The amount you can contribute to your super each financial year before paying extra tax is generally capped, with different caps applying depending on the type of contribution you make.
However, a couple of special rules can help you extend those caps and give your super an extra boost.
What are the different types of contributions?
There are two types of contributions you can make to your super: concessional and non-concessional.
Concessional contributions are those made from your pre-tax salary. They include:
- The contributions your employer makes
- Salary sacrifice contributions
- Personal contributions claimed as a tax deduction
Making contributions from your pre-tax salary could be a tax-effective way of investing. This is because concessional contributions are taxed at 15% when they’re received by the fund. After-tax or non-concessional contributions, meanwhile, are made after you’ve already paid income tax, which for most people is paid at a higher rate.
You can make up to $27,500 worth of concessional contributions in the 2023/24 financial year. The cap was previously $25,000 between the 2017/18 and 2020/21 financial years.
It’s important to note that there may be specific rules for your division about concessional contributions – you can learn more about what rules apply to you here.
Non-concessional contributions are those made from your after-tax salary.
You can make this type of contribution via BPay, or you can arrange with Payroll for a portion of your after-tax salary to go into your super.
You can make up to $110,000 worth of non-concessional contributions in the 2023/24 financial year. The cap was previously $100,000 between the 2017/18 and 2020/21 financial years.
Expanding your caps
Carrying forward unused concessional contributions
While the current annual cap for concessional contributions is $27,500 in the 2023/24 financial year, a special rule called the ‘carry forward’ rule can help you maximise this. It works by allowing you to make the most of any unused amounts under the cap from previous financial years.
If your total superannuation balance is below $500,000 as of the previous 30 June, you can carry forward unused amounts over a rolling five year period, with unused amounts from the 2018/19 financial year the first you can carry forward.
It’s important to remember that the concessional contributions cap was previously $25,000 between the 2017/18 and 2020/21 financial years, and that it increased to $27,500 in the 2021/22 financial year.
For example, if you had only made $10,000 of concessional contributions in the 2020/21 financial year, you would be able to contribute a total of $42,500 in the 2021/22 financial year: $27,500 up to the new cap in the 2021/22 financial year, plus the $15,000 worth of unused contributions carried forward from the year before, when the cap was $25,000.
If you maximised your contributions in 2021/22, your new rolling five-year period would then have begun in 2022/23.
Bringing forward non-concessional contributions
The amount you can contribute to your super each financial year from your after-tax salary is currently capped at $110,000, but a special rule can help you maximise this amount.
If your total superannuation balance is below $1.7 million as of the previous 30 June and you are aged under 75 at any point during the current financial year, you may be able to make up to three years’ worth of after-tax contributions in one year by tapping into your future cap space in advance.
As the annual cap for non-concessional, or after-tax, contributions is currently $110,000, this means you could bring forward your cap from the 2023/24 and 2024/25 financial years to contribute up to $330,000 in one financial year.
The amount you may be able to contribute depends on your total superannuation balance. You learn learn more via the ATO.
Check how much you've contributed
If you want to make additional contributions, it’s a good idea to give us a call to check how much cap space you have available to either carry forward your concessional contributions, or bring forward your non-concessional contributions. We can tell you how much you’ve already contributed and how much more you can contribute before hitting the relevant limits.
Before making extra contributions, also remember that your money will be locked away until you reach your preservation age, which could be decades away – so it’s important to think about how much you can afford to contribute.