Spouse super contributions

Spouse contributions to super offer tax benefits, including a potential tax offset for the contributing spouse, whilst helping to increase the retirement savings of a non-working or low-income spouse, and enhance overall household retirement wealth. More importantly, they foster financial security and equality within couples.

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What are spouse contributions?

A spouse contribution is an after-tax (voluntary) contribution to your spouse's super account. Spouse contributions build up your super as a couple and can be tax-effective. By contributing to your spouse's super, you are aiding their financial stability – if your partner earns less than $40,000 a year, you could be eligible for a tax offset (up to $540). It's a great way to ensure that one partner's super doesn't suffer if they are working reduced hours, on parental leave, or unable to work.

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How to make a spouse contribution?

Your spouse will need to be a legalsuper member before they can receive contributions made by you. You must complete and return the spouse contribution form to legalsuper with each spouse contribution made.

Can you make spouse contributions?


  • Contributions must be made with after-tax dollars and cannot be claimed as a tax deduction.
  • Both the contributor and the receiving spouse must be Australian residents.
  • The relationship must be a marriage or a de facto partnership, including those registered under state or territory laws or living together as a couple on a genuine domestic basis.
  • Contributors and recipients must not live separately permanently at the time of the contribution.

Contributor criteria:

  • There are no age restrictions for the contributor.
  • The contributor cannot be the employer of the receiving spouse and must have assessable income from any source.

Receiving spouse conditions:

  • Must be under 75 years old and an Australian resident, with a valid Tax File Number (TFN).
  • Their total income, including assessable income, reportable fringe benefits, and salary sacrifice amounts, must be $37,000 or less to qualify for the entire tax offset or less than $40,000 to receive a partial tax offset.

Preservation of benefits and spouse contributions

Preservation of benefits in super refers to the requirement that super benefits remain within the super fund until the member reaches their preservation age. This is the age at which an individual can access their superannuation. This impacts spouse contributions in two ways:

Benefits arising from spouse contributions are preserved within the super fund until the receiving spouse reaches age 65. This ensures that the superannuation savings continue to grow and are available for retirement.

The preservation of benefits applies regardless of the employment status of the receiving spouse. This means that, like their non-employed counterparts, employed receiving spouses can only access the contributed benefits once they meet the release conditions, including reaching preservation age.

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Tax offset for spouse contributions

Eligible contributors are entitled to a tax offset when making after-tax contributions to their spouse's super. This offset is contingent on the receiving spouse's income meeting the specified thresholds.
Visit the ATO website