Make contributions on behalf of your spouse (married, de facto or same sex) and you may receive a tax offset. This can be effective if one person has taken time out of their career to stay at home with children or care for a family member.

Adding to your partner’s super account could help towards having a more secure life after work together, and it could bring some good tax benefits.

Sometimes one partner has taken time out of their career to stay at home with the kids, for example, making spouse contributions one way of building their retirement savings.

Even if you both have a healthy amount of super, you may feel it makes sense to optimise tax benefits with this approach. 

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How it works

There are two ways you can top up your spouse’s super:           

  • Personal spouse contributions: paid directly to your spouse’s account as non-concessional contributions
  • Contribution splitting: you can split your concessional (before tax) contributions with
    your spouse.

Show me the ways I can make personal contributions

If their super is held with another fund, please contact that fund to find out how they accept contributions.

Contributions to your own super account through salary sacrifice are taxed at 15%. Contributions to your partner’s super via a splitting arrangement are not subject to additional tax in your spouse’s account.

And if that isn’t reason enough, your investment earnings are also taxed at a lower rate than if you were making money off investments outside of super.


Access tax offsets  

If your partner earns less than $37,000 a year and you make a contribution to their super account of at least $3,000 you may be eligible for a maximum tax offset of up to $540 ($3,000 x 18%).

The offset reduces as your partner’s income increases above $37,000 and phases out at $40,000 p.a.

Putting extra money into super is a great way to save for retirement, but there are annual caps on how much you can put away before you start paying extra tax on contributions.

But as a couple, that cap effectively doubles.

Because there are two of you, you’ll have the opportunity to put money away for the future in a tax-effective way, which could make a significant difference to your joint savings and the kind of lifestyle you can maintain after work.

Tell me more about super and tax efficiencies

Splitting super contributions

Another way to build on your joint retirement savings is to split your financial year’s pre-tax contributions across yours and your spouse’s super funds.

This includes the super guarantee contributions your employer is required to pay, and any additional contributions made through salary sacrifice.

You can split up to 85% of your total concessional (before tax) contributions, or up to the concessional cap for that financial year to your spouse’s super fund (whichever amount is less).

You can apply to split your super contributions with your partner assuming they have not yet reached their preservation age or permanently retired from work.

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