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  • Transitional concessional contributions cap

    2007-08 to 2011-12 financial years

    For older working Australians who are financially able, and willing, to contribute more to their super, transitional concessional contributions caps were introduced.

    They are set out in section 292-20 of the IT(TP)A and apply to people who are 50 years old or older on the last day of the financial year. These cap amounts are higher than the normal concessional contributions cap, as shown in the table above.

    The transitional concessional contributions cap for 2007-08 to 2011-12 financial years is not indexed.

    Example: impact of age

    Jeremy turned 50 years old on 5 October 2010.

    As he will be 50 or more on or before the last day of the 2010-11 financial year (ending 30 June 2011), his concessional contributions cap for that year (and for the 2011-12 financial year) is $50,000.

    His cap reverts to the standard concessional contributions cap in the 2012-13 financial year (ending 30 June 2013). His annual concessional contributions caps for the 2007-08 to 2012-13 financial years are set out in the table below.

    End of example

    Remember that the normal concessional contributions cap was reduced from $50,000 to $25,000 for the 2009-10 financial year and the transitional cap expired on 1 July 2012.

    Table 2: Annual concessional contributions cap

    Financial year (age)

    2007-08 (47)

    2008-09 (48)

    2009-10 (49)

    2010-11 (50)

    2011-12 (51)

    2012-13 (52)

    Annual concessional contributions cap







    Refund of excess concessional contributions

    In the 2011-12 Federal Budget the Government announced that, from 1 July 2011, eligible individuals will have the option to have excess concessional contributions taken out of their super fund and assessed as income at their marginal rate of tax, rather than incurring excess concessional contributions tax.

    This will apply if an individual has excess concessional contributions of up to $10,000 (not indexed) in a financial year and is only available for breaches for 2011-12 or later financial years, and only for the first year, starting from 2011-12, in which a breach occurs.

    See also:

    Defined benefit interest

    There are separate arrangements for calculating employer contributions for defined benefit super interests. This is necessary because employer contributions to these funds are not always attributable to individual members.

    Section 292-175 states a defined benefit interest exists if all or part of the super benefits payable are defined by reference to the salary of the person (or another person) at a particular date or averaged over a period, a specified amount or specified conversion factors.

    However, a person's super interest is not a defined benefit interest if the above factors solely apply to death or disability benefits, or temporary disability payments (that is, if this is the only type of benefit they are receiving).

    The employer contributions amount for defined benefit interests are referred to as notional taxed contributions. The method for their calculation is set out in the regulations. If only part of a person's super interest is a defined benefit interest, their concessional contributions include both their notional taxed contributions and their normal concessional contributions.

    Grandfathering arrangements

    Due to the unique nature of defined benefit interests and the difficulty for members to reduce the contributions in some circumstances, certain arrangements have been grandfathered in section 292-170 so that members with defined benefit interests are not unfairly taxed.

    Some employers were able to pay lower SG contributions for their employees as a result of pre-21 August 1991 earnings bases. Special arrangements apply to members with a defined benefit interest on 5 September 2006 with notional taxed contributions for that interest that exceeds the concessional contributions cap. The notional taxed contributions are equal to that person's concessional contributions cap for the financial year.

    From 1 July 2008, employers cannot use pre-August 1991 earnings bases - they now use ordinary time earnings (OTE) to work out their SG liability.

    If the member already had access to the defined benefit interest grandfathering provision, any increase in their benefit as a consequence of the changes will not result in them losing that access (to the defined benefit interest grandfathering provisions). The grandfathering arrangement ceases if the scheme amends their rules to increase the member's benefits. The regulations may allow for some changes to the rules without the loss of the grandfathering concession. For example, this might occur if the rules are amended to satisfy the requirements of other legislation.

    The grandfathering arrangements will also continue to apply if the defined benefit interest is transferred to a successor super fund that retains equivalent rights for members.

      Last modified: 06 Sep 2017QC 34181