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Time to get technical and understand your super

2023-07-24 04:30

Understanding super

This section gives you more information on technical and defined terms for superannuation.

We provide links to other sites for those who wish to dive into the detail, or be across the latest legislation and regulatory changes.

How the super contribution cap works

One way of topping up your super is to make additional contributions. There are two important contribution limits to be aware of: ‘concessional’ (before-tax) and ‘non-concessional’ (after-tax) contributions caps.

Concessional contributions may be paid into your super from income that hasn’t been taxed. Non-concessional contributions are amounts paid into your super from income that you have already paid tax on.

Both types of contributions have ‘caps’ on the amount you can put in each financial year. If you exceed these caps you may have to pay extra tax.

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How to split your super contributions

To help boost your spouse’s super, you may be able to split some of your concessional super contributions with your spouse. This could be an attractive option if your spouse is in part-time work or has taken an employment career break.

Contributions splitting not only gives a boost to a spouse’s super balance but it can also benefit couples where one spouse’s super balance is set to exceed individual limits.

To split contributions, you can download a form from the ATO and generally the split is only permitted in the financial year immediately after the year in which the contributions were received by your super fund.

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How to boost your spouses' super

If your spouse isn’t working, or is a low income earner, you can boost their super by making a spouse super contribution. These contributions are after-tax contributions and count towards the receiving spouse’s non-concessional contributions cap.

You may be able to claim a tax offset on making spouse contributions if all the required conditions are met.

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How government super co-contributions work

If you’re a low-income earner making after-tax contributions to your super, the government has a scheme to help give your balance a lift.

Known as co-contributions, the government contributes an amount to your super based on your income and how much after-tax contributions you made in that financial year.

The amount is automatically worked out when you lodge your tax return and other factors may impact your eligibility, such as your age and superannuation balance.

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How personal contributions can boost your super

Personal contributions into your super fund are a way you can boost your super using your take-home salary or personal savings. These contributions count towards your non-concessional contributions cap except to the extent you are allowed a tax deduction for the contributions.

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How salary sacrifice works

Salary sacrificing is a voluntary arrangement between you and your employer where you agree to redirect some of your before-tax (or gross) salary into super.  It may be a tax effective strategy to increase your super balance.

Salary sacrifice contributions are concessional contributions and they count against your concessional contributions cap. The sacrificed amount of your salary is not counted as income to you for tax purposes.

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What is a super beneficiary nomination and how does it work?

A beneficiary is a person you nominate to receive your super if you die. There are two key types of beneficiary nominations:

  1. A binding nomination means the trustee of your super fund is legally required to pay your benefit to the person or persons you have nominated when you die – as long as the nomination is valid at the time of your death.
  2. While a trustee will take your non-binding nomination into consideration when making a decision about who to pay your death benefit to – they are legally obliged to determine who your dependents are as well as any other relevant considerations at the time of your death. Your benefit will be paid to those who the trustee considers are dependent on you and in some cases this may not be the person or people whom you have nominated.

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How to access your super upon retirement

Everyone becomes entitled to access their super when they reach age 65, but there are a number of conditions when it can be accessed earlier.

  1. You have reached your preservation age and have retired
  2. Under the transition to retirement rules
  3. Other circumstances related to medical conditions or severe financial hardship

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How does the age pension work with your super?

Not everyone is able to save enough super to fully support themselves when they retire and this is where Federal Government support through the age pension can help.

The age pension is income and assets tested, which means the amount you receive depends on any other income you earn or are deemed to earn from sources such as super, investments or paid employment, and on the assets you or entities you control, own.

For more information including qualifying criteria, there are plenty of resources available.

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Time to get technical and understand your super

Explore how Superannuation can work for you

If you're looking for a super solution that's easy to take care of consider ANZ Smart Choice Super

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OnePath Custodians Pty Limited (OPC) ABN 12 008 508 496, AFSL 238346, RSE L0000673 is the trustee of the Retirement Portfolio Service (ABN 61 808 189 263, RSE R1000986) (Fund) and issuer of the interests in “ANZ Smart Choice Super”, a suite of products consisting of ANZ Smart Choice Super, ANZ Smart Choice Super for employers and their employees and ANZ Smart Choice Super for QBE Management Services Pty Ltd and their employees. OPC is part of the Insignia Financial Group of companies, comprising Insignia Financial Limited ABN 49 100 103 722 and its related bodies corporate (Insignia Financial Group).

ANZ Smart Choice Super is issued by OPC, and the ANZ Smart Choice Super and Pension product is distributed by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) (ABN 11 005 357 522). ANZ is an authorised deposit taking institution (Bank) under the Banking Act 1959 (Cth). OPC is the issuer of this product but is not a Bank. Except as described in the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, the obligations of OPC are not deposits or liabilities of ANZ or its related group companies. None of them stands behind or guarantees the issuer or the capital or performance of any investment. Such investment is subject to investment risk, including possible repayment delays and loss of income and principal invested. Returns can go up and down. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

This information is subject to change. You should read the relevant ANZ Financial Services Guide (FSG), PDS, product and other updates (for open and closed products) available at and consider whether the product is right for you before making a decision to acquire, or to continue to hold the product. Updated information will be available free of charge by calling Customer Services on 13 12 87.

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