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  • Low income super contribution

    What is the low income super contribution?

    The low income super contribution (LISC) is a government superannuation payment of up to $500 to help low-income earners save for retirement.

    If you earn $37,000 or less a year, you may be eligible to receive a LISC payment directly into your super fund.

    You don't need to do anything to receive a LISC.

    If you lodge an income tax return – we will pay your LISC into your super fund when we have received information from your super fund about your contributions. Most payments are made after October.

    If you do not lodge an income tax return – we will work out your eligibility using information we hold about your income, and information from your super fund. These payments are made after October in the following financial year.

    The LISC is 15% of the concessional (before tax) super contributions you or your employer pays into your super fund for the 2012-13 to the 2016-17 financial years.

    The maximum payment you can receive for a financial year is $500, and the minimum is $10. If you're eligible for less than $10, we will round this up to $10.

    Attention

    You need to make sure your super fund has your tax file number (TFN) – without your TFN, your super fund cannot accept a LISC payment.

    You can check whether your fund has your TFN by looking at your member statement to see if it has been quoted – if it has not been quoted, contact your fund and provide it to them.

    End of attention

    Are you eligible for the LISC?

    You are eligible for the LISC if you satisfy all the following requirements:

    • you or your employer pays concessional (before tax) contributions for the year made to a complying super fund – this includes super guarantee amounts
    • you earn $37,000 or less a year – to work out your eligibility for payment, we use your actual or estimated 'adjusted taxable income'
    • you have not held a temporary resident visa at any time during the income year (note that New Zealand citizens in Australia are eligible for the payment)
    • you lodge an income tax return and 10% or more of your total income comes from business and/or employment, or you do not lodge an income tax return and 10% or more of your total income comes from your employment.

    Find out more

    For information about how to calculate your adjusted taxable income, refer to Income tests - an overview.

    End of find out more

    Example: Working out LISC eligibility

    Julie earns $36,000 a year as a childcare assistant. In the 2012–13 financial year, Julie’s employer makes a super guarantee contribution of $3,240 into her super fund. Julie lodges an income tax return which includes tax deductions of $1,000, resulting in an adjusted taxable income of $35,000 ($36,000 - $1,000).

    The table below shows how Julie worked out whether she was eligible for a LISC:

    Table: How Julie worked out if she was eligible for a LISC

     

    Criteria met?

    Amount

    Super fund has my TFN?

    Yes

     

    Made concessional super contributions?

    Yes

    $3,240

    Had an adjusted taxable income of $37,000 or less?

    Yes

    $35,000

    Received at least 10% of income from employment, business or a combination of both?

    Yes

     

    Had not held a temporary resident visa during the year?

    Yes

     

    Julie will receive a low income super contribution of $486 (15% of $3,240) paid into her super fund.

    End of example

    How does it apply to deceased estates?

    If a person dies, their estate may be entitled to the LISC. Eligibility for the LISC is worked out using the eligibility criteria described above, but the income tests are applied as if the person had continued to earn income at the same rate for the entire year.

    You can apply to have the payment made directly to the estate – download the form from Application for direct payment of government super contributions.

    How do you get your LISC?

    You do not need to do anything specifically to get the LISC. If you lodge an income tax return, your LISC will be paid directly to your super fund account when we have processed your income tax return and received information from your super fund about your super contributions.

    If you do not lodge an income tax return, we will work out your eligibility using contributions information from your super fund, in addition to other information we collect.

    Because we will pay the LISC directly into your super fund, you need to make sure your super fund has your TFN. Without your TFN, your super fund cannot accept  a  LISC payment.

    Your super fund will let you know on your account statement that you have received your LISC.

    You can apply to have your LISC paid directly to you if you have reached your ‘preservation age’ and are retired. Download the form from Application for direct payment of government super contributions.

    Attention

    If you are a low-income earner, you can also receive super co-contributions when you make personal (after tax) super payments – for more information, refer to Super co-contribution.

    End of attention

    Calculating your LISC

    You can calculate your LISC manually or use our online calculator.

    Work it out

    To calculate the LISC you could be eligible to receive based on your income and super contributions, use the LISC calculator.

    Before using the online calculator or doing any manual calculations, read the information on income tests and how they affect you.

    End of work it out

    Manually calculating your LISC

    To manually calculate your LISC, work out your concessional super contributions for a financial year and multiply by 0.15, rounding to the nearest cent.

    The maximum payment you can receive for a financial year is $500 and the minimum is $10 – but if you're eligible for less than $10, we will round this up to $10.

    Find out more

    Information about concessional contributions, refer to Guide to superannuation for individuals – Concessional (before tax) contributions.

    End of find out more

    Example: Manually calculating a LISC

    Simon earns $32,000 in the 2012–13 financial year and meets all other LISC eligibility criteria. Simon's employer makes a super guarantee contribution of $2,880 into his super fund. Simon also salary sacrifices $300 to super.

    His total concessional contributions for 2012–13 are $3,180 ($2,880 + $300).

    Simon will receive a LISC of $477 ($3,180 x 0.15) which will be paid into his super fund.

    End of example
    • Last modified: 13 Oct 2014QC 26138