increase their superannuation by making additional concessional (before tax) contributions.

This scheme provides flexibility for eligible individuals to make ‘catch up’ concessional contributions to their superannuation when they have the capacity to do so. It’s particularly targeted at:

  • people who take time out of work, work part time or have irregular income
  • women who may have interrupted work patterns and generally lower super account balances than men
  • individuals who take a break from the workforce due to illness, to care for someone or pursue further studies
  • older people who have more disposable income as their ongoing costs

 Assessing your eligibility

Even if you don’t belong to any of the target groups, you may still make catch-up concessional contributions this financial year if:

  • you have unused concessional contribution cap amounts from the 2018-19 financial year
  • you had a total superannuation balance of less than $500,000 at 30 June 2019, and
  • if you’re aged between 65 and 74, you must meet the work test for the 2019/20 financial year or be eligible for a work test

Unused concessional caps (commencing from the 2018-19 financial year) can be ‘carried forward’ for five financial years on a rolling basis.

How it works

The concessional contribution cap is currently $25,000 (2019/20) and includes salary sacrifice and mandatory employer contributions. In addition, an individual can use unused concessional contribution cap amounts from the 2018/19 financial year if they meet the above requirements.

Example: If you made total concessional contributions of $10,000 in the 2018-19 financial year and your total superannuation balance at 30 June 2019 was less than $500,000, you’ll be able to make up to $40,000 of concessional contributions to your super this 2019-20 financial year. The $40,000 being the $25,000 annual cap plus the $15,000 unused concessional cap from the 2018-19 financial year.

Other things to keep in mind

Keep in mind that you won’t be able to utilise your unused amounts from the 2018/19 financial year in the current financial year if your total super balance was at least $500,000 at 30 June 2019.

If your total super balance is below $500,000 at the end of this financial year, you may be eligible to make catch up concessional contributions in the following financial year utilising your unused concessional contributions from the 2018/19 and 2019/20 financial years.

Seek advice

If you’re thinking of using the catch-up rules, seek professional financial advice on how to use concessional super contributions to your advantage. Your financial adviser may also help you consider the tax implications.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided in this document, including any tax information, is general information only and does not constitute personal advice. It has been prepared without taking into account any of your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. You should read the relevant Product Disclosure Statements and seek personal advice from a qualified financial adviser.

The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author; they are not reflective or indicative of Financial Services Partners’ position and are not to be attributed to Financial Services Partners. They cannot be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of the author.

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