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Super for the self-employed

If you work for yourself, there is no legal requirement to pay yourself a super guarantee (SG) contribution – unlike you must do for your employees.

Why you should consider paying yourself super even if you’re not required?

If you are not paying yourself super, who is?

Australians can expect to live to 85 for women and 81 for men on average (ABS, 2021). So, retirement savings will need to last 20 to 25 years depending on when you retire.

And with the power of compounding interest, the sooner you start, the more super you’ll have in retirement.

How much should I pay myself?

How much super you pay yourself is up to you. It will depend on how much retirement savings you currently have, what you can afford and your retirement goals.

Use the MoneySmart retirement projection calculator to give you an idea of your potential retirement savings and how long they will last.

Speak with a First Super financial planner

If you are a First Super member, it is a good idea to speak to one of our financial planners1 and seek financial advice.

Request a ‘Super Health Check’ – it’s included in your membership so there’s no additional cost.

How to make contributions?

You can make voluntary contributions to a fund of your choosing. You also have the flexibility to make regular contributions or lump sum contributions.

There are a couple of ways to do this:

Are you aware of the tax saving benefits?

Contributing to your super helps you save for your retirement. If you make after-tax contributions you can claim a tax deduction for them. These contributions are taxed at 15%, so depending on your situation, you may save on tax.

You must claim the deduction the same financial year as your contribution. The form you need to complete is called the ‘Notice of intent to claim or vary a deduction for personal super contributions’.

Contribution caps

Contributions caps still apply, so make sure you stay under the cap to avoid paying the excess contribution charges.

Insurance in Super

Remember that you have Life and TPD insurance cover inside of super. This protects you and your loved ones in the event of serious illness, disablement or death.

However, sometimes insurance in super can be cancelled if your account has been deemed inactive. There are steps you can take to insure this doesn’t happen to yours.

Learn more about insurance and inactive accounts.

Not a First Super member?

If you are self-employed or a sole trader, you can join First Super as a member. Join us today and enjoy the following benefits:


If you have any questions, please call our Employer Services Team on 1300 943 171 or request a call back from a business specialist.


1 First Super financial planners are authorised representatives of Industry Fund Services Limited (ABN 54 007 016195, AFSL 232514).