Superannuation contributions explained

The types of contributions

Superannuation contributions are divided into two main types, concessional and non-concessional, depending on how they get taxed.

The information below outlines the main types of concessional and non-concessional contributions.


Concessional contributions

These are contributions made from your pay before income tax has been calculated and deducted. They're taxed in your super fund at a concessional rate of 15% (up to the concessional contributions cap, which is described in more detail later).

Superannuation Guarantee (SG)

If you are an employee and meet the Australian Government's eligibility criteria, you are entitled to receive regular superannuation contributions, made on your behalf by your employer. The minimum amount your employer is required to contribute to your superannuation is set by legislation and is known as the Superannuation Guarantee.

If you would like to have your SG contributions paid into your ING Living Super account, all you need to do is complete the 'Super Choice' form and submit this to your employer. You can find this form by logging into the Living Super website, then clicking on your superannuation account and selecting ‘Employer and Personal Contributions' from the menu on the left.

Salary Sacrifice

Salary sacrifice is an arrangement you make with your employer, whereby you ask them to pay part of your pre-tax salary or wages directly into your super fund instead of to you.

Salary sacrifice contributions are taxed in the super fund at a maximum rate of 15%. For most people, this tax rate is lower than the marginal tax rate they pay on their take-home salary.

Talk to your employer if you'd like to set up a salary sacrifice arrangement.

Personal contributions for which you claim a tax deduction

You can make personal contributions (made from your after-tax income) to your super account and may then be able to claim a tax deduction in your tax return.

You must ensure you have provided ING Living Super with your Tax File Number (TFN) when making the contribution. If you your TFN is not provided before or at the time of making the contribution, your contribution could be taxed an additional 34%.

It's also good to know that these contributions don't count as personal contributions for the purposes of assessing your eligibility for Government co-contributions (see later).

To make personal contributions, you can set up a Direct Debit, make a payment via BPAY® or send us a cheque. Find the details by logging into the Living Super website, then clicking on your superannuation account and selecting ‘Employer and Personal Contributions' from the menu on the left.

To claim your contribution as a tax deduction, you need to lodge a Notice of Intent with us. We need to accept and acknowledge that before you can claim your tax deduction. Log into the Living Super website, click on your superannuation account and select ‘My Super Finances' from the menu on the left, then ‘Notice of Intent'.


Non-concessional contributions:

These are after-tax contributions. No tax is payable when you make these contributions into your super account (subject to the non-concessional contributions cap) because you've already paid income tax on them.

Personal contributions for which you don't claim a tax deduction

You can contribute from your after-tax income to your ING Living Super account and count towards your non-concessional contributions cap unless you have claimed a tax deduction for them. You can choose to make regular personal contributions from your after-tax salary or personal one-off 'lump sum' contributions.

To make personal contributions, you can set up a Direct Debit, make a payment via BPAY® or send us a cheque. Find the details by logging into the Living Super website, then clicking on your superannuation account and selecting ‘Employer and Personal Contributions' from the menu on the left.

Government co-contributions

If you earn less than a set threshold in a financial year and make after-tax contributions (i.e. from your take-home pay) for which you don't claim a tax deduction, you may be eligible to receive a co-contribution from the Government. The maximum co-contribution you can receive is $500 and is not subject to contributions tax.

For more information regarding eligibility, go to the section ‘Super co-contribution' on the ATO website.

Spouse contributions

Your spouse may make contributions to your super account. The contribution must be paid from an account in your spouse's name or a joint account where your spouse is an account holder.

To make spouse contributions, both you and your spouse must be Australian residents when the contributions are made, you must be living together and a personal tax deduction is not being claimed on the contribution.

If you earn below a set threshold and your spouse makes an after-tax contribution to your account, they may be eligible for a tax offset of up to $540.

For more information, go to the section ‘Super contributions on behalf of your spouse' on the ATO website.


Annual contribution caps

The Australian government sets caps on the amount of contributions you can make to your super account each year.

If the total amount of contributions made during the financial year exceeds the annual caps, you may have to pay excess contributions tax.


Concessional contributions cap

The concessional contribution cap for each year from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2021 was $25,000.

From 1 July 2021 the concessional contribution cap is $27,500.

This cap may be higher if you did not use the full amount of your cap in earlier years because you can carry forward unused concessional contributions to the next year.

You can check your available concessional contributions cap on the ATO online services (accessed via myGov).

Carry-forward arrangement for unused concessional contributions

From 1 July 2018, you can catch up on concessional contributions going back five financial years if you haven't fully utilised the caps.

To qualify, your total superannuation balance at the end of the previous financial year needs to be less than $500,000.

For example, if you didn't use your caps in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years and your balance on 30 June 2021 is under $500,000, you can make additional concessional contributions in 2021/22.

For more detail, refer to the section ‘Carry forward unused concessional contributions' on the ATO website.

To find out what happens if you exceed your concessional contributions cap, refer to the section ‘If you exceed your concessional contributions cap' on the ATO website.


Non-concessional contributions cap

The non-concessional contribution cap for each year from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2021 was $100,000.

From 1 July 2021, the non-concessional cap is $110,000.

Your cap might be different depending on your circumstances. It can be:

higher, if you can use the bring-forward arrangements

nil, if your total super balance is greater than or equal to the general transfer balance cap ($1.6 million for 2020/21, $1.7 million for 2021/22).

Bring-forward arrangement for non-concessional contributions

You may be able to make non-concessional contributions of up to three times the annual non-concessional contributions cap in that financial year.

Eligibility for the bring-forward arrangement depends on your total super balance on 30 June of the previous financial year.

For more detail, refer to the ‘Bring forward arrangements' section on the ATO website.

To find out what happens if you exceed your non-concessional contributions cap, refer to the section ‘If you exceed your non-concessional contributions cap' on the ATO website.

Re-contributing

You are able to re-contribute money you withdrew from your super under the COVID-19 early release. You can do this between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2030. You will need to make an election in a prescribed format at the time of the re-contribution and you will not be able to claim a tax deduction for the re-contribution. The re-contribution won't count towards your non-concessional cap.

The ATO will issue the election forms you need if you want to re-contribute into your super account. You don't need to re-contribute the full amount you took out under the COVID-19 early release.


Age restrictions on contribution types

Your eligibility to make superannuation contributions is based on your age and the type of contribution that you, your employer or spouse wishes to make.

Please refer to the section ‘Age restrictions on contributions' on the ATO website.


Other Contributions

The ATO also allows for the below contributions to be made into superannuation:

These contributions are subject to their own criteria. Please give us a call on 133 464 or refer to the ATO websites for more information on how to make these contributions.