Two can be better than one. Learn how you can put more into your spouse’s super, and possibly gain tax benefits in the process.

Adding to your partner’s super account could help towards having a more secure life after work together, and it could bring some good tax benefits.

Sometimes one partner has taken time out of their career to stay at home with the kids, for example, making spouse contributions one way of building their retirement savings.

Even if you both have a healthy amount of super, you may feel it makes sense to optimise tax benefits with this approach. 

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How it works

There are two ways you can top up your spouse’s super:           

  • Personal contributions: paid with your after-tax salary, directly into their account at any time that suits you
  • Contribution splitting: paid once a year directly by the Australian Taxation Office, at your request.

If they’re a member with us, you can make personal contributions online via BPAY®, EFT or direct debit using their member details, provided on the half-yearly account statement. Please note your Customer Reference Number contributions via BPAY changed on 15 August 2016. This means you will need to update your banking records with your new details.

If their super is held with another fund, please contact that fund to find out how they accept contributions.

Contributions to your own super account through salary sacrifice are taxed at 15%. Contributions to your partner’s super via a splitting arrangement are not subject to additional tax.

And if that isn’t reason enough, your investment earnings are also taxed at a lower rate than if you were making money off investments outside of super.

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Access tax offsets  

If your partner earns less than $13,800 a year, you can claim a tax offset of up to $540 at the end of the financial year for putting money into their super. As of May 2016

It’s worth contributing up to $3,000 per year – any amount beyond that will build your partner’s super account but will make no difference to your tax offset.

Putting extra money into super is a great way to save for retirement, but there are annual caps on how much you can put away before you start paying extra tax on contributions.

But as a couple, that cap effectively doubles.

Because there are two of you, you’ll have the opportunity to put money away for the future in a tax-effective way, which could make a significant difference to your joint savings and the kind of lifestyle you can maintain after work.

Tell me more about super and tax efficiencies

Splitting super contributions

Another way to build on your joint retirement savings is to split your pre-tax contributions across yours and your spouse’s super funds. 

This includes the super guarantee contributions your employer is required to pay, and any additional contributions made through salary sacrifice. 

You can put up to 85% of your total contributions, or the concessional cap for that financial year to your spouse’s super fund (whichever amount is less).

You can apply to split your super contributions with your partner assuming they have not yet reached their preservation age or permanently retired from work.

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