Show download pdf controls
  • Contributions you can accept

    There are minimum standards for accepting contributions into your self-managed super fund (SMSF), and the trust deed of your fund may have more rules.

    On this page

    Allowable contribution

    Whether a contribution is allowable depends on:

    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.

    Member's tax file number

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

    A member is not required by law to provide their TFN, however if they don't:

    • 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 other information you've provided.

    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
      • eligible proceeds from primary residence disposal (downsizer contribution)
      • super co-contributions
      • eligible spouse contributions
      • contributions made by a third party, such as an insurer.

    Non-mandated member contributions can only be accepted if you have their tax file number (TFN). If you receive a member contribution and you don’t have the member’s TFN, you need to return the contribution within 30 days unless the member’s gives you their TFN within that period.

    You can accept non-mandated contributions in the following circumstances.

    Members aged under 67 years old
    You may accept all types of non-mandated contributions except downsizer contributions. The member must be 65 years or older to make a downsizer contribution.

    Before 1 July 2020, the age limit was under 65 years old.

    Members aged 67 years old or over but under 70 years old
    You may accept all types of non-mandated contributions if the member is gainfully employed on at least a part-time basis. You may accept downsizer contributions regardless of the member's employment status.

    Members aged 70 years old or over but under 75 years old
    You may only accept non-mandated employer contributions and personal contributions if the member is gainfully employed on at least a part-time basis. For a member turning 75 years old, contributions must be received no later than 28 days after the end of the month that the member turns 75 years old. You may accept downsizer contributions regardless of the member's employment status.

    Members aged 75 years old or over
    You may accept downsizer contributions (there is no maximum age limit) as long as you have their TFN, but you generally can't accept other 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'.

    In specie (asset) contributions

    In specie contributions are contributions to your fund in the form of a non-monetary asset.

    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).
    Last modified: 22 Nov 2021QC 23326