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  • Bring-forward arrangements

    If you make contributions above the annual non-concessional contributions cap you may be eligible to automatically gain access to future year caps. This is known as the bring-forward arrangement. It allows you to make extra non-concessional contributions without having to pay extra tax.

    Eligibility for the bring-forward arrangement depends on your:

    • age
    • total super balance on 30 June of the previous financial year.

    Age

    1 July 2008 – 30 June 2020

    If you are under 64 years of age or younger at any time in a financial year, you may be able to make non-concessional contributions of up to three times the annual non-concessional contributions cap in that financial year.

    If you are 65 years old or older on 1 July, you cannot access the bring-forward arrangement in that financial year. You need to meet conditions for certain types of contributions to be accepted by your super fund, including satisfying the work test or work test exemption.

    1 July 2020 and later years

    If you are under 66 years of age at any time in a financial year, you may be able to make non-concessional contributions of up to three times the annual non-concessional contributions cap in that financial year.

    If you are 67 years old or older on 1 July, you cannot access the bring-forward arrangement in that financial year. You need to meet conditions for certain types of contributions to be accepted by your super fund, including satisfying the work test or work test exemption.

    If you are 67 years or older you need to meet conditions for certain types of contributions to be accepted by your super fund, including satisfying the work test or work test exemption.

    If you are 75 years or older your fund may only be able to accept employer contributions and downsizer contributions.

    See also:

    Example: Not eligible for the bring-forward arrangement

    Bernard is 67 years old on 1 July 2020. His non-concessional contributions cap for 2020–21 is $100,000. His total super balance at 30 June 2020 is $800,000.

    Bernard's age makes him ineligible for the bring-forward arrangement.

    During the financial year after his birthday he made the following non-concessional contributions to his super fund:

    • $75,000 in October 2020
    • $75,000 in April 2021.

    Bernard has exceeded his non-concessional contributions cap by $50,000 ($150,000 minus $100,000).

    End of example

    Total super balance

    From 1 July 2017, your total super balance affects:

    • the non-concessional contributions cap amount that you can bring-forward
    • whether you have a two or three year bring-forward period.

    Your total super balance is determined at the end of 30 June of the financial year before the year in which you made the contributions that triggered the bring-forward.

    For the 2020–21 financial year and later years, to access the non-concessional bring-forward arrangement you must meet all these conditions. You:

    • are under 67 years old for at least one day during the triggering year (the first year)
    • contribute more than the annual cap ($100,000 from 2017–18; $110,000 from 2021–22)
    • are not already in an active bring-forward period
    • have a total super balance at the end of 30 June of the previous financial year that
      • is less than the general transfer balance cap ($1.6 million from 2017–18; $1.7 million from 2021–22)
      • has a capacity greater than the annual non-concessional contributions cap ($100,000 from 2017–18; $110,000 from 2021–22). For example, for 2020–21 your total super balance at the end of 30 June 2020 must be less than $1.5 million.

    For 2019–20 and earlier years, the age condition was 65 years of age. 

    Note: A change to the age restriction for the bring forward arrangement is currently before Parliament. If passed, this law would change the age restriction to be 66 years or younger for 2020–21 and later financial years.

    Once a bring-forward arrangement is triggered in a financial year your non-concessional contributions made over the next one or two years cannot be more than the sum of your increased bring-forward non-concessional contributions cap amount minus the non-concessional contributions made in the year the bring-forward was triggered.

    For example, if you used your total increased bring-forward cap in the first year, you would have a nil cap for the next two years.

    For 2017–18 onwards, the remaining cap amount for the second or third year of a bring-forward arrangement is reduced to nil for a financial year if your total super balance is greater than or equal to the general transfer balance cap at the end of 30 June of the previous financial year.

    How the bring-forward arrangement works

    From 1 July 2021

    The amount of the non-concessional contributions cap you can bring forward is either:

    • three times the annual non-concessional contributions cap over three years (that is, $330,000) if your total super balance on 30 June of the previous financial year is less than $1.48 million
    • two times the annual cap over two years (that is, $220,000) if your total super balance on 30 June of the previous financial year is above $1.48 million and less than $1.59 million
    • nil ($0) if your total super balance is $1.59 million or above.

    These limits are based on the:

    • non-concessional contribution cap of $110,000
    • total super balance in relation to the general transfer balance cap of $1.7 million.

    The following table represents the bring-forward arrangement for the first year.

    Table 3: Bring-forward period

    Total super balance on 30 June of previous year

    Non-concessional contributions cap for the first year

    Bring-forward period

    Less than $1.48 million

    $330,000

    3 years

    $1.48 million to less than $1.59 million

    $220,000

    2 years

    $1.59 million to less than $1.7 million

    $110,000

    No bring-forward period, general non-concessional contributions cap applies

    $1.7 million or more

    nil

    Not applicable

    From 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2021

    The amount of the non-concessional contributions cap you can bring forward is either:

    • three times the annual non-concessional contributions cap over three years (that is, $300,000) if your total super balance on 30 June of the previous financial year is less than $1.4 million
    • two times the annual cap over two years (that is, $200,000) if your total super balance on 30 June of the previous financial year is above $1.4 million and less than $1.5 million
    • nil ($0) if your total super balance is $1.5 million or above.

    These limits are based on the:

    • non-concessional contribution cap of $100,000
    • total super balance in relation to the general transfer balance cap of $1.6 million.

    The following table represents the bring-forward arrangement for the first year.

    Table 3: Bring-forward period (2017–21)

    Total super balance on 30 June of previous year

    Non-concessional contributions cap for the first year

    Bring-forward period

    Less than $1.4 million

    $300,000

    3 years

    $1.4 million to less than $1.5 million

    $200,000

    2 years

    $1.5 million to less than $1.6 million

    $100,000

    No bring-forward period, general non-concessional contributions cap applies

    $1.6 million or more

    nil

    Not applicable

    Once you trigger the bring-forward arrangement in a year, any change to the non-concessional contributions cap for the bring-forward period doesn’t apply to you. The bring-forward cap amount is set based on the cap in the first year of the period.

    For example, if the non-concessional contributions cap in the second and third year of a bring-forward period changed to $110,000 due to indexation, your non-concessional cap will still be $300,000 ($100,000 × 3 years) and not $320,000 ($100,000 + $110,000 + $110,000).

    Note: To make sure you don't accidentally trigger the bring-forward arrangement, you will need to take into account all your non-concessional contributions made to all your super funds. Unreleased excess concessional contributions also count towards the non-concessional contributions cap.

    See also:

    Example: Trigger bring-forward arrangement

    Sandra is 53 years old and has a total super balance of $1.42 million as at 30 June 2018. She contributes $150,000 non-concessional contributions to her super fund during 2018–19.

    These contributions trigger the bring-forward arrangement because they are more than the cap of $100,000.

    As Sandra's total super balance is between $1.4 million and $1.5 million, she has a two-year bring-forward period (2018–19 and 2019–20) with a cap of $200,000.

    Sandra can contribute an extra $50,000 ($200,000 minus $150,000) non-concessional contributions in 2019–20 without exceeding her cap.

    However, if her total super balance reaches $1.6 million or more on 30 June 2019, her cap for 2019–20 will be nil and any non-concessional contributions made in that year will be excess non-concessional contributions.

    Example: A single contribution

    Alan is 60 years old and has a total super balance of $1.3 million as at 30 June 2019. He makes a single non-concessional contribution of $300,000 to his super fund in 2019–20. This triggers the bring-forward arrangement as it exceeds the annual non-concessional contributions cap of $100,000.

    As Alan's total super balance is less than $1.4 million, he has a three-year bring-forward period (2019–20 to 2021–22) with a cap of $300,000.

    Therefore, Alan can't make any more non-concessional contributions in 2020–21 or 2021–22 without exceeding the cap as his remaining cap is nil ($300,000 minus $300,000).

    Example: Effect on the following year

    Austin is 42 years old and has a total super balance of less than $1.4 million on 30 June 2018. In 2018–19, he makes non-concessional contributions of $100,000.

    Austin forgot that $2,000 in non-concessional contributions are automatically direct-debited into his fund from his bank account each year. As a result, Austin made $102,000 of non-concessional contributions for 2018–19. This triggers the bring-forward arrangement.

    As Austin's total super balance is less than $1.4 million, he has a three-year bring-forward period (2018–19, 2019–20 and 2020–21) with a cap of $300,000.

    In 2019–20, Austin contributes a further $300,000. Austin's non-concessional cap for 2019–20 was $198,000 ($300,000 minus $102,000). This means he made excess contributions of $102,000 in 2019–20 ($300,000 minus $198,000).

    Example: Re-contribution strategy

    John is 61 years old and in 2018–19 he makes a personal non-concessional contribution of $200,000 to his super fund.

    As John's total super balance is less than $1.4 million on 30 June 2019, this triggers a three-year bring-forward period (2018–19 to 2020–21) with a non-concessional cap of $300,000.

    John now has $100,000 remaining non-concessional cap space for 2019–20 and 2020–21.

    In 2019–20, John is dissatisfied with the return on his super investments and decides to withdraw $300,000 of his super benefits to reinvest in a fixed-term deposit.

    In 2020–21, John decides to re-contribute the term deposit amount of $300,000 to his super fund. John's total super balance on 30 June 2020 is less than $1.6 million.

    Because this will be counted as a new non-concessional contribution, John will exceed his non-concessional cap by $200,000 ($300,000 minus $100,000).

    End of example

    How to view your bring-forward arrangement

    You should check your ATO online services account:

    • to see if you have triggered a bring-forward arrangement
    • if you are considering making a large contribution.

    Log in to ATO online services, select Super, then navigate to Bring-forward arrangement.

    Be aware that the latest information may not be available in ATO online services due to the reporting timeframes of funds, especially SMSFs. You can check with your super fund to get the most up to date information.

    Next steps:

    Transitional period

    If you triggered the bring-forward arrangement in 2015–16 or 2016–17, but you did not fully use your remaining bring-forward balance before 1 July 2017, there are transitional arrangements that apply. This means that the maximum amount of bring-forward amount available to you reflect the reduced annual non-concessional contributions caps.

    If the bring-forward arrangement was triggered in:

    • 2015–16, the transitional cap was $460,000 ($180,000 for 2015–16, $180,000 for 2016–17 and $100,000 for 2017–18).
    • 2016–17, the transitional cap was $380,000 ($180,000 for 2016–17 and $100,000 for 2017–18 and $100,000 for 2018–19).

    For 2017–18 and 2018–19, the remaining cap amount for the second and third years of a bring-forward arrangement were reduced to nil for a financial year if your total super balance was greater than or equal to the general transfer balance cap at the end of 30 June of the previous financial year.

    Table 5: Transitional contributions cap limits for 2014–15 to 2018–19

    Three-year bring-forward cap amounts

    2014–15 to 2016–17

    2015–16 to 2017–18

    2016–17 to 2018–19

    Range

    $0 to $540,000

    $0 to $460,000

    $0 to $380,000

    If, before 1 July 2017, you made non-concessional contributions of more than the transitional cap but less than $540,000, you will not have exceeded your non-concessional bring-forward cap. However, you cannot contribute any further non-concessional contributions under the bring-forward arrangement in remaining years.

    If, after 1 July 2017, you make non-concessional contributions that are more than your transitional cap, you will have exceeded your non-concessional contributions bring-forward cap.

    Example: Bring-forward transitional period – cap fully used in 2016–17

    In 2016–17, John contributes $540,000 non-concessional contributions and triggers the bring-forward arrangement.

    From 1 July 2017, the general non-concessional contributions cap reduced from $180,000 to $100,000. This reduces John's three year bring-forward cap to $380,000 ($180,000 for 2016–17, $100,000 for 2017–18 and $100,000 for 2018–19).

    Although John's non-concessional contribution of $540,000 would exceed this new bring-forward cap, because his contribution was made before 1 July 2017, he would not be deemed to be in excess of his non-concessional bring-forward cap.

    However, John will not be able to make any extra non-concessional contributions under the bring-forward arrangement in 2017–18 and 2018–19.

    Example: Bring-forward transitional period

    In 2016–17, Barry contributes $200,000 non-concessional contributions and triggers the bring-forward arrangement.

    From 1 July 2017, the general non-concessional contributions cap reduced from $180,000 to $100,000. This reduced Barry's three-year total bring-forward cap to $380,000 ($180,000 for 2016–17, $100,000 for 2017–18 and $100,000 for 2018–19).

    Barry's remaining bring-forward cap balance is now $180,000 ($380,000 minus $200,000).

    The amount that Barry can contribute in 2017–18 and 2018–19 will now depend upon his total super balance at the end of 30 June 2017 and 30 June 2018.

    At the end of 30 June 2017, Barry's total super balance is $1.3 million. Therefore, he is still eligible to make non-concessional contributions in 2017–18.

    On 10 November 2017, Barry makes non-concessional contributions of $150,000.

    Barry's remaining bring-forward cap balance for 2018–19 would be $30,000. However, due to growth in the fund, Barry's total super balance at the end of 30 June 2018 is over $1.6 million. Therefore, Barry's non-concessional cap for 2018–19 is now nil (based on the general transfer balance cap for 2018–19 being $1.6 million).

    If Barry makes any non-concessional contributions in 2018–19 he will exceed his non-concessional contributions cap.

    End of example

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      Last modified: 29 Jul 2021QC 19749