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  • Eligibility for the super co-contribution

    To be eligible for a government super co-contribution you must:

    • have made one or more eligible personal super contributions to your super account during the financial year
    • pass the two income tests (income threshold and 10% eligible income tests)
    • be less than 71 years old at the end of the financial year
    • not hold a temporary visa at any time during the financial year (unless you are a New Zealand citizen or it was a prescribed visa)
    • lodge your tax return for the relevant financial year
    • have a total superannuation balance less than the transfer balance cap ($1.6 million for the 2017–18 financial year) at the end of 30 June of the previous financial year, and
    • not have contributed more than your non-concessional contributions cap.

    You are not entitled to a super co-contribution for any personal contributions you have made that have been allowed as a tax deduction (see Claiming deductions for personal super contributions).

    Income threshold test

    To receive the co-contribution, your total income must be less than the higher income threshold for that financial year (see Income thresholds).

    Your total income

    For the purpose of this test your total income is:

    If you are carrying on a business, you may have a high turnover but still be eligible for the super co-contribution due to your allowable business deductions.

    Income thresholds

    There are two co-contribution income thresholds:

    • a lower threshold ($36,813 for 2017–18)
    • a higher threshold ($51,813 for 2017–18).

    If your total income is equal to or less than the lower threshold and you make personal contributions of $1,000 to your super account, you will receive the maximum co-contribution of $500.

    If your total income is between the two thresholds, your maximum entitlement will reduce progressively as your income rises. You will not receive any co-contribution if your income is equal to or greater than the higher threshold.

    If your co-contribution is less than $20, we will pay the minimum amount of $20.

    See also:

    10% eligible income test

    To satisfy this test, 10% or more of your total income must come from employment-related activities, carrying on a business, or a combination of both. Amounts from these sources are referred to as eligible income amounts.

    For this test, your total income is not reduced by your allowable business deductions. This is to ensure self-employed individuals are not disadvantaged if they have low income or low profit margins in a financial year.

    Examples of eligible income

    Working out the exact total income and eligible income may be complex, depending on your circumstances. You may need to seek professional advice to assist you.

    Generally, income that is related to employment or business is eligible income. For example:

    • salary and wages
    • business income earned as a sole trader or in a partnership
    • director fees.

    The following types of income are not eligible income for super co-contribution purposes:

    • non-business partnership distributions
    • distributions from a trust
    • income from individually or jointly held assets, such as interest, rent and dividends
    • income related to another year of employment, such as employment termination payments and lump sum payments.

    Next step:

    • If you have questions about eligibility for the super co-contribution, ask our CommunityExternal Link for help.

    Making personal super contributions

    Personal super contributions are the amounts you contribute to your super fund from your after-tax income (that is, from your take-home pay). These contributions:

    • are in addition to any compulsory super contributions your employer makes on your behalf
    • do not include super contributions made through a salary-sacrifice arrangement.

    To be eligible for the super co-contribution, your personal contributions need to be paid to a complying super fund. However, personal contribution amounts claimed (and allowed) as an income tax deduction will not be eligible for the co-contribution.

    How to make personal super contributions

    You do not need to make your personal contributions as a single lump sum – you can make payments throughout the financial year. We use the total amount you have contributed for the year to calculate the co-contribution.

    Your super fund can tell you how to make personal contributions. Most funds offer you a number of options including BPAY®, direct debit and through your bank account.

    In some cases, you can make regular super contributions into your super account directly from your after-tax pay. If the contributions come from your before-tax pay, they are generally referred to as salary-sacrificed contributions and will not qualify for the super co-contribution.

    Your super fund needs your TFN before it can accept your personal contributions.

    Your personal contributions must reach your super fund by 30 June each year for you to receive a government co-contribution for that financial year.

    Super co-contribution amounts

    The table below shows examples of what your co-contribution amount would be in 2017–18, depending on your income level and your personal super contribution for the year.

    Contributions made in the 2017–18 income year

    Income

    Personal super contribution:

    $1,000

    $800

    $500

    $200

    $36,813 or less

    $500

    $400

    $250

    $100

    $39,813

    $400

    $400

    $250

    $100

    $42,813

    $300

    $300

    $250

    $100

    $45,813

    $200

    $200

    $200

    $100

    $48,813

    $100

    $100

    $100

    $100

    $51,813 or more

    $0

    $0

    $0

    $0

      Last modified: 26 Sep 2018QC 17469