Nat 74548-10. 2016 Fact sheet for Individuals

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NAT 74548-10.2016

Fact sheet for Individuals 


Super contribution limits

Superannuation plays an important part in securing your 

lifestyle in retirement. Apart from the compulsory super 

contributions made by your employer (called super guarantee 

or SG), you can contribute extra to your super to help increase 

your savings for the future. However, there are limits on how 

much you can contribute before you pay extra tax.

The different limits (known as caps) depend on the type 

of contributions made into your super fund.

Concessional (before-tax) 


Concessional contributions are contributions made 

into your super fund before any tax is paid on them.

They can  include:

compulsory super payments (SG) made by your employer

salary sacrifice contributions

costs your employer pays on your behalf, such as 

super administration fees and insurance premiums

some personal contributions, such as super payments 

you make if you’re self-employed – if an income 

tax deduction is allowed.

Once in your fund, these contributions are taxed at 15%.

Non-concessional (after-tax) 


Non-concessional contributions are generally contributions 

you make into your super fund after tax has been paid on them.

They include:

personal contributions you make from your after-tax pay, 

that you are not allowed to claim as an income tax deduction

contributions your spouse makes to your fund on your behalf 

(unless your spouse makes the contributions because they’re 

your employer)

excess concessional contributions you have not elected 

to release from your super fund.

Contribution caps

For the 2016–17 financial year the general concessional 

contributions cap for those younger than 50 years old in 

the 2016–17 financial year is $30,000.

However, if you turn 50 years or older in 2016–17 you can 

contribute up to $35,000 before you may have to pay extra tax.

The non-concessional cap is $180,000 for 2016–17.

Table: Contribution 

caps 2016–17

Limit (cap)


$30,000 (if under 50 years in 2016–17)


$35,000 (if turning 50 years old 

or older in 2016–17)


If you go over the concessional 

contributions cap 

From 1 July 2013, if you go over the concessional cap, we will 

include your excess contributions in your assessable income 

and you will be taxed at your marginal tax rate. You will also 

have to pay the excess concessional contributions charge 

(ECC) on the increase in your tax liability. We will send you an 

ECC determination that shows the amount of ECC and the 

ECC charge. 

You can choose to release up to 85% of your ECC from your 

super fund by completing an Excess concessional contributions 

election form (NAT 74825-4.2015) and sending it to us within 

21 days of your ECC determination issue date . You can only 

release up to 85% because 15% tax has already been paid 

by your super fund. You will receive a 15% non-refundable tax 

offset in your tax return to allow for this. Released contributions 

will not be counted as non-concessional contributions.

If you go over the non-concessional 

contributions cap 

From 1 July 2013, if you go over your non-concessional 

contributions cap, you will receive an excess non-concessional 

contributions determination. You can then choose how 

your excess contributions are taxed by completing an 

Excess non-concessional contributions Election form 

(NAT74824-4.2015) and sending it to us within 60 days of 

your excess non-concessional contributions determination 

issue date. You can choose from one of the following options:

Option 1 – release amounts from superannuation

you choose to release all of your excess contributions and 

85% of your associated earnings from your super fund. 

You can only release up to 85% as 15% tax has already 

been paid on the earnings by your super fund 

the total amount of your associated earnings are included 

in your assessable income and taxed at your marginal tax 

rate. You receive a 15% non-refundable tax offset to allow 

for the 15% tax paid by your fund 

we issue a release authority to funds you nominate and 

they pay this amount to you.

Option 2 – pay excess non-concessional 

contributions tax 

you choose not to release your excess non-

concessional contributions from your super fund

you will receive an excess non-concessional contributions 

tax assessment where  the excess amount will be  taxed 

at the  highest  marginal tax rate – 49% in 2016-17 

you receive a compulsory release authority with your 

assessment which must be given to your super fund to 

pay the amount of the assessment. 

Option 3 – advise you have no money or assets 

in any super fund

if you advise us that the value of your super interests is 

zero and we are satisfied, you will receive a direction notice 

the full amount of your associated earnings will be included in 

your assessable income and taxed at your marginal tax rate 

a non-refundable tax offset equal to 15% of your associated 

earnings is applied to allow for the 15% tax already paid by 

your fund. 

If you don’t choose an option 

If we don’t receive a valid election form within 60 days of the 

determination letter issue date, we will issue you with an excess 

non-concessional contributions tax assessment. It will be as 

though you chose option 2. 

Bring forward provision

If you are under age 65 in the relevant financial year you 

can bring forward the next two years of non-concessional 

contributions using the bring forward provision. The cap 

amount that applies is three times the non-concessional 

contributions cap for the financial year when you make 

the contribution.

Avoiding extra tax

Check your contributions regularly to make sure you aren’t 

going to exceed the  caps. When  you work out  how much 

you’re contributing  in any financial year,  remember that 

contributions count  when  they are  received  by your fund – 

not  when  the  payment was  sent.

If you salary sacrifice to super and you think you’re at 

risk of exceeding the cap, consider reducing your salary 

sacrifice amounts.

Super contribution limits

Published by

Australian Taxation Office 


October 2016 


JS 37802

©  Australian Taxation Office for the 

Commonwealth of Australia, 2016

You are free to copy, adapt, modify, transmit and distribute this material as 

you wish (but not in any way that suggests the ATO or the Commonwealth 

endorses you or any of your services or products).

More information

If you’re unsure about how much is being contributed 

to your super or when payments will be received by your 

fund, talk to your employer or fund.

It’s also  a good idea  to talk to your tax agent or financial 

adviser  before  making  any decisions about your super.

If you need more information about super contributions, 

you can visit

For more  information about super, you can:


phone 13 10 20.

You can also find us on:

Facebook at

Twitter at

YouTube at

If you do not speak English well and need help from 

the ATO, phone the translating and interpreting service 

on 13 14 50.

If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment, 

phone us through the National Relay Service (NRS) on 

the numbers listed below, and ask for the ATO number 

you need:

TTY users, phone 13 36 77. For ATO 1800 free-call

numbers, phone 1800 555 677.

Speak and Listen users, phone 1300 555 727.

For ATO 1800 free-call numbers, phone 1800 555 727.

Internet relay users, connect to the NRS at

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