Let the Government help you contribute to your super
How? Through the super co-contribution scheme
If you’re a low or middle-income earner and make personal (after-tax) contributions to your super fund, the government may also make a contribution (called a “co-contribution”) up to a maximum amount of $500.
After-tax super contributions are made from money you have already paid income tax on. For example, if you work for an employer, making a contribution to super directly from your bank account is considered an after-tax contribution. These types of contributions are also known as “non-concessional contributions”.
Read on to learn more about eligibility, how much you could receive, and how to claim your co-contribution.
Am I eligible?
To be eligible for the co-contribution, you need to tick a number of boxes. You need to:
- pass the income threshold test (more about that later)
- be less than 71 years old at the end of the financial year (30 June)
- not hold a temporary visa at any time during the financial year (unless you are a New Zealand citizen)
- lodge your tax return
- have a total super balance less than $1.6 million as at 30 June 2019
- not have contributed more than your non-concessional (after tax) contributions cap.
You won’t be entitled to a super co-contribution for any personal contributions you’ve made that have been allowed as a tax deduction. We’ll cover the topic of tax deductions for personal contributions later in this series of posts.
What’s the income threshold test?
Each financial year, the Government determines two income thresholds for the super co-contribution.
For the 2019-2020 income year, the two thresholds are $38,564 (lower) and $53,564 (upper).
If you earn less than the lower threshold and make a personal contribution of $1,000, the Government will make a co-contribution of $500. This is based on 50 cents from the Government for every $1 you contribute. Not a bad return for your money!
If you earn between the lower and upper thresholds, the amount of the co-contribution will reduce progressively as your income rises.
If your income equals or exceeds the upper threshold, you will not be eligible for any co-contribution.
How do I claim the co-contribution?
Liaise with your super fund and find out how to make your personal contribution. Contributions to super funds count for the financial year in which they are received, not the date you make the payment. Your payment will need to be received by your super fund and allocated to your member account by 30 June, so don’t leave it to the last minute.
Then, simply lodge your tax return. The Government will determine if you’ve met the criteria and, if you do, pay the co-contribution.
The ATO has a super co-contribution calculator to help you work out if you’re eligible for a co-contribution and how much you could get. Click here to use the calculator.