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Restrictions

There are rules and restrictions that govern the super contributions you can receive and make in Australia. They are typically determined by your age and employment status. If you're feeling confused about what super contribution restrictions apply to your particular age bracket, check out our handy guide to the super system.

When it comes to super contributions, it's important to know what rules and restrictions apply. They are typically determined by your age and employment status.

To take the guesswork out of figuring out which ones have an impact on your particular age group, we've put together this handy guide to receiving your super contributions across a lifetime.

Contribution TypeYour Age

<67

67-7475+
Employer super contributions, including contributions stipulated by Awards and AgreementsAccepted without restrictionAccepted without restrictionAccepted without restriction
Additional employer contributions, including salary sacrifice and self-employed or personal contributionsAccepted without restrictionAccepted, provided member meets work testCannot be accepted
Voluntary after-tax contributionsAccepted without restrictionAccepted, provided member meets work testCannot be accepted
Spouse contributions (receiving spouse)Accepted without restrictionAccepted, provided member meets work testCannot be accepted
Government co-contributionAccepted without restrictionAccepted if you are aged under 71 at the end of the financial year in which an after tax contribution is made.

Cannot be accepted over age 71
Cannot be accepted
Downsizer contributionsAccepted from age 65Accepted without restrictionAccepted without restriction
Low Income Super Tax OffsetAccepted without restrictionAccepted without restrictionAccepted without restriction
Transfer of super from another fundAccepted without restrictionAccepted without restrictionAccepted without restriction

Super-splitting transfers cannot be received by a spouse who is aged 65 years or more, or has reached their preservation age and is retired.

Work test requirements

There are no age restrictions on receiving employer contributions (also known as Super Guarantee) if you are still working.

If you're aged between 67 and 74, any additional contributions made by your employer (including those made under a salary sacrifice arrangement) and any voluntary after-tax contributions you make are subject to a work test.

To satisfy the work test, you must have been gainfully employed on a full or part-time basis for at least 40 hours for 30 consecutive days in the financial year.

You may qualify for a work test exemption if you are aged between 67 and 74 and meet the following criteria:

  • You satisfied the work test in the financial year before you made the contribution (e.g. you met the work test in the 2018-19 financial year and contributed in the 2019-2020 financial year).
  • You had a super balance of less than $300,000 at the end of the previous financial year.
  • You have not previously used the work test exemption.

Once you turn 75, you can no longer make additional contributions to your super. Any additional super contributions made while you are aged 74 must be received by your super fund within 28 days of the end of the month in which you turn 75, or they won't be accepted.

The work test also applies to spouses aged 67-74 receiving spouse contributions from their partner.

It's important to note that further restrictions on receiving super contributions could also apply if you have not supplied your tax file number.

Transfer balance cap

Under superannuation law, a limit (called the transfer balance cap) applies on the total amount of super you can transfer to a retirement phase income stream (such as a pension account). The transfer balance cap for people starting a retirement phase income stream for the first time on or from 1 July 2021 is $1.7 million.

If you already have any retirement phase income streams and at any time between 1 July 2017 and 1 July 2021 the total balance of those income streams was $1.6 million or more, your transfer balance cap will be $1.6 million. If you already have any retirement phase income streams but their total balance has not been more than $1.6 million since 1 July 2017, then your cap will be proportionately increased based on your unused cap.

Your personal transfer balance cap is available on ATO Online.

More information about the transfer balance cap is available on the ATO website.