Are you eligible to add to your super and how much can you contribute? Read about the contribution caps, the work test and downsizing.
The contribution caps are the limits on how much you can add to your super each financial year. The cap amount depends on your age, balance and what types of contributions are made, after-tax or before-tax.
There are some additional rules which can give you some extra flexibility, depending on your age, balance and working situation.
The below information describes the contributions caps and tax rates for the 2023/24 financial year.
Total Superannuation Balance
Your Total Superannuation Balance, as defined by the Australian Tax Office, is generally the total amount you have across all superannuation accounts, including pension accounts, other super funds and SMSFs. This is reduced by the sum of any personal injury or structured settlement amounts paid to your super.
If your Total Superannuation Balance is:
• equal to or over the general Transfer Balance Cap ($1.9 million from 2023/24) at the end of 30 June of the previous financial year, you will not be able to make any further non-concessional contributions in the financial year (without exceeding your non-concessional contributions cap); or
• less than the general Transfer Balance Cap at the end of 30 June of the previous financial year, you may make after-tax contributions but your Total Superannuation Balance will determine how much you can contribute.
For further information on the Transfer Balance Cap, please refer to the ATO website or speak to your financial adviser regarding your individual circumstances.
Before-tax (concessional) contributions cap
Before-tax contributions include employer contributions (Super Guarantee), salary sacrifice amounts and personal contributions that you claim as a tax deduction. Find more info on the ATO website.
If you have more than one super account, all concessional contributions made to all of your accounts are added together and count towards the cap.
2023/24 annual cap (all ages, any balance):
+ carry forward rule
2022/23 annual cap (all ages, any balance):
+ carry forward rule
What happens if I go over the before-tax cap?
Excess concessional contributions made from 1 July 2023 are taxed at your marginal tax rate, with a 15% tax offset for contributions you've already paid tax on.
What should I do if I have exceeded the cap?
If you think you may go over your concessional contributions cap in the current financial year, it’s important to take action, to reduce the extra tax you may have to pay. The first step is to stop or reduce any further concessional contributions (like salary sacrifice payments) if you can, or to delay until the next financial year any personal super contributions you intend to claim as a tax deduction.
It’s also a good idea to confirm with your employer when the electronic payment of contributions (e.g. salary sacrifice and SG amounts) will be made to your super fund, so you know when it will hit your super account.
Carry forward rule (concessional contributions)
You can ‘carry forward’ your unused before-tax contributions from previous years (from 1 July 2018 onward) enabling you to use any of your unused concessional (before-tax) contributions cap on a rolling five-year basis. The first year in which you could increase your concessional contributions cap by the amount of unused cap was 2019–20. The concessional contributions cap is indexed from 1 July 2021 onward (more info on this page in the section called Before-tax (concessional) contributions cap).
Your Total Superannuation Balance must be less than $500,000 on 30 June of the previous financial year to carry-forward your unused cap.
Unused amounts are available on a rolling basis for five years and will expire after that.
Karla had $100,000 in her super account as at 30 June 2018. During 2018/19 $10,000 in before-tax (concessional) contributions were paid to her super account.
As a result, in the 2019/20 tax year, she can contribute $40,000 in before-tax contributions into her account. This is comprised of the unused caps in the 2018/19 tax year and the $25,000 concessional contribution cap for the 2019/20 tax year.
After-tax (non-concessional) contributions cap
After-tax contributions are typically extra (voluntary) contributions you make from your bank account. These include any personal contributions you make which you don’t claim as a tax deduction and any spouse contributions you make directly into your spouse’s super account.
The general Non-concessional contributions cap available in 2023/24 is $110,000. However, depending on your total super balance on 30 June 2023 and certain other factors you may be able to utilise the bring-forward rule. For members who turn 75, contributions must generally be accepted no later than 28 days after the month in which you turn 75.
Please check the ATO website for further information.
Bring forward rule (non-concessional contributions)
The bring forward rule allows you to bring forward your contributions cap (or limits) from future years and use them in a shorter time period.
You can make non-concessional contributions of up to three times the annual non-concessional contributions cap in a single year by bringing forward your non-concessional contributions cap for a two or three-year period.
You can bring forward your cap either all at once or as several contributions.
To access the non-concessional bring-forward arrangement for 2023/24, you must*:
- be under 75 years of age; and
- have a Total Superannuation Balance of less than $1.9 million at the end of 30 June 2023.
*Please refer to the ATO website for a full list of conditions.
From 1 July 2023, for those under 75 years, you are now welcome to make contributions above the annual non-concessional contributions cap and gain access to future year caps under the bring forward rule. Key eligibility criteria requirements apply. Please refer to the ATO website for more details.
The table below explains how the bring-forward arrangement works for the 2023/24 financial year:
|Total superannuation balance on 30 June 2023||Maximum non-concessional contributions cap for the first year||Bring-forward period|
|Less than $1.68 million||$330,000||3 years|
|$1.68 million to less than $1.79 million||$220,000||2 years|
|$1.79 million to less than $1.9 million||$110,000||n/a (no bring-forward period, general non-concessional contributions cap applies)|
|$1.9 million or more||$Nil||n/a|
Brian is aged 52 and his total superannuation balance as at 30 June 2023 was $650,000. In August 2023, Brian made a non-concessional contribution into his super account of $300,000.
The bring-forward rule was triggered when Brian exceeded his normal annual non-concessional contributions cap of $110,000.
As such, Brian can make a further non-concessional contribution of up to $30,000 in the three-year period from 2023/2024 - 2025/2026, if he wishes to use up his full $330,000 three-year cap.
In the 2026/2027 financial year, Brian's non-concessional contributions cap will be reset, and he can make further non-concessional contributions up to the normal annual contributions cap. Subject to his balance at 30 June 2026, he could utilise the bring forward rule again.
Note: If you trigger the bring-forward rule in a particular year, any change to the non-concessional contributions cap during the following three-year period will not apply to you, so you are unable to take advantage of any increase (or decrease) in the contributions cap.
You will no longer need to meet either the work test or work test exemption to make or receive non-concessional super contributions and salary sacrificed contributions. But you will need to meet the work test to claim personal (tax deductible) contributions, see below.
To meet the work test for personal (tax deductible) contributions you must have been employed or self employed for at least 40 hours in a period of not more than 30 consecutive days in a financial year. Please go to the ATO page for more information.
Before we're able to accept a contribution, we require you to submit a declaration confirming that you are employed. You can do this by calling us on 1800 060 312, or completing and returning the employment questionnaire form below.Employment questionnaire (54.62 KB)
Contributions from downsizing
If you're 55 years old (60 years until 31 December 2022) or older and meet eligibility requirements, you may be able to choose to make a downsizer contribution into your legalsuper account of up to $300,000 from the proceeds of selling your home.
Existing contribution caps and restrictions will not apply to the downsizer contributions in the year in which the downsizer contributions are made, but the $1.9 million Transfer Balance Cap and Age Pensions means test will continue to apply and it will count towards total superannuation balance tests in later years.
You can only make downsizing contributions from the sale of one home and both members of a couple may take advantage of it. Other eligibility requirements apply.
Downsizer contributions are not tax deductible and will be taken into account for determining eligibility for the age pension. To see if you are eligible to make a contribution from downsizing visit the relevant ATO pages.
First Home Super Saver Scheme
The maximum releasable amount under the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS) increased from $30,000 to $50,000 on 1 July 2022. This results in a higher amount of calculated associated earnings, meaning the overall amount available to be released under the scheme is increased.
However the maximum amount of voluntary contributions can be made towards the FHSS in a financial year remains at $15,000, provided within existing individual contribution caps. For further information, please visit the ATO website.