Super and taking a career break

You might be considering a career break. Or maybe you want to take that trip you’ve always dreamed about, start a family, or head back to study.

Taking a break from paid work may mean no money is coming into your super, which could result in less super when you need it for your retirement.

But the good news is, you can keep your super on track while you take time out by considering some of these options.

Just remember to take into account your own personal objectives, financial situation and overall needs before choosing any of these options. 

1. Find any lost super 

If you’ve ever changed jobs, done casual work, moved house or changed your name, then you could be one of the many Australians who has lost track of their super. If you have accumulated multiple super funds it also means you might be paying multiple sets of fees. Ensure you aren’t paying any more money than you need to during your break by finding it all. Learn more about how to find lost super here

2. Put more money into your super before you take your break

You may want to be proactive and put in place a salary sacrifice arrangement1 with your employer in the lead up to your break. You can also contribute to your superannuation from your after-tax salary (within the caps) which you may then be able to claim as a deduction as part of your tax return. That way, it can help make up for the employer contributions you’ll potentially miss out on when you’re away.

And if you’ve got insurance cover within your super, you may want to check that your balance can cover the cost of the premiums to ensure you stay covered while you’re off work2. Or possibly make a one-off contribution while you’re away if you need to. 

3. Stick to a budget

During a break your finances may be stretched. Consider setting up a budget and looking at what you can forego during your time out. Even the smallest savings can make a big difference over a year. Not sure where to start? Check out the Money Smart budget planner at

4. Extra support from the Government

If you’re off work for a while, it might mean your total income for the year is less than $56,112 in the 2021/22 financial year. This means you might be eligible for a Government super co-contribution of up to $500, if you make an after-tax contribution to your super. For more information visit

5. Do you have a partner?

If you’re married or have a de facto partner who’ll be working during your break, and they make personal contributions to your super on your behalf, they could be eligible to receive a tax offset of up to $540 per year. You can read more about spouse contributions here


1 Before making salary sacrifice or personal super contributions, check with your adviser, or visit the ATO website, about eligibility requirements and contribution caps.

2 Before going overseas, check with your insurer about whether you are covered while travelling. Where your balance is below $6,000 OR no contributions have been made in the last 16 months, your insurance may be cancelled automatically unless you choose to keep your insurance cover by submitting an election form.

We explain the range of strategies you can use to help grow your super. Try just one or embrace them all to boost your super savings over time.
Billions of dollars are sitting in lost and unclaimed super accounts. Some of that money could be yours. We explain how to be reunited with any lost super.

To learn more about super and taking a career break, contact us or speak to your financial adviser

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Before requesting a rollover, you should consider where your future employer contributions will be paid (if your employer contributions are currently being paid to another fund) and check with your fund(s) to determine whether there are any fees, including exit or withdrawal fees, for moving your benefit, or other loss of benefits (eg insurance cover), noting that you may not receive the same type or level of benefits after the rollover. If you have a pre-existing medical condition you may not receive a benefit for a death or disability claim. Please check to see if you are covered before submitting your application.

The content has been prepared by BT Funds Management Limited ABN 63 002 916 458, AFSL Number 233724, RSE Licence No. L0001090 (BTFM). BTFM, is the trustee and issuer of interests in BT Super which is part of the Retirement Wrap ABN 39 827 542 991. A Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) is available for BT Super and can be obtained by calling 132 135 or visiting You should obtain and consider the PDS before deciding whether to acquire, continue to hold or dispose of interests in BT Super.

This information does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to these factors before acting on it. This article provides an overview only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such.

Superannuation is a means of saving for retirement, which is, in part, compulsory. The government has placed restrictions on when you can access your investments held in superannuation. The Government has set caps on the amount of money that you can add to superannuation each year on both a concessional and non-concessional tax basis. There will be tax consequences if you breach these caps. For more detail, speak with a financial adviser or registered tax agent or visit the ATO website. BT cannot give tax advice. Any tax considerations are general statements, based on an interpretation of current tax laws, and do not constitute tax advice. The tax implications of superannuation contributions can impact individual situations differently and you should seek specific tax advice from a registered tax agent or registered tax (financial) adviser.