Understanding super contributions


Boost your superannuation with personal contributions.

Make changes today to give your super a boost

Paying extra into your superannuation now may make a big impact later in retirement. It could mean the difference between being able to afford regular holidays or dinners out, and still being able to pay your bills at age 100. Even a little bit may make a difference.

Select your option below to find out about different super contribution options.

Taken from your salary before tax, such as Superannuation Guarantee.

Any additional contribution you make that you have already paid tax on.

Available between the 2021/22 to 2029/30 financial years. 

Changes that could impact your transition to retirement.

Making before-tax contributions

Your before-tax contributions (also known as Concessional Contributions) include your Superannuation Guarantee contributions, any other employer super contributions, salary sacrificing (if you do this) and any contributions that you have claimed a tax deduction for. Remember too that anyone who is eligible to contribute to super, can claim a deduction for personal contributions subject to meeting relevant criteria.

The general cap on before-tax contributions is $27,5001

If you have less than $500,000 in total superannuation you can also carry forward your unused before-tax (concessional) cap amounts (accrued from 1 July 2018) for up to five years.

It is your responsibility to monitor your caps to avoid any additional tax that may apply if you exceed the caps. 

First home buyers can contribute up to $15,000 per financial year (up to a maximum of $30,000) extra into their super to use as a deposit on their first home. Find out more about the First Home Super Savers Scheme here.

¹ For up to date information regarding the contribution caps refer to ato.gov.au.

Documents for download
Download the plain English guide to super contributions.


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Making after-tax contributions

If you have spare cash on hand, whether from an inheritance, dividend payments, a bonus or even just change after bills, you might consider contributing this to your superannuation.

The cap on after-tax contributions (also known as non-concessional contributions) is $110,000 per financial year. You may also be able to bring forward up to three years of after-tax contributions to invest up to $330,000 in one go if you haven’t triggered it in the previous two years. Those with a total super balance of $1.7 million or more are not able to make after-tax contributions and those with a balance between $1.48 and $1.7 million will have a reduced ability to use the ‘bring forward’ rule.

It is your responsibility to monitor your caps to avoid any additional tax that may apply if you exceed the caps. 

If you are aged between 67 and 74 years old and meet either the work test or work test exemption, you may also be able to make an after-tax contribution (the work test does not apply if you are under age 67).  

The work test means you have been gainfully employed and worked at least 40 hours over 30 consecutive days in a financial year in which the contribution is made.  

The work test exemption applies if you satisfied the work test in the previous financial year in which the contributions are made and you have a total super balance less than $300,000 at the end of the previous financial year and you have not used the work test exemption previously.  The work test exemption can only be used once in your lifetime.

Those aged 65 and over can contribute up to $300,000 ($600,000 combined for a couple) to their super from the proceeds of selling their home (owned for 10 or more years). This measure is exempt from the $1.7 million balance, contribution caps and work test restrictions.

Documents for download
Download the plain English guide to super contributions.


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Recontribution of COVID-19 early super release amounts

Individuals will be able to recontribute COVID-19 early release superannuation amounts outside of the contribution caps between the 2021/22 to 2029/30 financial years.

This will allow individuals who have utilised the COVID early release scheme to make ‘re-contributions’ that do not count towards their non-concessional contributions cap (effective from 1 July 2021).

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Entering retirement

If you’re retired or about to retire, there are a few changes you should know about.

The maximum amount that can be invested in the retirement phase is generally $1.7 million* (2021/22) You may have a different limit due to timing and indexation impacts. If you’ve already retired and your balance exceeds your cap you are required to move the excess back to the accumulation phase or be subject to a tax penalty.

Transition to retirement pensions in accumulation phase are not assessed against the transfer balance cap until you reach age 65, or notify us that you have met a prescribed condition of release.

* For more information about the transfer balance cap and how it applies to your circumstances, speak with your adviser or refer to the ATO website at www.ato.gov.au.

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Why should I boost my superannuation?

The amount you have in your superannuation at retirement can mean the difference between a modest lifestyle or a more comfortable one with a few luxuries.

  • Making extra payments from your before-tax salary may mean you access a tax rate of 15% (depending on your income level) instead of your marginal tax rate*.
  • And you may be able to save for your retirement faster than relying on your Superannuation Guarantee contributions alone.

*Before-tax (concessional) contributions are generally taxed at a concessional rate of 15%. Note: an additional 15% tax may be payable for higher income earners.

What is the difference between a concessional and a non-concessional contribution?

A con­ces­sional con­tri­bu­tion is a pay­ment to su­per­an­nu­a­tion made be­fore tax and in­cludes the pay­ments your em­ployer might make on your be­half, for ex­am­ple Su­per­an­nu­a­tion Guar­an­tee. It also in­cludes ad­di­tional pay­ments you make your­self through salary sac­ri­fic­ing or for which you claim a tax de­duc­tion.

Con­ces­sional con­tri­bu­tions are taxed at a rate of 15%, in­stead of your mar­ginal tax rate*. The cap on concessional contributions is $27,500 for the 2021/22 financial year.

A non-con­ces­sional con­tri­bu­tion is a pay­ment made to a su­per­an­nu­a­tion fund af­ter tax. It can be from a range of sources such as an in­her­i­tance, a prop­erty sale or even just ad­di­tional pay­ments from your af­ter-tax salary. The cap on non-concessional contributions is $110,000 per financial year or up to $330,000 (2021/22) using the three-year bring-forward rule for those aged under 67 years old.

*Be­fore-tax (con­ces­sional) con­tri­bu­tions are gen­er­ally taxed at a con­ces­sional rate of 15%. Note: an ad­di­tional 15% tax may be payable for higher in­come earn­ers.

I am over 67 years old and still working. What does this mean for me?

To con­tinue to make con­tri­bu­tions, you will need to pass the work test – this means you will need to have worked 40 hours or more in 30 con­sec­u­tive days during the fi­nan­cial year.

To avoid exceeding the caps, the general before-tax con­tri­bu­tions cap is $27,500 while the af­ter-tax con­tri­bu­tions cap is $110,000 for the 2021/22 financial year, pro­vided your to­tal su­per­an­nu­a­tion ac­count bal­ance is less than the trans­fer bal­ance cap (cur­rently $1.7 mil­lion) on the prior 30 June. It is your responsibility to monitor your caps to avoid any additional tax that may apply if you exceed the caps. 

*Be­fore-tax (con­ces­sional) con­tri­bu­tions are gen­er­ally taxed at a con­ces­sional rate of 15%. Note: an ad­di­tional 15% tax may be payable for higher in­come earn­ers.

How do I make extra contributions to my super?

Before making contributions to your super, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Consider your financial situation, what you can afford and what your options are so you can decide whether making extra super contributions is right for you across the short and long term. Bear in mind, there are government restrictions around when you can access your superannuation. If you have a financial adviser, it may be helpful to discuss this with them and the options available to you.
  • Check your current and previous contributions across your superannuation (including if you have multiple accounts). If your super is linked to a Westpac or St.George account (like BT Super for Life), you will be able to check this by logging on to your online bank account or otherwise, call us on 132 135.
  • Be aware of the caps on total contributions to your superannuation. 

If you would like to make before-tax contributions:

  • If you are an em­ployee, talk to your em­ployer about your op­tions, such as whether they of­fer salary sac­ri­fic­ing from your pre-tax salary to your su­per­an­nu­a­tion, alternatively, you can claim a deduction for personal contributions; or
  • If you are self-employed, you may be able to claim a tax deduction for contributions you make yourself to your superannuation. You may be able to claim a tax deduction for your financial year contributions, regardless of whether you are self-employed or otherwise. Visit ato.gov.au for the latest information on this.

If you would like to make after-tax contributions:

  • Make your contribution by direct transfer or deposit if your bank account is linked to your superannuation account.
  • Use BPAY to make your after-tax contribution. If you have a BT superannuation account, the instructions and codes for this are available here: https://www.bt.com.au/personal/help/use-bpay.html

Others can also make a contribution on your behalf. If you would like more information on how to do this or making a contribution yourself, speak to one of our superannuation specialists on 132 135.

Where can I login to view my account?

Visit the following link:

If your superannuation is linked to your Westpac Group bank account, other links include:

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If you’re worried that your super balance won’t be enough in retirement, there are a number of ways you could give it a boost. Our video can show you how.
The Easy Rollover tool makes it simple for you to roll over super funds you may have into your BT Super account.

Small contributions to your super can make a big difference to your retirement income in the long run. Use our calculator to see how small savings on everyday items could impact your retirement.


Things you should know

This information is current as at 1 July 2021. This information has been prepared without taking account of your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. This information provides an overview or summary 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 investment 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 visit the ATO website.

The tax position described is a general statement and is for guidance only. It has not been prepared by a registered tax agent. It does not constitute tax advice and is based on current tax laws and our interpretation. Your individual situation may differ and you should seek independent professional tax advice. For more information, visit the ATO website. 

BT Funds Management Limited (BTFM) ABN 63 002 916 458, AFSL No. 233724, RSE No. L0001090 is the trustee and issuer of interests in BT Super for Life and BT Super which is are a part of Retirement Wrap ABN 39 827 542 991, RSE R1001327. A Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for BT Super for Life and BT Super, and the BTFM  Financial Services Guide (FSG) can be obtained by calling 132 135, or from the Product Disclosure Statement page. You should obtain and consider the PDS before deciding whether to acquire, continue to hold or dispose of interests in BT Super for Life and/or BT Super.

An investment in BT Super for Life and/or BT Super is not an investment in, deposit with or any other liability of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 (Westpac), St.George Bank, BankSA or Bank of Melbourne (which are Divisions of Westpac), or any other company in the Westpac Group. It is subject to investment risk, including possible delays in repayment of withdrawal proceeds and loss of income and principal invested. None of Westpac, any other company in the Westpac Group or any appointed investment manager stands behind or otherwise guarantees the capital value or investment performance of BT Super for Life or BT Super.

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