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Home Super & retirement Super Growing your super Before tax contributions (salary sacrifice)

Before tax contributions (salary sacrifice)

Salary sacrifice to your super. By adding to super from your before-tax salary, you could reduce your taxable income and reduce your tax bill, while growing your retirement savings. Take a look at the benefits, caps and how to salary sacrifice.

What is salary sacrifice?

Why pay 32.5% tax or more for each dollar you earn if you only need pay 15%?

Every dollar you earn between $37,001 and $90,000 is taxed at 32.5%. However, every dollar salary sacrificed into your superannuation account is taxed at just 15%. That means every $100 in gross income becomes $67.50 in your pocket or $85 in your super.

Salary sacrifice simplified chart

* Marginal Tax Rate of 32.5% (taxable income $37,001 - $90,000)

Compare the tax rates  for 2018/19:

Taxable IncomeIncome
tax rate
Salary sacrifice
tax rate
$37,001 - $90,00032.5%15%
$90,001 - $180,00037%15%
$180,001 - $250,00045%15%
$250,001 +45%30%

How to set up salary sacrifice

When deciding whether to salary sacrifice we recommend you visit the ASIC MoneySmart Super Contributions Calculator to check which type of super contribution will give you super the biggest boost.  If salary sacrifice is right for you simply speak to your employer who can direct some of your pay into your super. 

For more information, download our brochure:

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

*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.