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 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 contributions are generally contributions
you make into your super fund after tax has been paid on them.
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
excess concessional contributions you have not elected
to release from your super fund.
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.
$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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Super contribution limits
Australian Taxation Office
© 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).
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 ato.gov.au/supercaps.
For more information about super, you can:
phone 13 10 20.
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