Super contribution splitting

Splitting super contributions with your spouse can provide you with tax advantages. Managing your super strategically is a smart way to enhance retirement readiness while maximising tax efficiency.

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What is contribution splitting?

Contribution splitting is a financial strategy that allows you to distribute certain before-tax (concessional) contributions to your spouse's super account. This approach is designed to even out super balances between partners and aim for more balanced retirement savings and tax benefits.


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How contribution splitting works

This method involves reallocating pre-tax contributions—such as employer Super Guarantee contributions, salary sacrificed amounts, or personal deductible contributions—to your spouse's super account.  

It's particularly advantageous for: 

  • High-income earners 
  • Pre-retirement couples with a significant difference in super balances 
  • Couples aiming to manage the $1.9 million Total Super Balance limit effectively 

Note: Contribution splitting does not affect your concessional contributions cap. 

Benefits of contribution splitting

  • Earlier access to tax-free super benefits: This allows earlier and potentially tax-free withdrawal of super funds, which is especially beneficial when one spouse is older.
  • Enhanced Centrelink/Age pension benefits: These benefits may improve pension entitlements by not counting the younger spouse's super in asset tests.
  • Managing Total super balance limits and Transfer balance cap: Helps to distribute super balances evenly, enabling both partners to maximise their contribution and more wealth in a tax-free retirement phase.
  • Estate planning and insurance: Ensures financial readiness in the event of an unexpected event such as the loss of a loved one and spouse and can assist in covering insurance premiums.

Eligibility and application process

Who can apply:

  • You can apply at any age.
  • Your spouse must be either below their preservation age or between their preservation age and 65 years, and not retired.

When to apply: 

  • The financial year immediately following the year contributions were made or,
  • The same financial year, if the entire benefit is being rolled over, transferred or withdrawn (or a combination of these).

Invalid applications:

  • These are attempts to split more than the allowable amount or applications for a spouse over 65 or one who is already retired.

What contributions can be split?

 Eligible contributions: 

  • Employer contributions 
  • Salary sacrifice contributions 
  • Deductible personal contributions 
  • Contributions made by family and friends (excluding spouse or minors) 

Unsplittable contributions: 

  • Non-deductible personal contributions 
  • Specific contributions like CGT cap elections and personal injury elections are outlined above. 
  • For a full list of contributions that cannot be split, refer to the Australian Taxation Office

Ready to optimise your super?

Whether married or in a de facto relationship, understanding the strategic benefits of contribution splitting is essential. Book a meeting with our Client Service team to discover how this approach can enhance your retirement strategy.
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