Work test exemption

You can contribute to your super at any time up to age 67, even if you’re not working. From age 67 to 74 you can make contributions as long as you meet the work test. 

To meet the work test you need to work at least 40 hours in any consecutive 30-day period during a financial year. 

Also, there is now a “one-time” exemption to the work test, if you meet all of the following: 

  • You met the work test in the previous financial year (2018-2019 financial year onwards), and 
  • your total super balance (super and any income streams) is less than $300,000 on 30 June of the preceding financial year, and 
  • you didn’t take advantage of this exemption in any previous financial year.  

 

Before-tax (concessional) contributions, up to $27,500 each year

 

You can make before-tax contributions

  • In the financial year you meet the work test, or
  • In the financial year AFTER you met the work test, under the one-time work test exemption described above.
  • Applies to salary sacrifice and personal contributions claimed as a tax deduction only.

 

You can carry forward before-tax (concessional) contributions

You can carry forward any unused before-tax contribution cap amount for up to five years. You can also use any unused cap amounts to contribute more than the annual limit of $27,500 if your total superannuation balance is under $500,000 at the end of 30 June of the previous financial year.

For example, if you contribute $15,000 each financial year in 2019-20 and 2020-21 you may be able to contribute an extra $20,000 of before-tax contributions in the 2021-22 financial year. This means your concessional contribution limit for 2021-22 would be 47,500. This assumes that your total super balance on 30 June 2021 is under $500,000 and the contribution caps don’t change.

If you also wanted to use the work test exemption, your total super balance on 30 June of the previous financial year would have to be less than $300,000.

 

After-tax (non-concessional) contributions, up to $110,000 each year

 

You can make after-tax contributions

  • In the financial year you meet the work test, or
  • In the financial year AFTER you met the work test, under the one-time work test exemption described above.

The bring forward rule ($220,000 or $330,000)

This means you can contribute up to $330,000 over any 3-year period (across all your super funds) if your total super balance is less than $1.7 million at the end of 30 June of the previous financial year. The amount you can bring forward will be different if your total super balance is between $1.48 million and $1.7 million. To trigger the bring-forward rule you must be less than 67 years of age at some point in the financial year and have contributed over $110,000 in the first year.

If you rely on the work test exemption to make contributions your total super balance must be less than $300,000 on 30 June before the financial year began.

For more information, please refer to our Super tax caps factsheet.

A super adviser can talk you through the new rules and show you how to make the most of your contributions at no extra cost – it’s part of the service.