Make more of your super today

We have created a range of fact sheets that show you some great ways to make the most of your super. From combining your multiple super accounts, to maximising great tax benefits available to you, it's well worth taking a look to see what you could be doing to give your super a boost.

Tax-deductible super contributions

You may be eligible to claim a tax deduction for your personal super contributions.  By doing this, you may be able to pay less tax while saving more for your future. Your eligibility can be affected by your age, sources of income and the level of salary sacrifice and certain other employer contributions made for you. To claim a deduction, you must give a notice to the Trustee of your super fund and have it acknowledged.

Keep in mind that personal deductible contributions count towards your annual before-tax contributions cap. The current before-tax contributions cap is $25,000 per financial year. Any contributions made above these limits will attract additional tax.

Salary sacrifice to top up your super

Salary sacrifice is an arrangement where part of your before-tax wage or salary is paid into your super account instead of being received as take-home pay. It could be an effective way to boost your super and help you with saving for retirement. There may be tax advantages for you, depending on how much you earn.

To get started, do a budget to work out how much you can afford to invest from each pay packet. You may also consider talking to your employer to find out if they can set up salary sacrifice arrangements for you.

Keep in mind that salary sacrifice contributions count towards your annual before-tax contributions cap of $25,000 per financial year. Personal deductible contributions and contributions made by your employer also count towards your annual before-tax contributions cap.

Consider a one-off contribution

After-tax super contributions are made from money you have already paid income tax on and won't be claiming a tax deduction on. For example if you work for an employer, making a contribution to super directly from your bank account is considered an after-tax contribution.

Investment earnings within your super accumulation account are taxed at up to 15%, compared to your marginal tax rate which applies to investments you may hold outside of super. Please note that depending on your income level, your marginal tax rate may be less than 15%.

The annual limit for after-tax contributions is currently $100,000 if your total superannuation balance is below $1.6 million at the start of the financial year. In certain circumstances, you may be able to bring forward three years of after-tax contributions into one year, contributing up to $300,000, if you haven't triggered the rule in the previous two years and your total superannuation balance is below $1.4 million at the start of the financial year. You may still be able to contribute part of the bring-forward if your total superannuation balance is between $1.4 million and $1.5 million at the start of the financial year.

Government co-contribution

In the 2017/18 financial year, if you are a middle to low income earner, adding to your super from after-tax money could see you entitled to a government co-contribution worth up to $500.

To be eligible you need to earn less than $51,813 in the 2017/18 financial year and be aged below 71 at 30 June 2018. You must also have a total superannuation balance of less than $1.6 million at the start of the financial year to be eligible.

The maximum co-contribution of $500 is available if you earn less than $36,813 in the 2017/18 financial year and if you have made a contribution yourself of at least $1,000. The co-contribution steadily reduces as your income rises and until it reaches zero at an annual income of $51,813.

Spouse super contribution tax offset

If your spouse or partner’s assessable income is less than $40,000 in a financial year, and you decide to make super contributions on behalf of your spouse, you may be able to claim a tax offset for yourself.

The maximum tax offset available is up to $540 if your spouse receives $37,000 or less in assessable income in the 2017/18 financial year. The tax offset is progressively reduced until it reaches zero for spouses who earn $40,000 or more in assessable income in a year.

First home buyers

You may be able to make voluntary superannuation contributions to use towards a deposit for your first home under the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS) starting from 1 July 2017. Voluntary contributions you make, plus associated earnings, can be accessed from 1 July 2018 subject to meeting eligibility criteria. Whether using concessional or non-concessional contributions, the total amount of contributions you can withdraw is capped at $15,000 a year (or a maximum of $30,000 in total). Superannuation Guarantee contributions, as well as contributions that don’t count towards or are in excess of the contribution caps, cannot be accessed under the FHSSS as part of your deposit. See more here.

Downsizer contributions

From 1 July 2018, if you are planning on downsizing your family home of ten years or more and are aged 65or over, you may be able to contribute up to $300,000 from the sale proceeds to superannuation as a downsizer contribution. If you have a spouse, they could also contribute up to $300,000 to their superannuation from these proceeds. Downsizer contributions do not count towards your before or after-tax contribution caps or caps on contributions for total superannuation balance. You can find out more about whether you might be eligible at ato.gov.au.

Be aware of annual limits

As annual limits apply to the amount you can add to your super each year, it is important to consider how much you have already added to your account (or accounts) during the financial year to know which strategies can work for you. Visit ato.gov.au for the latest information on super contributions.

If you have any questions about your Super, contact us for more information.

BT Funds Management Limited ABN 63 002 916 458, AFSL No. 233724, RSE No. L0001090 is the trustee and issuer of interests in BT Super for Life which is a part of Retirement Wrap ABN 39 827 542 991, RSE R1001327.

A Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) is available by logging in to your online banking. You should obtain and consider the relevant PDS before deciding whether to acquire, continue to hold or dispose of interests in the relevant product.

Westpac Life Insurance Services Limited ABN 31 003 149 157, AFSL No. 233728 is the issuer of insurance cover offered through BT Super for Life. Further information about the insurance available through BT Super for Life is included in the PDS.

The relevant Financial Services Guide (FSG) can be obtained by contacting your adviser or from the PDS downloads page.

The above information provides an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such. The 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.

Superannuation is a long-term investment. The Government has placed restrictions on when you can access your preserved benefits. The Government has set caps on the amount of money you can add to superannuation each year on a concessionally taxed basis. In addition, the Government has set a non-concessional contributions cap. For more detail, speak with a financial adviser or visit the ATO website. There may be limited circumstances where your employer is not required to accept your Choice of Superannuation fund form e.g. if you have already exercised Super Choice in the last 12 months.