Partnerships are about supporting each other. If you or your partner's super balance needs a boost, there are two different ways that you can do this.
How to boost each other’s super
Contributions you or your partner* make to the other’s super can come from either before- or after-tax money. The processes and benefits for each option vary, and the best option for you and your partner will depend on your circumstances.
Before-tax - splitting concessional contributions
You can split certain super contributions paid to your account and transfer them to your spouse’s super. Choosing to split contributions with your spouse could suit you if:
- your spouse is older than you and will have earlier access to their super benefits
- your spouse is younger than you and transferring your contributions to them will increase your Age Pension benefits
- you wish to boost your spouse’s super balance.
You can split up to 85% of your concessional (or before-tax) contributions - that is, employer, salary sacrifice and deductible personal contributions. Splitting contributions is not available for after-tax contributions.
How to get started
Check your balance
If you’re requesting to split your contributions in your NGS Super account, your account balance following the split cannot be less than $10,000. You can request one split per year.
Check your request timing
If you want to split your contributions, we must receive your application by the end of the financial year after the contributions were made.
Complete a Contribution Splitting form
Once you’ve decided on the amount you’d like to split with your spouse (within the limit), simply complete a Contribution Splitting form and send it to us.
To find out more about the rules around contribution splitting, read our fact sheet Split super contributions with your spouse.
After-tax - make a spouse contribution
While it's nice to think that your super will always be growing at a steady pace, the reality is that sometimes life will get in the way. Your employer contributions may stop or decrease if you take parental leave or move to a part-time role.
Your partner may be able to help bridge the gap in your super savings by making a spouse contribution of up to $3,000 to your account. By doing so, they could also be eligible for a tax offset of up to $540.
It's important to note that spouse contributions can only be made to those earning no more than $40,000 annually.
Check the contributing spouse’s eligibility for a tax offset
If you (as the receiving spouse) can answer ‘yes' to the statements below, your spouse (married or de facto) will be eligible for a tax offset on the spouse contribution they make to your super:
- I am under age 65, or if age 65 or over and less than age 70, I meet the work test1
- Both my spouse and I will be Australian residents at the time the eligible spouse contribution is made
- I will not be living separately or apart from my spouse on a permanent basis when the eligible spouse contribution is made
- The eligible spouse contribution will be made directly to my superannuation account (not first to my spouse’s fund, then split to my super)
- The contribution is not being made to satisfy a family law obligation.
The offset available is dependent on your (the receiving spouse’s) income. If your income is:
- less than $37,000, then your partner will receive the full offset which is 18% of contribution (up to maximum amount)
- between $37,000 and $40,000 - the offset is reduced for every $1 that your income is over $37,000
- over $40,000 - there is no offset available.
How to get started
Check the receiving spouse's eligibility
If you as the receiving spouse:
- haven’t already exceeded your non-concessional contributions cap for the relevant year
- have a Total Super Balance of less than $1.6 million2
- are under 65 years of age or are between 65 and 70 but still working1.
Complete a Spouse Contribution form
Once you've decided how much you'd like to contribute, simply complete a Spouse Contribution Form, attach a cheque and send them to us.
Lodge your tax return
Where applicable, the ATO will take the tax offset for any spouse contribution into account when calculating the tax refund.
To find out more about the spouse contribution rules, read our fact sheet Make spouse contributions work for you.
* For the purposes of splitting contributions and making spouse contributions, any reference to ‘your partner’ means your spouse defined as a person (of any sex):
- you are legally married to
- you are in a relationship that is registered under certain state or territory laws
- who lives with you on a genuine domestic basis in a relationship as a couple (known as a ‘de facto spouse’).
However, the ATO specifically states that if you are legally married to someone but you live “separately and apart” on a permanent basis, then that person will not be regarded as your spouse under superannuation laws.
1A receiving spouse aged between 65 and 70 must have met the conditions of the work test (or work test exemption). Work test: You are required to work at least 40 hours in 30 consecutive days in the financial year that the spouse contribution is made. Work test exemption: If your Total Super Balance (as defined in footnote reference 2) at the previous 30 June is less than $300,000, you will be exempt from this work test for 12 months from the end of the financial year in which you last met the work test. This exemption applies only once.
2 Total Super Balance (TSB) includes the total value of your superannuation interests in both accumulation and retirement phase at the end of the previous financial year.
- The TSB for Accumulation is generally the withdrawal value at 30 June.
- The TSB for the retirement phase is the balance of your Transfer Balance account which is managed by the ATO.
View your TSB through the Australian Taxation Office via my.gov.au
Consolidate your superIf you're with more than one super fund, you're paying more than one set of fees. Managing your superannuation is a lot easier when it's all in the one place. Find and consolidate any lost super with us online - it only takes a few minutes.
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