Who can contribute to super

Technical resource

Certain requirements need to be met before a superannuation fund can accept contributions on behalf of a member, specifically age based, although there are exceptions.

Information for advisers only.

Australia’s superannuation system has undergone extensive reforms in recent years, with certain requirements needing to be met before a superannuation fund can accept contributions on behalf of a member.

Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulation 7.04(1) outlines the conditions below.


Conditions where a fund may accept contributions

Under 65

A fund can receive contributions (except downsizer contributions) on behalf of the member regardless of the work test. 

but under 67

A fund can receive all contributions on behalf of the member.

but under 75

Mandated employer contributions and downsizer contributions may be received regardless of the work test.

For a fund to receive member contributions or employer contributions (except mandated) the member must be gainfully employed on at least a part time basis during the year which the contribution is made. The contribution must be received on or before the day that is 28 days after the end of the month in which the member turns 75.

The Work Test Exemption can also be utilised. This applies if the member is not gainfully employed on at least a part time basis during the year, but they were gainfully on at least a part time basis in the financial year immediately preceding the current one, and their total super balance was below $300,000 as at the most recent 30 June, and they have not used this exemption in a previous financial year. Where this is used the fund may receive member contributions or employer contributions. 

75 and over

Mandated employer contributions and downsizer contributions may be received regardless of the work test. No other contributions will be accepted. 

Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulation 7.01(3) defines gainful employment on a part time basis as performing at least 40 hours in a period of not more than 30 consecutive days within that financial year.

Other requirements

In addition to a member meeting the requirements outlined in SIS Regulation 7.04(1), there are additional requirements that must be met for a fund to accept a contribution on behalf of a member.

These include:

  • A superannuation fund is prohibited from accepting a member contribution if the member’s tax file number has not been quoted.

  • There are also restrictions on the ability to make non-concessional contributions for individuals with total superannuation balances of $1.7 million or greater, as at 30 June 2021 or $1.6 million or greater as at 30 June in the preceding periods between the 2017/18 and 2020/21 financial years.

Next: Concessional contribution rules

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The transfer balance cap and total super balance are different concepts. Differences include their purpose, how they are measured and when to apply them.
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Originally restricted to those who were at least substantially self-employed, personal deductible contributions can now be used more widely.
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