Make extra contributions and watch your super grow
Generally, your employer must make super contributions of 9.50% into your super account. It’s real money and it’s yours, but will it be enough for the lifestyle you want in the future?
Super is taxed at a concessional rate. For most people this rate will be lower than a similar investment outside of super making it a tax-effective way to save for your retirement.
How much super is enough?
Work out how much you'll need in retirement
There’s no one answer. It depends on the lifestyle you want in retirement. Everyone’s goals and needs are different. The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA)* has developed the Retirement Standard to help singles and couples determine the kind of lifestyle they want in retirement.
Then use Money Smart’s Retirement planner** to work out how much you may need in retirement.
If you think you might need to contribute extra to your super, but you’re not sure how much, the Grow your superannuation calculators can help. These super calculators show you the benefits making additional super contributions now could have on your future retirement income. Start now.
Need help? A financial planner can help you plan your future lifestyle.
*ASFA is not a financial adviser. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial or taxation advice to check how the calculator relates to your individual circumstances.
**MoneySmart is developed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). ASIC is not a financial adviser. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial or taxation advice to check how the calculators relate to your individual circumstances.
When is a good time to start?
Start early, benefit from compound interest
Contributing to your super earlier, rather than later, means you’ll benefit from compound interest. Compound interest means you earn interest on the money you've added to your super account, along with any interest previously earned on those funds. If you’re thinking that you’ll contribute more when you’re older to catch up, you may be short-changing yourself.
Grow your super today
There are many ways to grow your super
To grow your super, there are a number of things you can consider doing:
Top up your super with after-tax contributions
You can make after-tax contributions in the following ways:
- Payroll deduction (if your employer offers this facility)
- Direct debit from your bank account. Complete the Contribution form.
- BPAY® – call the CareSuperLine on 1300 360 149 for your personal customer reference number. CareSuper’s Biller code is 929 893.
- Cheque – address your cheque to CareSuper: Locked Bag 5087, Parramatta NSW 2124 and include your full name and membership number with the payment.
By making an after-tax contribution to super, you may be eligible for the government co-contribution.
See the difference yourself
See how adding small amounts to your super can make a big difference to how much money you have when you retire.
Take advantage of this incentive from the government
The co-contribution scheme is an incentive from the government to help Australians save for retirement.
If you earn up to the higher income threshold in 2016/17 of $51,021 per year and make personal super contributions, you may be eligible to receive a co-contribution from the Government of up to $500, which gets paid directly into your super.
Please visit the ATO website for the latest co-contribution information.
How to qualify for the co-contribution
You can also read the Boosting your super fact sheet for more information.
Use the Money Smart co-contribution calculator* to find out how much you could receive from the government.
*MoneySmart is developed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). ASIC is not a financial adviser. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial or taxation advice to check how the calculators relate to your individual circumstances.
Low income super contribution (LISC)
Find out if you qualify
If you earn less than $37,000 p.a. and make at least one concessional contribution to your super in the 2016/17 financial year, you may also be eligible to receive the low income super contribution of up to $500. For more information go to the ATO website.
A tax-effective way to grow your super
Salary sacrificing is an arrangement between you and your employer where you agree to forego or sacrifice part of your pre-tax salary in return for your employer making a contribution to your super. As the tax you pay on your super may be lower than your marginal tax rate, this can have tax benefits. The super contributions are treated as employer contributions and are subject to contributions tax.
It is important to make your additional contributions to super work for you. Depending on your situation, you may be better off making before-tax contributions through salary sacrifice, or after-tax contributions to make the most of the government co-contribution. Take a look at the Boosting your super fact sheet for more information about your options.
To see the difference extra contributions could make to your super, visit the Spare change calculator.
Know your limits
Find out how much you can contribute to super
The tax benefits of contributions made into super are capped. Any super contributions over the government cap each year are subject to extra tax.
The amount of the contribution cap, and how much extra tax you pay once you exceed it, depends on whether the contributions are concessional (before tax) or non-concessional (after tax).
Visit the ATO website to find out what caps apply to super contributions and learn how your age affects how much you can contribute to super.