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  • Contribution caps

    The contribution caps limit the amount that can be contributed for a member each financial year. The caps are indexed annually.

    A member whose total contributions in a year exceed the contribution caps may be liable for additional tax on the excess contributions.

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    Concessional contributions

    Concessional contributions are contributions made into your self-managed super fund (SMSF) that are included in the SMSF's assessable income. These contributions are taxed in your SMSF at a ‘concessional’ rate of 15%, which is often referred to as ‘contributions tax’.

    The most common types of concessional contributions are employer contributions, such as super guarantee and salary sacrifice contributions. Concessional contributions also include personal contributions made by the member for which the member claims an income tax deduction.

    Concessional contributions are subject to a yearly cap:

    • From 1 July 2021, the general concessional contributions cap is $27,500 for all individuals regardless of age.
    • For the 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years, the general concessional contributions cap is $25,000 for all individuals regardless of age.
    • For the 2014–15, 2015–16 and 2016–17 financial years, the concessional contributions cap is $30,000 per financial year and is increased to $35,000 for members aged 49 or over.
    • For the 2013–14 financial year onwards, excess concessional contributions are no longer subject to excess contributions tax. If a member's contributions exceed the cap, the amount will be included in the member's assessable income and taxed at their marginal tax rate.

    Unused concessional cap carry forward

    From 1 July 2018, members can make 'carry-forward' concessional super contributions if they have a total superannuation balance of less than $500,000. Members can access their unused concessional contributions caps on a rolling basis for five years. Amounts carried forward that have not been used after five years will expire.

    The first year in which you can access unused concessional contributions is the 2019–20 financial year.

    Non-concessional contributions

    Generally, non-concessional contributions are contributions made into your SMSF that are not included in the SMSF's assessable income.

    Non-concessional contributions include:

    • personal contributions made by the member for which no income tax deduction is claimed - this is the most common type of non-concessional contribution
    • excess concessional contributions for the financial year which the member does not elect to remove from the superfund after we send them an excess contributions determination will also count towards your member’s non-concessional contributions cap.

    Non-concessional contributions do not include:

    • super co-contributions
    • structured settlements
    • orders for personal injury or capital gains tax (CGT) related payments that the member has validly elected to exclude from their non-concessional contributions.

    If a member’s non-concessional contributions exceed the cap, a tax of 47% is levied on the excess contributions. Individual members are personally liable for this tax and must have their super fund release an amount of money equal to the tax.

    From 1 July 2021

    From 1 July 2021, the non-concessional contributions cap will increase from $100,000 to $110,000. Members under 65 years of age may be able to make non-concessional contributions of up to three times the annual non-concessional contributions cap in a single year.

    If eligible, when you make contributions greater than the annual cap, you automatically gain access to future year caps. This is known as the ‘bring-forward’ option.

    Note: if an individual has triggered a bring forward arrangement before 1 July 2021, they will not have access to any additional cap space as a result of the increase to the non-concessional cap.

    Bring forward arrangements

    Members who are under 65 may be able to access a bring forward arrangement as outlined in the table below.

    Table: Contribution and bring forward available to members under 65

    Total superannuation balance

    Contribution and bring forward available

    Less than $1.48 million

    Access to $330,000 cap (over three years)

    Greater than or equal to $1.48 million and less than $1.59 million

    Access to $220,000 cap (over two years)

    Greater than or equal to $1.59 million and less than $1.7 million

    Access to $110,000 cap (no bring-forward period, general non-concessional contributions cap applies)

    Greater than or equal to $1.7 million

    Nil

    See also:

    • Bring forward arrangements

    1 July 2017 to 30 June 2021

    For the 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years, the non-concessional contributions cap is $100,000.

    1 July 2014 to 30 June 2017

    For the 2014–15, 2015–16 and 2016–17 financial years, non-concessional contributions are subject to a yearly cap of $180,000 for members 65 or over but under 75 or $540,000 over a three-year period for members under 65.

    Transitional arrangements apply to individuals who brought forward their non-concessional contributions cap in the 2015–16 or 2016–17 financial years.

    See also:

    Last modified: 16 Apr 2021QC 42460