The super system is designed to help Australians easily save for retirement during their working lives. But did you know there are still a couple of ways to boost your balance in retirement?

Here are a few ways you could do it:

Downsize your home

If you’re thinking of selling your home, you may be able to may what’s called a ‘downsizer contribution’ to your super.

If you’re aged 65 or above and fit the eligibility criteria, you can contribute up to $300,000 from the proceeds of the sale of your home into your super. If you have a partner, you can each contribute up to $300,000 for a total of $600,000.

However, the total amount you contribute can’t be greater than the total proceeds of the sale of your home. For example, if you sell your home for $200,000, you can’t contribute the full $300,000, as this exceeds the proceeds of the sale.

This type of contribution won’t count towards either your concessional or non-concessional contributions caps, and can be made even if you have a total super balance greater than $1.6 million. However, it will count towards your transfer balance cap into an income account, which is currently set at $1.6 million.

If you’re eligible, you can make a contribution from the proceeds of selling your home where the contract of sale was exchanged on or after 1 July 2018.

It’s also important to think about how selling your home may impact your eligibility for the age pension.

For example, your home isn’t included in the assets test if you live in it, but selling it may change things.

If you decide to sell, the proceeds are exempt for up to 12 months if you plan to use them to buy, build, or renovate another home. But the proceeds are ‘deemed’ in the income test; this means they’ll be assessed as income from financial assets.

Review your investment options

Unless you withdraw your balance and stash it under the mattress, your super will still be invested in some way through your retirement.

While you likely won’t use the same investment strategy you may have used at the start of your career, your super can continue to grow significantly in retirement depending on how it’s invested.

In fact, up to 60 per cent of a member’s wealth is earned through investment during retirement1.

1Russell Investments: ‘The 10/30/60 Rule’, January, 2015

Watch this short video to learn how to invest your super:

Make voluntary contributions

If you’ve reached your preservation age and want to start tapping into your super while you keep working for a little while longer, you can deposit some of your super savings into an income account as a transition to retirement member.

You can then start receiving regular payments from this account, helping make up the difference in your salary from your reduced work hours. Because you’re still working, your super account will continue to receive employer contributions and any voluntary contributions you make.

If you’re still working after turning 67, your employer will be paying your Superannuation Guarantee contributions, and you might also be eligible to make voluntary contributions to your super.

In order to do so, you have to satisfy something called the ‘work test’: to satisfy the work test from 2020/21 onwards, you must be between 67 and 74 years old, and have worked at least 40 hours within 30 consecutive days in the financial year in which you are making the contributions.

Another rule, called the ‘work test exemption’, allows an individual aged between 67 to 74 to make voluntary contributions for a further 12 months from the end of the financial year in which they last met the work test.

In order to qualify for the exemption, their total super balance must be less than $300,000 and they must not have used the exemption previously.

The usual contributions caps continue to apply.

The concessional contributions cap, for contributions from your pre-tax salary is currently $25,000 a year, while the non-concessional contributions cap, for contributions from your after-tax salary, is $100,000 a year.

Watch this short video to learn how to boost your super:

Bring forward unused non-concessional contributions

If your total superannuation balance is below $1.4 million as of the previous 30 June and you are aged under 65 at any during the current financial year, you can 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 $100,000, so this means you could contribute up to $300,000 in one financial year.

Carry forward unused concessional contributions

If your total superannuation balance is below $500,000 as of the previous 30 June, you may be able to 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.

For example, if you only made $10,000 of concessional contributions in each of the 2018/19 and 2019/20 financial years, you would be able to contribute a total of $55,000 in the 2020/21 financial year: the annual $25,000 up to the cap, plus the $15,000 of unused contributions carried forward from 2018/19, and the $15,000 left unused from 2019/20.

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Other info you might be interested in

How to invest your super in retirement

Unless you withdraw your balance and bury it in the backyard, your super will be invested in some way through retirement – and depending on how it’s invested, it can continue to grow significantly.

How to set up your retirement budget

You’re probably no stranger to a budget, but there are a few new things to consider as you work out how much to spend in retirement.

How does the Age Pension work with super?

If you’re retired and receiving an income from your super, you might also be able to receive the age pension to help supplement your income.

What's the difference between a super account and income account?

If you choose to keep your nest egg in the super environment, you can either keep it in your regular super account or transfer it to an income account as a retirement member.

We're here to help

If you want to learn more or need help with making a decision about your super, you can chat to a Super Adviser. It’s included as a part of your membership so there’s no extra cost.

Learn online

Want to learn more about your super? Browse our Learning Hub to better understand your super and the simple steps you can take to stay in control.