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Contribution caps and rules

The Government limits the amounts you can contribute to super. If you go over the limits, you may pay extra tax. The limits are called contribution caps. 

There are two types of super contributions:

  • Before tax (Concessional)
  • After-tax (Non-concessional)

Before-tax (Concessional) contribution caps

Concessional contributions include:

  • All employer contributions (including salary sacrifice) from your before-tax income
  • Personal (voluntary) contributions for which you claim an income tax deduction

Check out the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website for a more detailed definition of concessional caps.

Concessional cap for 2018-19
Concessional annual cap amount $25,000

 
Any concessional contributions in excess of the cap will also count towards the non-concessional contributions cap.

“Catch-up” concessional contributions

Unused portions of the concessional contributions cap can be “rolled over” to future years, subject to certain conditions. This means that from 1 July 2019, if your 'total superannuation balance' is less than $500,000 (as at the last day of the previous financial year) you will be able to make use of the unused portions, on a rolling 5-year basis.

For example, if your concessional contributions for 2018/19 are $15,000 less than the concessional contributions cap, that $15,000 unused portion is effectively rolled over and added to your concessional cap for 2019/20.

Unused cap amounts that aren’t used after 5 years expire.

For more information, visit the ATO website.

Tax on high income earners

An additional 15% tax applies to before tax (concessional) super payments if your annual income (including before-tax super contributions) exceeds $250,000.

What if you exceed your before-tax (concessional) contributions limit?

If you exceed your before-tax super payment limit, the ATO will look at information provided to them from your super funds (including Sunsuper) as well as information you report in your tax return to assess if you need to pay the excess concessional contributions charge. Check out the ATO website for more information on what happens if you go over your before-tax contributions limit and how any tax can be paid.

After-tax (non-concessional) contribution limits or caps

After-tax contributions include:

  • Personal member voluntary contributions (no tax deduction claimed)
  • Spouse contributions
  • Any before-tax contributions over the before-tax contribution limit

Check out the ATO website for a more detailed definition of after-tax (non-concessional) limits.

After-tax (Non-concessional) contributions limits for superannuation balances of $1,400,000 or less

After-tax limit for 2018-19
After-tax annual limit $100,000
Three year bring-forward * limit $300,000

* People under 65 at any point during the financial year may be able to bring forward two years’ of after-tax super payments, allowing you to contribute up to three times the cap at once or at any time during the three financial years. Note that a higher bring-forward amount applies if you exceeded the applicable cap in 2015/16 or 2016/17.

Restrictions on after-tax payments for superannuation balances of $1,400,000 or more

Members who have a total superannuation balance of $1,400,000 or more on 30 June 2017 will be subject to:

  • a reduced after-tax (non-concessional) contribution limit;
  • a shorter bring forward period; and
  • will not be able to make any after-tax contributions if their total superannuation balance exceeds $1,600,000.

These restrictions are detailed below.

Total superannuation balance on 30 June 2017  Maximum non-concessional contributions for 2017/18 (including bring forward rule)  Bring-forward period 
 Less than $1,400,000  $300,000 3 years
 $1,400,000 - $1,500,000  $200,000 2 years
 $1,500,000 - $1,600,000  $100,000  N/A
 $1,600,000 or more  Nil  N/A

What if you exceed your non-concessional contributions cap?

Legislation has been passed to allow members to withdraw excess non-concessional contributions made from the 2013/14 financial year onwards, plus associated earnings. The ATO will contact you about your situation if this applies to you. Check out the ATO website for more information on exceeding your after-tax super payments limit.

We're here to help

If you'd like more information about contribution caps, you can visit the ATO website or give us a call on 13 11 84

$180,000
$180,000