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Whether it’s topping up their balance after a stint away from work, reducing their taxable income, or making extra contributions in order to achieve a specific retirement dream, there are a variety of reasons why people may choose to make voluntary contributions to their super account.

We asked a few members of the Qantas Super team why they started making voluntary contributions, and the benefits they’ve seen in making those contributions.

As their experiences show, every person’s financial circumstances are different and you need to consider what is right for you. You can speak to one of our Super Advisers for guidance, or take a look at the government’s MoneySmart calculators.

 

The types of contributions you can make to your super

There are two types of contributions that can be made to super: concessional (or pre-tax) contributions, and non-concessional (or post-tax) contributions.

Concessional contributions

Types of concessional contributions include the contributions your employer makes to your super, and salary sacrifice contributions. Currently, your employer must contribute at least 11% of your ordinary time earnings to your super – this is called the Superannuation Guarantee. Meanwhile, salary sacrifice contributions are typically set up via an arrangement with payroll; you can choose whether to contribute a certain dollar amount, or certain percentage of your pay, each pay period.

Because concessional contributions come your pre-tax salary, that are taxed at 15% when they hit your super account; as this is lower than the marginal tax rate for some people, this can make super a tax-effective way to invest. Making pre-tax contributions also lowers your taxable income.

Non-concessional contributions

Non-concessional contributions are those that are made to your super account from your post-tax salary, such as contributions made via BPay. Because you have already paid income tax on this money, it won’t be taxed again when contributed to your super account.

However, if you choose to claim a tax deduction on any of the contributions you made via BPay, effectively turning them into pre-tax contributions, Qantas Super is required to deduct 15% contributions tax from these amounts.

Important things to remember

There are caps to how much can be contributed to your super. In 2023/24, the concessional contributions cap is $27,500, while the non-concessional contributions cap is $110,000.

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.

There may be specific rules for your division about concessional contributions – you can learn more about what rules apply to you here.

Name: Michelle

Role: Investment Analyst

What type of contributions do you make? Salary sacrifice.

When and why did you start? I started back in 2021 which is also when I first started working for Qantas Super. I had never really put much thought into my super balance, I thought it would work itself out – but doing some research for International Women’s Day made me realise how important it is (for women especially) to make voluntary contributions.

How much do you contribute and how frequently? $100 per month

What benefit have you seen in making these contributions? I haven’t seen material changes yet, but if you use some of the cool retirement calculators I can see that my contributions will make a material difference to my retirement balance. For the peace of mind, I like knowing that making a small contribution over 30 years will make a material difference to Future Michelle. Future Michelle wants to not have financial stress when she is old.

Anything you want to add? I highly encourage anyone to make voluntary salary sacrifice contributions, no matter how small – it will make a difference over 30+ years.

Name: Rita

Role: Super Adviser

What type of contributions do you make? Salary sacrifice.

When and why did you start? I began making after-tax contributions in 2005, and then started salary sacrificing in 2009.

How much do you contribute and how frequently? Approximately $750 monthly.

What benefit have you seen in making these contributions? I started contributing into super in 2005 by making after-tax contributions, because my super balance was so small after I’d stepped out of the workforce to have a kid. I could only afford $20 a week, but to my delight when I when back to work part time the government matched my contributions by $500 per annum.

When I went back to work full time, I decided to salary sacrifice because it would reduce my taxable income while building my super at the same time.

Anything you want to add? My super started to grow once I started to take control and understood that putting a little away for tomorrow would make a difference towards my retirement. Taking control of your super is important for all, especially for women as so many of us step out or go part time from the workforce to have our families.

Name: Gina

Role: Marketing and communications manager

What type of contributions do you make? Salary sacrifice.

When and why did you start? I began salary sacrificing when I started working at Qantas Super in 2019, for two main reasons. The first was that I didn’t really know anything about super before I started working here, so as I was learning, I found the examples of how compound interest works to grow your balance very compelling (I show people the MoneySmart calculator a lot).

The second was that I’d had an employer previously who hadn’t paid my contributions for a few years, so as I learned about how important super is, I became concerned about my low balance and wanted to do what I could to grow it and make up for those missed contributions.

How much do you contribute? I contribute $100 per month.

What benefit have you seen in making these contributions? After five years of making voluntary contributions (and making sure that my balance is invested in the right option for me), I can see that my balance is higher than the average balance of other people my age (even men!).

Anything you want to add? If you have another employer, please check that they’re actually making the contributions they’re supposed to! Just because it’s on your payslip doesn’t necessarily mean that they have paid it to your account, so it’s important to log in every so often and check that the money is actually there. Unfortunately, the non-payment of super is quite common with small businesses in particular, and while I was lucky to have mine eventually paid to me a few years later, not everyone is as fortunate.

Name: Simone

Role: Super Adviser

What type of contributions do you make? Salary sacrifice.

When and why did you start? I started about 7 years ago when I first started working in super, and started to understand the benefits of it.

How much do you contribute and how frequently? The amount has changed over the years. I now salary sacrifice $200 a month as I am also saving for an apartment.

What benefit have you seen in making these contributions?  My super has grown a lot and is far higher than the average super for my age.

Name: Mark

Role: Product Manager

What type of contributions do you make? Salary sacrifice.

When and why did you start? I started when I was 23, because my manager encouraged me. I was very lucky!

How much do you contribute and how frequently? Varies depending on what I can swing.

What benefit have you seen in making these contributions?  The amount is always in my control, and I can pause them whenever I have to.

Anything you want to add?  If you have questions, don’t hesitate to seek advice!  Also, the First Home Super Saver Scheme is something every first-time home buyer should consider.

We're here to help

If 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.

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