WHAT ARE VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS?
A voluntary contribution is extra money you add into your super account. The contribution comes from your after-tax pay, (your regular bank account), savings, an inheritance or from the proceeds of the sale of an asset.
This is different from the Super Guarantee (SG) contributions made by your employer.
Making extra contributions can help grow your super faster and provide you with more when you come to retirement.
Voluntary contributions are also called:
- After-tax contributions
- Non-concessional contributions
- Personal contributions
- Additional contributions
Salary sacrifice is also a type of voluntary contribution. But it is an arrangement you make with your employer. You request through your employer part of your salary to be sacrificed.
Your employer will put the salary sacrificed contribution into your super account before your personal income tax is deducted. Your salary sacrificed contribution is taxed at 15% instead of your personal income tax rate.
BENEFITS OF VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS
Grow your super faster
Extra contributions can make a big difference to how much savings you have when you retire
Less tax on investments
Usually, super investments earnings are taxed at 15%. Investment earnings outside of super can be taxed up to 47% depending on your tax bracket.
Claim a tax deduction
When you make extra after-tax voluntary contributions, you may be able to a tax deduction for it.
Super contributions calculator
See how much extra savings could have through making extra contributions to your super with the super contributions calculator.
There’s more good news. If your total income is less than $58,445 in the 2023-24 financial year and you make a voluntary after-tax contribution, you may be entitled to a Super co-contribution payment.
There are limits on how much you can contribute to super before you are forced to pay extra tax. (Read more about how super is taxed.)
The non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap for the 2023-24 financial year is:
- $110,000 per year; or
- $330,000 in a rolling three-year period under the bring forward provision. If you’re under age 75, you can bring forward two years of non-concessional contributions without triggering a tax penalty.
For more details about contribution caps, speak to our Member Services Team on 1300 360 988.
How to make a voluntary contribution
It’s easy to set up. You can either do regular payments or a one-off lump sum.
The Carry-forward (or “Catch-up” rule)
As we now know, the concessional contribution cap is currently $27,500 per financial year. But can you contribute more than $27,500 in a year?
For some, the answer will be ‘yes’.
Using the carry-forward rule, you can “catch up” by carrying forward any unused concessional cap contributions since the 2023-24 financial year into future years. By bunching together your unused cap amounts, technically, you’re contributing more than $27,500 in a single financial year, but you’re not breaking any rules.
For example, if you contributed only $15,000 to super last financial year, you could contribute $37,500 this financial year.
What are the benefits?
This rule gives you the flexibility to contribute larger amounts and maximise past concessional contribution caps that would otherwise go to waste. This can be particularly helpful in the period leading up to retirement when you’re looking to boost your super to use as future income.
Do any conditions apply?
Yes. Here are the key things you need to know.
- This rule only applies from the 2023-24 financial year onwards.
- Unused cap amounts will expire after a rolling five-year period.
- The total super balance across all your super accounts must be less than $500,000 at the end of the financial year before you use the carry–forward rule.
We recommend seeking advice from a First Super Financial Planner to help you work out any unused carry-forward amount and the best way to use it.
Individuals aged 67-74 years
Those aged 67 to 74 no longer need to meet the work test. This means you’ll be able to make or receive voluntary contributions (after-tax personal contributions or salary sacrifice) subject to existing contribution caps. You’ll also be able to take advantage of the carry-forward rule.
You may still have to meet the work test to claim a personal superannuation contribution deduction.