Spouse super contributions
If your partner has taken time off work, whether to raise children, study or for another reason, it’s likely their super balance is not growing as much as it could be. But the good news is you can help grow their retirement nest egg by making what’s known as spouse super contributions.
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- Spouse super contributions are a way to keep your partner’s super balance growing if they are out of work or working reduced hours.
- You can make contributions to your spouse’s super if they are under the age of 67 or up to 74 if they meet the work test.
- Making spouse super contributions could also give you a tax offset if your spouse earns below $40,000 per year.
What are spouse superannuation contributions?
Spouse super contributions are payments you make into your partner’s super account. It’s a clever way to keep their retirement nest egg growing while they are either out of work or working reduced hours.
By definition, a spouse refers to someone you are legally married to or in a de facto relationship with.
Why should I make spouse super contributions and what are the benefits?
Both you and your partner could benefit from you making super contributions into their account. Along with boosting your partner’s super balance, making spouse super contributions could also reduce your own tax bill by giving you a tax offset.
If your partner earns less than $40,000 a year and you make after-tax contributions to their super account, you may be eligible to claim a tax offset of up to $540.1 The table below gives a breakdown of how the tax offset works.
|Effective date||Total income of recipient spouse||Tax offset1 available to contributing spouse|
|Up to 30 June 2017||$0 - $10,800||Up to $540|
|$10,800 - $13,800||Between $540 - $02|
|From 1 July 2017||$0 - $37,000||Up to $540|
|$37,000 - $40,000||Between $540 - $02|
1Tax offset applies to a maximum contribution of $3,000 p.a.
2Tax offset proportionally decreases, cutting out when the spouse earns the higher threshold amount.
Am I eligible to make spouse super contributions?
There are a few things you should keep in mind before making spouse super contributions, including:
- Your spouse must be under the age of 67. If they are aged 67-74, they must meet the work test or work test exemption
- You and your spouse must both live in Australia
- Your contribution must be from after-tax dollars
- You and your spouse must not live separately on a permanent basis
It’s also worth considering that you won’t be eligible to claim the tax offset if your spouse has exceeded their non-concessional contributions cap for the financial year, or if their super balance is $1.6 million (for 2020-21 financial year) or more on 30 June of the previous financial year in which the contribution was made.2 View the ATO's website for more information.
How can I make a spouse super contribution?
Making spouse super contributions is fairly simple. Every super fund will have a different process, so the best place to start is by contacting your spouse’s fund to find out how it accepts spouse super contributions.
If you and your partner are both Sunsuper members, it’s easy to make and receive spouse contributions. Simply make a BPAY payment online on our website using the correct Biller Code and your Sunsuper member account number, or complete and download the Spouse Contribution Form.
If you or your partner are not Sunsuper members, you can both easily join online in just a few minutes.
1ATO, Super-related tax offsets, June 2020
2ATO, Super-related measures, April 2021
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