Show download pdf controls
  • Contributions you can accept

    There are minimum standards for accepting contributions into your SMSF, and the trust deed of your fund may have more rules. Whether a contribution is allowable depends on:

    There are also certain criteria that need to be met before a fund can accept co-contribution payments from the government.

    Generally you can't accept an asset as a contribution from a member, but there are some exceptions.

    If your SMSF will receive contributions from employers (other than related-party employers), you'll need an electronic service address to receive the associated SuperStream data.

    On this page:

    Member's tax file number

    When a member joins your fund, ask for their TFN and provide it to us. You can do this when you register the fund or when a new member joins.

    If a member hasn't quoted their TFN:

    • your fund can't accept member contributions for them, such as personal and eligible spouse contributions
    • your fund has to pay extra tax on some contributions made to that member’s account
    • the member may not be able to receive super co-contributions
    • there may be administrative delays if we can't identify the member from the information you've provided.

    A member is not required by law to provide their TFN.

    Mandated employer contributions

    Mandated employer contributions are contributions made by an employer under a law or industrial agreement for the benefit of a fund member. They include super guarantee contributions.

    You can accept mandated employer contributions for members at any time, regardless of their age or the number of hours they’re working.

    Non-mandated contributions

    Non-mandated contributions include:

    • contributions made by employers over and above their super guarantee or award obligations (such as salary sacrifice contributions)
    • member contributions – these are contributions made by or on behalf of a member, such as  
      • personal contributions
      • super co-contributions
      • eligible spouse contributions
      • contributions made by a third party, such as an insurer.

    Apart from super co-contributions, you can accept non-mandated contributions in the following circumstances:

    • Members under 65 years of age
      You may accept all types of non-mandated contributions. However, you can only accept personal contributions made by the member if you have their tax file number (TFN).
    • Members aged 65 or over but under 70
      You may accept all types of non-mandated contributions if you have the member’s TFN and the member is gainfully employed on at least a part-time basis (see note).
    • Members aged 70 or over but under 75
      You may only accept employer contributions and personal contributions made by the member. You must have the member’s TFN and they must be gainfully employed on at least a part-time basis (see note). For a member turning 75, the contribution must be received no later than 28 days after the end of the month that the member turns 75.
    • Members aged 75 or over
      You generally can't accept non-mandated contributions.

    Super co-contributions and employer contributions that relate to a valid contribution period for the member can be accepted at any time.

    Note: 'Gainfully employed on at least a part-time basis' means the member is gainfully employed for at least 40 hours in a period of 30 consecutive days in each financial year in which the contributions are made. Unpaid work does not meet the definition of 'gainfully employed'.

    If you receive a member contribution and you don’t have the member’s TFN, you need to return the contribution within 30 days of becoming aware that you have received it, unless the member’s TFN is quoted to you within that period.


    To receive a government 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 general transfer balance cap ($1.6 million for the 2017–18 financial year) at the end of 30 June of the previous financial year, and must not have contributed more than your non-concessional contributions cap (effective 1 July 2017).

    See also:

    In specie (asset) contributions

    In specie contributions are contributions to your fund in the form of an asset other than money.

    Generally you must not intentionally acquire assets (including in specie contributions) from related parties of your fund. However, there are some significant exceptions to this rule, including:

    • listed shares and other securities
    • business real property (land and buildings used wholly and exclusively in a business).

    See also:

    Last modified: 25 Jan 2019QC 23326