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  • Total superannuation balance

    Your total super balance (TSB) is a way to value your superannuation interests in all your super funds. It is calculated on a given date, usually 30 June (the end of the financial year).

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    About your total super balance

    Your TSB:

    • may be different from your super fund account balance as the calculation includes figures that do not form part of your account balance
    • includes all your super interests and is not a separate figure for each interest
    • may be relevant if you are a member of a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF).

    From 30 June 2017, your TSB is used to determine whether you are eligible for several super-related measures for the following financial year.

    Some of these super-related measures set the limit for the total super balance as being equal to the general transfer balance cap ($1.6 million from 2017–18; $1.7 million from 2021–22).

    You need to comply with these separate limits – for both the general transfer balance cap and the total super balance – from 1 July 2017.

    For more information, see difference between general transfer balance cap and total superannuation balance.

    How your total super balance is calculated

    Your total super balance at a particular time is calculated by:

    For more information, see:

    Accumulation phase value

    The accumulation phase value (APV) of your super interests is the total amount of super benefits that would be payable if you had chosen to close a super interest at the time of calculation. Generally, this is the withdrawal value for an accumulation fund.

    The APV does not include super interests that are in the retirement phase.

    If you have a defined benefit interest, the super regulations may specify a different method for determining the APV.

    The APV also includes:

    • certain deferred super income streams
    • transition-to-retirement income streams that are not in the retirement phase
    • super income streams that have not complied with the pension or annuity standards or a commutation authority.

    Your APV for a super interest is reported to us by your super fund annually in either the:

    • SMSF annual return
    • member account transaction service (MATS) for APRA-regulated funds.

    Some super funds may report your APV as zero if, as at 30 June, the amount they could pay to you or roll over to another fund is zero.

    Retirement phase value

    If you have a transfer balance account, your retirement phase value (RPV) is your transfer balance at the end of 30 June.

    Your transfer balance is modified if you have either:

    We obtain your RPV for a super interest from either the:

    • balance of your transfer balance account
    • amounts reported to us by each of your super funds annually in either the          
      • SMSF annual return
      • member account transaction service (MATS) for APRA-regulated funds.
       
    Account-based super income streams

    For account-based super income streams, the transfer balance account items are modified to be the current value of the super interest that supports the super income stream at the end of the financial year. The current value is the amount that would become payable if you were to choose to close the interest.

    If you only have account-based income streams, your RPV will normally equal the current value of these income streams.

    For all other super income streams the transfer balance account items are not modified when calculating your RPV.

    In addition, certain other transfer balance account items are not modified, for example:

    • credits for excess transfer balance earnings
    • debits for non-commutable excess amounts.
    Structured settlement contributions

    If you have made a structured settlement contribution to a super interest, your transfer balance is modified by disregarding the debit in your transfer balance account that is due to the structured settlement contribution. This modification applies to both account-based and non-account-based income streams.

    The LCR 2016/12 Superannuation reform: Total superannuation balance explains and has examples of how modifications to the transfer balance account work.

    Transitional period

    Because the transfer balance cap and transfer balance account were only introduced on 1 July 2017, there are transitional arrangements for working out the RPV of your total super balance at the end of 30 June 2017.

    Your transitional transfer balance at the end of 30 June 2017 is equal to the total transfer balance credits at 1 July 2017 minus any debits due to payment splits.

    This is subject to the transfer balance modifications for account-based income streams.

    More information on the transfer balance cap is available in:

    Outstanding limited recourse borrowing arrangement amount

    A member of an SMSF will have an outstanding limited recourse borrowing arrangement (LRBA) amount included in their total super balance if:

    • the LRBA was entered on or after 1 July 2018 and either            

    This does not include refinancing an existing LRBA that was entered before 1 July 2018 and refinanced on or after 1 July, if both of the following apply:

    • the new borrowing is secured by the same asset or assets as the old borrowing
    • the refinanced amount is the same or less than the existing LRBA.

    The LRBA amount is equal to the share of the outstanding balance of the LRBA on 30 June. This relates to your share of the total super interests in the SMSF that are supported by the LRBA assets.

    If the fund in which you have a super interest has an affected LRBA the fund must report the outstanding LRBA amount for you in that member‘s section of the SMSF annual return.

    For more information, see outstanding LRBA amount for total superannuation balance.

    Super-related measures affected by your total super balance

    Total superannuation balance is relevant when working out eligibility for the following. super-related measures:

    Carry forward concessional contributions

    From 1 July 2019, if your total super balance is less than $500,000 at the end of 30 June of the previous financial year you may be able to increase your concessional contributions cap.

    To increase your cap, you must both:

    • make concessional contributions in the year over the general concessional contributions cap ($25,000 from 2017–18 to 2020–21; $27,500 from 2021–22)
    • have unused concessional contributions cap amounts for one or more of the previous 5 years (but not before 2018–19).

    Non-concessional contributions cap and the bring-forward of your non-concessional contributions cap

    From 1 July 2017, if your total super balance is below the general transfer balance cap ($1.6 million from 2017–18 to 2020–21; $1.7 million from 2021–22) at 30 June of the previous financial year, you will be eligible for the annual non-concessional contributions cap ($100,000 from 2017–18 to 2020–21; $110,000 from 2021–22).

    You may also be eligible to bring-forward a non-concessional contributions cap of 2 or 3 times the annual non-concessional cap, depending on your total super balance and age.

    Work test exemption

    From 1 July 2022, the work test and the work test exemption will no longer apply if you are aged 67 to 74 years to make non concessional contributions or salary sacrificed contributions (but it still applies to claim personal super contribution deductions).

    From 1 July 2021, if you are aged 67 to 74 years and your total super balance is below $300,000 at the end of the previous year, you can make voluntary super contributions for 12 months from the end of the financial year in which you last met the work test.

    This work test exemption:

    • can only be used in one financial year
    • does not apply to defined benefit funds.

    For 2019–20, the age requirement for this exemption was 65 to 74 years.

    For more information, see acceptance of member contributions and work test.

    Government co-contribution

    From 1 July 2017, in addition to the existing eligibility requirements, you will be eligible for the government's super co-contribution in a financial year if you meet both these conditions:

    • Your non-concessional contributions do not exceed your non-concessional contributions cap for the relevant financial year.
    • On 30 June of the previous financial year your total super balance is less than the general transfer balance cap ($1.6 million from 2017–18 to 2020–21; $1.7 million from 2021–22) for that financial year.

    Spouse tax offset

    From 1 July 2017, there are 2 additional eligibility requirements you must meet to be entitled to the spouse tax offset:

    • The spouse who is receiving the contribution can't contribute more than their annual non-concessional contributions cap for the relevant year.
    • On 30 June of the previous financial year, your spouse must have a total super balance less than the general transfer balance cap ($1.6 million from 2017–18 to 2020–21; $1.7 million from 2021–22) for that financial year.

    For more information, see tax offset for super contributions on behalf of your spouse.

    Segregated asset method for calculating exempt current pension income

    From 1 July 2017, SMSFs and small APRA funds are not allowed to use the segregated asset method to calculate exempt current pension income (ECPI) if, at any time in the year, the fund has a retirement phase interest and all of the following apply:

    • A member has a total super balance exceeding $1.6 million just before the start of that year.
    • The same member has a super interest in the fund at any time during the year.
    • The same member is receiving a retirement phase income stream just before the start of the year (from the super fund or another provider).

    For more information, see methods for calculating ECPI.

    Example: total super balance

    Andy is 50 years old and earned $35,000 in 2018–19 and 2019–20.

    Andy has 2 accumulation super accounts with 2 different super funds.

    In each year:

    • Andy’s employer made $3,500 worth of concessional (before-tax) employer contributions to one of Andy’s super funds
    • Andy made $10,000 of non-concessional (after-tax) personal contributions to one of his super funds.

    In June 2015, Andy received a structured settlement payment of $1,000,000 due to an accident at work. He advised both funds and used this payment to make a structured settlement contribution of $500,000 to each fund.

    Andy's 2 accumulation super accounts each have an account balance of $700,000 on 30 June 2020.

    Andy does not have a transfer balance account as he is yet to commence an income stream.

    On 30 June 2020, Andy’s total super balance is $400,000. This is worked out as follows:

    • $1,400,000 (total of his accumulation accounts)
    • plus $0 (transfer balance account balance)
    • plus $0 (total rollovers in transit)
    • plus $0 (total LRBA amount)
    • minus $1,000,000 (structured settlement contributions).

    As Andy is under 65 years old and his total super balance at the end of 30 June 2020 is $400,000 this means the following could occur in 2020–21:

    • Concessional contributions – Because Andy's total super balance is less than $500,000, he can carry forward his unused concessional contributions cap amount of $43,000 ($21,500 from both 2018–19 and 2019–20). He also has his annual $25,000 concessional contributions cap. This means Andy can make concessional contributions of up to $68,000 in 2020–21 without exceeding his concessional contributions cap.
    • Non-concessional contributions – Because Andy's total super balance is less than the $1.6 million general transfer balance cap, he can trigger the bring-forward arrangement. As the difference between the general transfer balance cap and his total super balance is more than twice the annual non-concessional contributions cap ($200,000) he can make up to $300,000 in non-concessional contributions (3 times the non-concessional cap) without exceeding his 2020–21 non-concessional contributions cap.
    • Government co-contribution – Because Andy's total super balance is less than the $1.6 million general transfer balance cap and his income is $35,000, he will also be entitled to a Government Co-contributions payment for any non-concessional contributions he makes that are less than his non-concessional cap.
    End of example

    How to find your total super balance

    You can view your total super balance for 2016–17 onwards using ATO online services.

    When you log in to ATO online services, select Super, then navigate to Total superannuation balance. This will display:

    • Current tab – your total super balance for the current financial year (if available)
    • History tab – your total super balance for each of the previous financial years from 2016–17 onwards
    • The relevant data that makes up your total super balance, including          
      • accumulation phase value for each account
      • retirement phase value for each account
      • roll-over amounts
      • outstanding LRBA amounts (where applicable)
      • each structured settlement contribution made.
       

    The total super balance displayed in the superannuation section of ATO online services is based on the current information on our systems.

    Amounts displayed may not include:

    • current or previous financial year information that has not yet been received or processed by us
    • transition to retirement income stream accounts
    • some pension accounts
    • defined benefit account balances.

    If you think the information displayed is incorrect or incomplete, please check with your fund and your own records.

    If the total super balance amount displayed is zero, this is because either:

    • we do not have any information for the financial year
    • the amounts reported for total super balance purposes by some funds may not equal the account balance reported on the member‘s annual statement
    • some funds report the accumulation phase value as a different or zero amount.

    For example, if your SMSF has not lodged their annual return or a transfer balance account report with an accumulation phase value, your total super balance will be incomplete or show as zero.

    These amounts will become available as funds begin reporting them to us.

    You can check your total super balance using ATO online services:

      Last modified: 11 Jul 2022QC 19749