If you’re employed and your eligible spouse (married or de facto) is either not working or earning less than $40,000 per year (since 1 July 2017), you can contribute to their super and may get up to a $540 tax rebate a year.
Under the 2018/2019 tax rules, you may be able to claim an 18% tax offset on super contributions up to $3,000 that you make on behalf of your non-working or low-income-earning partner. You can contribute more than $3,000, but you won’t receive the spouse contribution tax offset on anything above $3,000.
If your spouse receives $37,000 or less in the total of assessable income, reportable fringe benefits and employer super contributions, then you can access the maximum tax offset of $540, provided an after-tax contribution of at least $3,000 is made. The tax offset is then progressively reduced until the tax offset reaches zero for spouses who earn $40,000 or more in assessable income in a year.
To be eligible, the following conditions must be met:
- The sum of your spouse’s assessable income (excluding any First Home Super Saver released amounts), total reportable fringe benefits and employer super contributions is less than $40,000
- Contributions are made into a complying super fund
- Both you and your spouse were Australian residents when the contributions were made
- You and your spouse were not living separately on a permanent basis when making the contributions
- Your spouse had not exceeded their non-concessional contributions cap ($1.6m for 2018/2019) or had a total superannuation balance equal to or exceeding the transfer balance cap immediately before the start of the financial year in which the contribution was made
- The contribution must not be tax deductible to the contributor
Contribution splitting is another way you can boost your spouse’s account balance. But there are restrictions on the amount and types of contributions you can make.
Contributions that can be split are usually concessional contributions (i.e. employer before-tax contributions, including salary sacrificed amounts). You can split concessional contributions up to 85% of the contribution, or up to the annual concessional contribution cap, whichever is lesser, for the relevant financial year.
The concessional cap from 1 July 2017 for all ages is $25,000 pa.
Unused concessional cap carry forward
From 1 July 2018, if you have a total superannuation balance of less than $500,000 on 30 June of the previous financial year, you may be entitled to contribute more than the general concessional contributions cap and make additional concessional contributions for any unused amounts.
The first year you will be entitled to carry forward unused amounts is the 2019/2020 financial year. Unused amounts are available for a maximum of five years, and after this period will expire.
How to make a Spouse contribution
It’s easy – let your employer know that you would like to make a spouse contribution to your spouse’s super account. You will need to inform them of your spouse’s member number, and the super fund name and USI (our USI is WAL0001AU).
You can also make a contribution to your spouse’s account by cheque, either in person or by post. Please note that you cannot make spouse contributions via BPAY, as they will be treated as personal contributions into your own super account, as opposed to your spouse’s account.
Find out more
- Watch our Superannuation Contributions educational module to learn more.