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:

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Supply your TFN online


Type of contribution Tax (2015/16) Details

Before-tax, aged under 49 years on 30 June 2015
These are mainly employer contributions, salary sacrifice contributions and deductible contributions made by self-employed people.

15% or 30% depending on your income

Before-tax contributions are taxed at 15% unless you are a high-income earner, where the tax rate is 30%. See the Tax for high-income earners section below for details.

You can add up to $30,000 to your super from your before tax income. If you exceed your limit you can choose to release up to 85% of your excess contributions from your super account. Excess contributions released from your account will not be counted towards your after tax contributions cap and will be taxed at your personal tax rate, less a 15% tax offset, plus an interest charge.

Before tax, aged 49 years or more on 30 June 2015
These are mainly employer contributions, salary sacrifice contributions and contributions made by self-employed people.

15% or 30% depending on your income

Before-tax contributions are taxed at 15% unless you are a high-income earner, where the tax rate is 30%. See the Tax for high-income earners section below for details.

You can add up to $35,000 to your super from your before tax income. If you exceed your limit you can choose to release up to 85% of your excess contributions from your super account. Excess contributions released from your account will not be counted towards your after tax contributions cap and will be taxed at your personal tax rate, less a 15% tax offset, plus an interest charge.

After-tax
These are typically extra, voluntary contributions you make from after-tax money. Spouse contributions fall into this category too. You must give us your Tax File Number before we can accept after-tax contributions.

No tax payable up to allowable limits

You can contribute up to $180,000 each year. If under age 65, you can contribute up to $540,000 tax-free in a three-year period. The three-year period automatically starts from the first year that you add more than $180,000 after-tax to your super.

If you exceed your after tax contributions cap you may choose to withdraw your excess contributions plus 85% of any associated earnings. The associated earnings withdrawn are taxed at your personal rate of tax, less a 15% tax offset. If you choose not to withdraw your excess after tax contributions they will remain in your super account and taxed at 49%*.

Government co-contribution

No tax payable

To be eligible for a Government co-contribution, you need to add to your super after tax and earn less than $50,454. The co-contribution itself is not taxable either when it goes into your super, or when you withdraw your super. For more information on the Government co-contribution arrangements visit our website at australiansuper.com/cocontributions.

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 personal 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.

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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%.

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