Every dollar in your super counts. That’s why the government has a co-contribution scheme to help people on low to middle incomes boost their super.

If you earn less than $54,837 a year and make after-tax contributions (also known as non-concessional contributions) to your super, the government will co-contribute up to 50 cents in the dollar, and up to a total of $500, to your super.

The eligibility criteria

There is a range of eligibility criteria to fulfil to receive the co-contribution, with one of the most important being, of course, that you need to contribute to your super from your after-tax salary in order to receive a co-contribution from the government.

You must also:

  • Have been a permanent resident for the entire financial year
  • Be under 71 years of age at the end of the financial year in which the contribution was made
  • Have earned at least 10% of your total income from an employer, from running a business, or a combination of both
  • Have a total superannuation balance less than the general transfer balance cap at the end of 30 June of the previous financial year
  • Have contributed less than the non-concessional contributions cap in the financial year
  • Have lodged an income tax return for the financial year during which you made the contribution
  • Have a total income that is less than the upper threshold for that financial year
  • Be an Australian resident

How much you'll receive

The amount you’ll receive is based on your income, and where it sits between the upper and lower thresholds for eligibility.

For the 2020/21 financial year, the lower threshold is $39,837 and the upper threshold is $54,837. The lower income threshold is indexed in line with average weekly ordinary time earnings (AWOTE) each income year, with the new indexed amount available each February. The higher income threshold is set at $15,000 above the lower threshold each year.

Your entitlement is reduced for every dollar earned over the lower threshold until you reach the upper threshold. If you earn below the lower threshold and contribute $1,000, for example, the government will contribute $500. If you earn $51,837 and contribute $1,000, the government will contribute $100.

Contribution amounts for 2020/21
IncomePersonal contribution of $1,000Personal contribution of $800Personal contribution of $500Personal contribution of $200
$39,837 or less$500$400$250$100
$42,837$400$400$250$100
$45,837$300$300$250$100
$48,837$200$200$200$100
$51,837$100$100$100$100
$54,837$0$0$0$0

How the co-contribution works for Peter

In 2020–21, Peter will earn $35,000. He pays $40 per fortnight from his after-tax pay into his super account. This will total $1,040 for the financial year. He meets all other co-contribution eligibility requirements.

With this payment plan, Peter will be eligible for the maximum co-contribution of $500.

The ATO will pay this amount into Peter’s super account between November 2021 and January 2022.

When making voluntary contributions, remember that caps apply and that your super will be preserved until you reach retirement age.

It’s important to think about your ongoing financial commitments before making a contribution.

Frequently asked questions

  • How to make your contributions

    You can make after-tax contributions to your super via BPAY. You can find your BPAY details by logging into your account, clicking the profile icon and then ‘Personal details’.

    You don’t have to contribute the maximum of $1,000 to receive a co-contribution, or make your contribution in one go – you can contribute small amounts throughout the year and still be eligible.

  • How to receive the co-contribution

    You don’t need to apply to receive the co-contribution. If you’re eligible, all you need to do is make your after-tax contributions and lodge your income tax return for the financial year in which you made the contributions.

    The ATO will then calculate whether you’re entitled to the co-contribution, and pay it directly into the same super account you made your contributions to. This process generally takes at least three months from when your income tax return has been processed.

  • Will you pay tax on the co-contribution?

    The co-contribution is free of contributions tax and is returned tax-free to you in retirement. However, any investment earnings on the co-contribution while in your super account will be subject to 15% earnings tax.

    Remember that there are caps on how much you can contribute to your super from both your pre- and after-tax salary. Any contributions over the relevant caps are subject to additional tax.

  • Do compulsory member contributions count towards the co-contribution?

    If you’re a member of a defined benefit division of Qantas Super and make compulsory member contributions from your after-tax salary, these contributions will count towards receiving a co-contribution.

We're here to help

If you want to learn more or need help with making a decision about your super, you can get simple advice over the phone or face to face. It’s included as a part of your membership so there’s no extra cost.