Super contribution limits

Knowing your super contribution limits or super contribution caps allows you maximise your retirement savings without incurring penalties. By strategically planning your contributions, knowing your downsizing options and taking the work test, you can take full advantage of tax benefits and grow your super efficiently within legal boundaries.

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What are contribution caps?

Contribution caps limit how much you can contribute to your super each financial year. The cap amount depends on your age, super balance, and what types of contributions are made, after-tax (non-concessional) or before-tax (concessional).

The information below describes the contribution caps and tax rates for the 2023/24 financial year.

What is my 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.

What are before-tax (concessional) contributions caps?

Before-tax contributions include:

  • Employer contributions (Super Guarantee)
  • Salary sacrifice amounts and
  • Personal contributions that you claim as a tax deduction.

  For further information on before-tax contribution caps, visit the ATO website or speak to your financial adviser.

Note: 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):

  • $27,500
    + Carry forward rule

2022/23 annual cap (all ages, any balance):

  • $27,500
    + 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're close to exceeding your concessional contributions cap for the current financial year, taking immediate action can help you avoid extra taxes. 

First, stop or reduce further concessional contributions, such as salary sacrifice payments. Then, postpone any personal super contributions you plan to deduct from your taxes until the next financial year. Additionally, verify with your employer the timing of electronic contributions (including salary sacrifice and Super Guarantee amounts) to ensure you accurately track when these contributions are deposited into your super fund.

What is the carry forward rule (concessional contributions)?

The 'carry forward' rule allows you to transfer any unused concessional (before-tax) contribution caps from the previous years, starting from 1 July 2018 to the current year. This means you can add any unused amounts to your concessional contribution cap over a rolling five-year period, with the option starting in the 2019–20 financial year. From 1 July 2021, the concessional contributions cap is subject to indexing (see the 'Before-tax (concessional) contributions cap' section for more details). 

To be eligible, your Total Superannuation Balance must be below $500,000 as of 30 June of the preceding year. 

Note: unused caps expire after five years.

Case study

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.


What are after-tax (non-concessional) contributions caps?

Non-concessional (after-tax) contributions are voluntary payments you make to your super from your bank account. This includes any personal contributions not claimed as tax deductions and contributions made directly into your spouse's super account.

The standard non-concessional contributions cap for the 2023/24 financial year is $110,000. Your eligibility to contribute more than this limit in a single year may be influenced by your total super balance as of 30 June 2023, among other criteria, through the 'bring-forward' rule. If you are turning 75, remember that contributions are typically only accepted until 28 days after the month of your 75th birthday.

Please refer to the ATO website for more details and specific conditions.

What is the bring forward rule (non-concessional contributions)?

The bring-forward rule enables you to accelerate your super contributions by using up to three years' worth of non-concessional (after-tax) contributions caps in a single year. This means you could contribute up to three times the annual limit in one go, or spread your contribution out over two to three years.

For the 2023/24 financial year, to be eligible for the bring-forward rule, you must:

  • Be under 75 years old at any time in the year you make the contribution;  
  • Have a Total Superannuation Balance below $1.9 million as of 30 June 2023.

 This arrangement allows those under 75 to surpass the annual non-concessional cap, subject to eligibility. Visit the ATO website for a comprehensive list of criteria and further information.

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

Case Study

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 cannot take advantage of any increase (or decrease) in the contributions cap.

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What is the work test?

Under the new rules, the work or work test exemption is not required to make non-concessional (after-tax) super contributions or salary sacrificed contributions. However, you must pass the work test to make personal super contributions that you intend to claim as tax deductions.

The work test criteria state that you must have worked at least 40 hours within a consecutive 30-day period during the financial year.  For more detailed information, please visit the ATO website.

Before accepting any tax-deductible personal contributions, we need your declaration confirming your employment status. You can provide this by calling us at 1800 060 312, or filling out and returning the provided employment questionnaire form.