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  • Eligibility for the super co-contribution

    We will determine if you have met the criteria for the government super co-contribution after you have lodged your tax return. To be eligible 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 at the end of 30 June of the previous financial year
    • 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.

    Your total income

    For the purpose of this test your total income for the financial year is:

    • the total of your      
      • assessable income
      • reportable fringe benefits total (RFBT)
      • total reportable employer super contributions reduced (but not below zero) by any excess concessional contributions
    • minus your      
      • assessable first home super saver released amount
      • allowable business deductions.

    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

    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.

    You will not receive any co-contribution if your income is equal to or greater than the higher threshold.

    If your total income is between the two thresholds, your maximum entitlement will reduce progressively as your income rises. If your co-contribution is less than $20, we will pay the minimum amount of $20.

    10% eligible income test

    To satisfy this test, 10% or more of your total income must come from either:

    • employment-related activities
    • carrying on a business
    • 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.
      Last modified: 19 May 2022QC 17469