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Make your personal contributions by 25 June 2024 to make sure they’re counted towards the 2023/24 financial year.

See important dates for more information.

Working part time, taking time out of the workforce or being on a lower income may mean having less super. Over time, that could leave you with less money in retirement. Spouse contributions can help close the gap, with benefits for both of you. 

Key points

  • Contributing to your partner’s super means their balance can still grow. Their balance can be lower because they:
    • may take time out of the workforce
    • are on middle, low, or no income, or
    • work less.
  • You can make contributions to your spouse’s super if
    • They’re under 75 years of age and have less than $1.7 million in their super.  
  • You may be able to claim a tax offset if you contribute to their super fund.

How it works

The person earning more contributes to their partner’s super account. These payments are from their take-home pay, known as after-tax or non-concessional contributions. They are not taxed again when paid into your spouse’s account

  • If your spouse’s income is $37,000 or less per year:
    • you can claim an 18% tax offset on up to $3,000 for any spouse contributions you make.
    • The maximum spouse contributions tax offset available is $540 per year
  • The offset also applies to spouses earning less than $40,000 per year. It gradually reduces for every $1 of income over $37,000, phases out if your spouse earns $40,000 or more.
  • To be eligible to receive the tax offset, you both need to meet certain criteria.

Tax benefits of spouse contributions

There are tax benefits for the contributing spouse who can offset their tax by up to $540. The partner on a lower or no income can enjoy their super balance increasing.

To be eligible for the tax offset, you need to contribute up to $3000 to your spouse's super, and you can contribute more than $3,000 to your spouse’s super, but the amount will not be eligible for the tax offset. But you'll need to make sure it's within their non-concessional contribution cap of $110,000.

The maximum tax offset is capped at up to $540 regardless of how much you contribute.

How to set it up

You will need:

To make an after-tax spouse contribution into your partner’s account, you’ll need their super account details.

You can set up one-off or recurring payments into their super account via BPAY® or bank transfer. Find your super account BPAY and bank transfer details in your online account or in the Aware Super app.

Understand the limits

You can’t claim the tax offset if:

  • Your spouse has exceeded their after-tax contributions cap for the financial year
  • Their super balance was more than the transfer balance cap on 30 June of the previous financial year.

More ways to create super equality

Making a spouse contribution is one way to help grow your partner’s super. There are other ways to build joint retirement savings. You can also:

  • Split before-tax (concessional) super contributions for the financial year with your spouses. This includes your employer’s mandatory contributions and your salary sacrifice payments.
  • Split up to:
    • 85% of your before-tax contributions, or
    • Your spouse’s before-tax cap for that financial year, whichever amount is less.
  • Your spouse must be under preservation age at the time of the splitting the contributions. If they are between preservation age and age 64, they must be gainfully employed. Once your spouse turns 65, you can no longer split your contributions with them.

Your age and when you were born, determine your preservation age. Work out your preservation age using the table below.

Scroll table horizontally on mobile

If you were born Your preservation age is
Before 1 July 1960 55
1 July 1960 - 30 June 1961 56
1 July 1961 - 30 June 1962 57
1 July 1962 - 30 June 1963 58
1 July 1963 - 30 June 1964 59
1 July 1964 or later 60

Why does preservation age change depending on the year you were born?

The Government decides the preservation age rules. Recognising that people are living longer in retirement, it is gradually increasing the preservation age from age 55 to 60. It's designed to encourage Australians to grow larger super balances so they can retire with more money. Learn more about when you can withdraw your super.

The age the Government allows you to withdraw your super is different to the age you can apply for the Government Age Pension, which is 67. Learn more about Government Age Pension requirements at Services Australia.

Use our superannuation retirement calculator to see how your super is tracking as a couple or individually.

Things to consider

Spouse contributions:

  • You’ll need to know the account details of your spouse to make or receive a contribution.

Contribution splitting:

  • Check if your super fund:
    • allows contribution splitting
    • charges fees for contribution splitting
  • You must both be Australian citizens and a couple (married or de facto) when contributions are made.
  • Spouse contributions are after-tax contributions made from your take-home pay. You can claim a tax offset if you qualify.

Where to next?

Need guidance or advice?

We offer a range of advice options to suit your needs. Our experienced planners can help improve the way you manage your money and plan for your future.

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Claim a personal contribution

You might be able to claim a tax deduction if you’ve made a personal contribution to your super. You’ll need to meet certain criteria and fill out a form.

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