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For self-employment

If you're a sole-trader or in a partnership & not employed by someone else, the rules around super are different. Learn more about our Personal accounts.

What is a Personal account?

legalsuper offers two types of accumulation accounts, Employer-sponsored accounts - designed for people who are employed by someone else; and Personal accounts - designed for those who are self-employed. 

Personal accounts have the same fee structure and investment options as Employer-sponsored accounts, but there are differences in the insurances offered.  For more information about personal accounts, refer to the Personal Super PDS.

Personal super - Additional Information Product Disclosure Statement (1.39 MB)


Why pay super when you are self-employed? 

When you work for yourself it's up to you to provide for your retirement income. Many self-employed people receive income primarily for their labour, which means when you stop working you stop getting paid. Plan for that day by putting part of your income away in an environment that gets preferential tax treatment and benefits from compounding interest.

You can make regular contributions or make lump sums less frequently, to suit your cash flow. 

Case study:
Bert is a self – employed contractor. He earns $60,000 per year from his business.

If he adds $10,000 to his super from his before tax income it’s taxed at only 15% instead of the 34.5% that he’d otherwise pay in income tax and Medicare levy.

That’s a $1,950 tax saving now, which likely means more money for his retirement later.

Paying your own super contributions

There are two basic ways of making your own super contributions if you’re self-employed:

  1. If you pay yourself a wage, remember to also send at least 9.5% of your before-tax income to your super fund; or
  2. If you pay yourself out of your business revenue, you can send a lump sum when your cash flow allows for it.

Tax deductions 

You may be able to claim a tax deduction for personal super contributions that you made to your super fund from your after-tax income (from your bank account directly to  super). Before you can claim a deduction for your personal super contributions, you must complete and provide the Notice of intent to claim or vary a deduction for personal contributions form  to legalsuper, and receive an acknowledgement letter from us. There are other eligibility criteria that you must meet.

People eligible to claim a deduction for personal contributions include people who get their income from:

  • Salary and wages;
  • A personal business (for example, people who are self-employed contractors, or freelancers);
  • Investments (including interest, dividends, rent and capital gains);
  • Government pensions or allowances;
  • Super;
  • Partnership or trust distributions; and
  • A foreign source.

The personal super contributions that you claim as a deduction will count towards your concessional contributions cap. When deciding whether to claim a deduction for super contributions, you should consider the super impacts that may arise from this, including whether:

  • You will exceed your contribution caps;
  • Division 293 tax applies to you;
  • You wish to split your contributions with your spouse; and
  • It will affect your super co-contribution eligibility.

If you exceed your cap, you will have to pay extra tax and any excess concessional contributions will count towards your non-concessional contributions cap.

Contribution caps

Sole traders, self-employed business people and contractors are subject to the same contributions caps as regular employees. Make sure you are aware of the contributions caps, as you will have to pay a higher tax rate and may have to pay an excess contributions charge if you exceed them.

Contribution limits

There are limits to how much you can contribute to your super throughout any financial year.


Type of contributionAnnual caps
(from 1 July 2017)
Before tax (concessional)
Includes employer contributions (e.g. Superannuation Guarantee), any amount you salary sacrifice into super and personal contributions that you claim as a tax deduction
$25,000 (all ages)
After tax (non-concessional)
personal contributions for which you do not claim an income tax deduction, and spouse contributions
$100,000*

*If you are under 65 years of age, you may be able to make non-concessional contributions of up to three times the annual cap in a single year. The maximum bring-forward amount is $300,000.


If your total super balance is over $1.6 million, no further non-concessional contributions will be permitted in any year.


Any amounts contributed in excess of the caps will be taxed at your marginal tax rate or higher. The contribution caps and the $1.6 cap apply in total across all of your superannuation accounts.