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Give your super a boost with extra contributions

For most of us, employer contributions alone won’t be enough to fund a comfortable retirement. The good news is that there are several ways you can boost your final benefit.

Contribute to super yourself

A great way to boost your super is to make voluntary contributions. Even small contributions can make a huge difference to your super. You can make voluntary contributions from your before-tax pay, known as salary sacrificing, or from your after-tax pay.

Find out more about how to make a difference to your super at the Super Guru website.

How can I make personal contributions to my NESS Super account?

Personal contributions are the contributions made to your super fund from after-tax pay. These are in addition to the contributions made by your employer and any salary sacrifice arrangements you have.  You can make personal contributions to NESS Super in a number of ways:

  • by pay deduction sent to NESS Super with your employer’s normal contribution return
  • by direct debit made by completing a NESS Super Direct Debit Request form for after tax contributions.
  • by sending a cheque to NESS Super with your member account details. You must include your name and NESS Super Member number with your cheque.
  • by BPAY (your BPAY biller code and customer reference number is on your NESS Super member card).

Salary sacrificing

Most employers let you contribute to your super through salary sacrificing from your before-tax pay. These concessional contributions are treated as employer contributions and are subject to a 15% contributions tax. Because this may be lower than your marginal tax rate, there may be tax benefits to contributing to your super in this way.

Keep in mind that there’s an annual limit on deductible contributions including employer contributions. Any contributions over this limit – currently $25,000 per year – will be taxed at a higher rate than the concessional rate of 15%. Find more information on contribution caps at the ATO website.

For the 2017/18 year, employer contributions (including salary sacrifice) are capped at $25,000 per year for all individuals.

After tax contributions

You can also make personal contributions to your super from your after-tax income. These contributions are not taxed when they go into your super.

There are annual limits on after-tax contributions and tax penalties apply if you exceed them. The concessional contribution cap is $100,000 per year or, if you’re under 65, $300,000 in any three-year period. Find more information on contribution limits at the ATO website.

Spouse contributions

If you contribute to your spouse’s super you may be eligible for a tax offset. The tax offset applies to contributions made on behalf of non-working or low-income-earning spouses, whether married or de facto. The offset is up to 18% on super contributions of up to $3,000. Find more information on the ATO website.

Take advantage of government co-contributions

If you’re a low or middle-income earner and you make after-tax contributions to your super, you may be eligible for the government co-contribution scheme. If you are eligible, the government will match your personal super contributions up to a set maximum amount.
You don’t need to apply. If you’re eligible, all you need to do is make eligible personal super contributions to your super fund  and lodge an income tax return for the relevant year.

Self-employed contributions

If you’re self-employed or work as a contractor, it’s important that you contribute to your super. If you are self-employed you can claim your super contributions as a tax deduction. NESS Super can accept contributions from self-employed people as we are a public offer fund.