How your super is taxed

Tax on contributions

The amount of tax you pay on contributions into your super depends on how much you contribute and when you contribute it.

Your Tax File Number – the key to paying less tax

If you haven’t given us your Tax File Number (TFN), you’ll pay more tax – up to 49%* on your before-tax and your employer’s SG contributions.

Super funds can’t accept any after-tax contributions from you if you haven’t provided your TFN.

If you’re an AustralianSuper member, you can check whether you’ve provided your TFN and provide it securely online:


Supply your TFN online

Type of contribution Tax (2015/16)


  • Employer Superannuation Guarantee 
  • Salary sacrifice

If you’re under age 49 on 30 June 2015

  • 15% on amounts up to $30,000 a year
  • Amounts more than $30,000 a year will be taxed at your personal tax rate, plus an interest charge. 

If you’re aged 49 or over on 30 June 2015

  • 15% on amounts up to $35,000 a year
  • Amounts more than $35,000 a year will be taxed at your personal tax rate, plus an interest charge. You will be able to withdraw excess payments form your super account. Any excess contributions that aren't withdrawn will be taxed at the top marginal tax rate of 49%*.

0% on amounts up to $180,000 a year
49%* on amounts more than $180,000 a year
If you're under 65:

  • You can contribute up to $540,000 over a three-year period tax-free as long as you contribute no more in that three-year period.
  • The three-year period is automatically triggered in the year you first exceed the $180,000 after-tax contribution limit.
  • Any contributions over $540,000 in that three-year period will be taxed at 49%.*

Tax for high income earners

Members who earn over $300,000 a year may pay 30% tax on some or all of their before-tax contributions.

If your income# is less than $300,000 a year, but is more than $300,000 when you include your before-tax contributions, the 30% tax rate will apply to the part of your before-tax contributions that take you over the $300,000 threshold.

For example if your income is $280,000 and your before-tax contributions are $25,000, you only pay the 30% tax rate on $5,000.

Tax on withdrawals

Withdrawals from AustralianSuper are tax-free if you are aged 60 or over. Tax rates on lump-sum withdrawals for members under 60 are outlined below:

Super benefit component^ Tax
Tax-free No tax payable
Taxable If you’re under your preservation age, taxed at 22%*.

If you’re between your preservation age and 59 years, the first $195,000 is tax free and the balance is taxed at up to 17%*.

Tax on withdrawals is deducted before you receive your payment.

Tax on investment earnings

Investment earnings in super are taxed up to 15%. This tax, along with investment management fees, is deducted before your investment earnings are applied to your account. Earnings are applied to your account every 12 months or when you transfer out of the Fund or switch investment options.

* Including the Medicare levy and the temporary budget repair levy.
† Between the ages of 65 and 75 you must satisfy the work test in order to make after-tax contributions.
#The definition of 'income' for this purpose includes  taxable income, concessional superannuation contributions, adjusted fringe benefits, total net investment loss, target foreign income, tax-free government pensions and benefits, less child support.
^ The tax-free and taxable components are calculated from the type of contributions that have been made to your account. To find out how much of your super is tax-free and how much is taxable you can log in and get a benefit quote or call us on 1300 300 273.

Email this page to a friend

Max 2000 characters

Back to top

Supply your TFN and pay less tax

If we don’t have your tax file number your before-tax and employer contributions could be taxed at 49%.

Make the most of your retirement savings

We offer a range of advice services to suit your preferences and needs