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  • Receiving the super co-contribution

    When you lodge your tax return we determine the co-contribution amount you are entitled to and pay it to your super fund.

    In most cases, we pay your co-contribution directly to the super fund to which you made your personal super contributions.

    Co-contributions can be paid directly to you if:

    • you have retired (either by reaching preservation age or due to permanent incapacity or invalidity) and no longer have an eligible super account
    • you are the legal representative of the account holder, who is deceased.

    The preservation rules that apply to your current super entitlements also apply to the co-contribution.

    If you have made a direct claim but have not yet received your super co-contribution and you are suffering hardship as a result of the delay, phone us on 13 10 20 to discuss your circumstances.

    Find out about:

    Government super contribution labels in your tax return

    When we calculate your super co-contribution, we use your tax return to work out your total income and eligible income. We use the Government super contributions labels in your tax return to ensure you receive your correct co-contribution amount.

    In some cases we need additional information to calculate your co-contribution. For example, if you show partnership distributions at item 13, we will not treat them as eligible income under the 10% eligible income test unless you tell us otherwise by completing the Government super contributions labels.

    If you do not earn any income from partnerships, trusts or a shared income group, you will not need to complete the additional labels or associated worksheets.

    It is not compulsory for you to complete the Government super contribution labels but, if they are not completed, you may not receive your correct co-contribution payment.

    If you have more than one super fund

    You'll need to nominate a super fund if you have more than one fund and you want your co-contribution paid to a particular fund. The quickest way to do this is by using our online services. You'll need a myGov account linked to the ATO.

    To link the ATO to your myGov account:

    • log in or create a myGovExternal Link account
    • link your myGov account to the ATO
    • select Super
    • find and nominate your preferred fund for co-contributions.

    Note: If you can't use our online services you can phone us.

    It is important to nominate the fund before you lodge your tax return. This will ensure the super co-contribution is paid to the fund of your choice.

    When choosing a super fund, it is a good idea to check whether it accepts both personal and super co-contributions, so you can boost your super savings in the future.

    Requesting a direct payment

    You can request a direct payment if you:

    • are now retired and no longer have an eligible super account that will accept the co-contribution
    • were retired but have returned to work and do not have an eligible super account
    • are the legal representative of the account holder, who is deceased.

    To request a direct payment, you can:

    See also:

    When we pay the co-contribution

    We make most super co-contribution payments between November and January each year. This relates to personal contributions made in the previous financial year.

    When your fund receives the co-contribution, it will credit the amount to your account. The amount will then appear on your next fund member statement.

    If the payment is not shown on your next fund member statement or is different to the amount you expected, phone us on 13 10 20.

    After phoning us, if you still have concerns, you can write to us and request an explanation or review.

    If your fund cannot accept your co-contribution payment they are required to return it to us. This could happen if the fund does not have your TFN or the fund's trust deed states it cannot accept co-contributions.

    We will then determine where to send the payment, based on legislative requirements. As part of this process, we may ask you which fund to send the contribution to.

    Super co-contribution and tax

    The super co-contribution is:

    • not subject to tax when it is paid to your super fund
    • not included as income in your tax return
    • preserved in a super fund and can only be accessed when other preserved amounts can be accessed – that is, when a condition of release has been met.

    Earnings on the super co-contribution will be taxed like any other earnings of the super fund.

      Last modified: 13 Sep 2019QC 17469