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Superannuation Rates and Thresholds

The following is a brief overview of key rates and thresholds that apply to superannuation.

Concessional Contributions Cap

Concessional contributions include employer contributions (eg. Superannuation Guarantee and contributions made under a salary sacrifice arrangement) and personal contributions claimed as a tax deduction by a self-employed or other eligible person.

 

Income year
Amount of cap - Persons aged
less than 49 (as at 30 June 2014)
Amount of cap - Persons aged
49 or over (as at 30 June 2014)
Amount of cap - Persons aged
59 or more(as at 30 June 2013)
2018-19 $25,000 $25,000 $25,000
2017-18 $25,000 $25,000 $25,000
2016-17 $30,000 $35,000 $35,000
2015-16 $30,000 $35,000 $35,000
2014-15 $30,000 $35,000 $35,000
2013-14 $25,000 $25,000 $35,000
2012-13 $25,000 $25,000 $25,000
2011-12 $25,000 $50,000 $50,000
2010-11 $25,000 $50,000 $50,000
2009-10 $25,000 $50,000 $50,000
2008-09 $50,000 $100,000 $100,000
2007-08 $50,000 $100,000 $100,000

Unused concessional cap carry forward

From 1 July 2018, if you have a total superannuation balance of less than $500,000 at the end of 30 June of the previous financial year, you may be entitled to contribute more than the general concessional contributions cap using the carried-forward amounts of your unused concessional contributions.

The first year you will be entitled to carry forward any unused amounts is the 2019-2020 financial year. Unused amounts are available for a maximum of five years, and will expire after this. For Example, in the 2018-19 financial year the cap is $25,000 and you contribute $15,000, you will be able to carry forward the unused $10,000 for the next 5 years (if your total superannuation balance is less than $500,000) on the prior 30 June year end.

Excess concessional contributions

From 1 July 2013, if you exceed your concessional cap, your excess concessional contributions will be included in your assessable income and are subject to your marginal rate of tax plus an “excess concessional contribution charge” (refer to the ATO website for details on the current charge).

The excess contributions are eligible for a 15% tax offset, to allow for the 15% contributions tax already deducted from the super contribution upon entry to the super fund. You can choose to withdraw part or up to 85% of the excess contributions to help pay the higher amount of income tax.  You can do this by filling out the excess concessional contributions election form, which provides a release authority to the fund. Alternatively, you can choose to retain the excess concessional contributions within your super account, and pay the extra income tax from your personal savings. If you do choose to retain the excess contributions within your super account, the excess amount will count towards your non-concessional cap.

 

Non-concessional Contributions Cap

Non-concessional contributions include personal after-tax contributions for which you do not claim an income tax deduction.

 

Income year
Amount of cap
 2018-19  $100,000* (refer below)
 2017-18  $100,000* (refer below)
 2016-17  $180,000
 2015-16  $180,000
2014-15 $180,000
2013-14 $150,000
2012-13 $150,000
2011-12 $150,000
2010-11 $150,000
2009-10 $150,000
2008-09 $150,000
2007-08 $150,000

* Annual Cap

The non-concessional cap for an income year is a multiple of the concessional contributions cap.

From 1 July 2017, your non-concessional cap is nil – for a financial year – if you have a total superannuation balance greater than or equal to the general transfer balance cap (currently $1.6 million) at the end of the previous financial year. In this case, if you make non-concessional contributions in that year, they will be excess non-concessional contributions.

If you are under 65 years old, you may be able to make non-concessional contributions of up to three times the annual non-concessional contributions cap in a single year. If eligible, when you make contributions greater than the annual cap, you automatically gain access to future year caps. This is known as the ‘bring-forward’ option.

From 1 July 2017 your total superannuation balance at the end of the previous financial year will determine:

  • the non-concessional contributions cap you can bring forward; and
  • whether you have a two-year or three-year bring-forward period.

From 1 July 2017 the bring-forward amount and period is dependent on your total superannuation balance on the day before the financial year contributions that trigger the bring forward.

Refer to the ATO document “Change to non-concessional contributions cap” available on the ATO website, for further information.

Excess non-concessional contributions

For any excess contributions made after 1 July 2013 breaching the non-concessional cap, the Government will allow individuals to withdraw those excess contributions and associated earnings. If an individual chooses this option, no excess contributions tax will be payable and any associated earnings will be taxed at the individual’s marginal tax rate. For further information, please contact the ATO.

 

Transfer Balance Cap

The transfer balance cap applies from 1 July 2017. It is a limit on the total amount of superannuation that can be transferred into the retirement phase. All your account balances will be included when working out this amount. It does not matter how many accounts you hold these balances in.

You can continue to make multiple transfers into the retirement phase as long as you remain below the cap.

Year General Transfer Balance Cap
 
2018-19 $1,600,000
2017-18 $1,600,000

 

You should refer to the ATO website, for further information on the Transfer Balance Cap including the special rules that apply for defined benefit income streams.

Government Co-contribution Income Thresholds

The Super Co-contribution is a government contribution to assist eligible individuals to save for their retirement. If you are eligible and make personal super contributions, the government will match your contribution with a Super Co-contribution up to certain limits. To receive a Co-contribution you must be earning less than the Higher Income Threshold. To receive the maximum Co-contribution you must be earning no more than the Lower Income Threshold. If you earn in between the two thresholds, you may be able to receive a limited Co-contribution.

Additional eligibility requirements were added from 1 July 2017 which includes:

  • having a total superannuation balance of less than $1.6 million on 30 June of the year before the year the contributions are being made; and
  • having not exceeded your non-concessional contributions cap in the relevant financial year.

There are other criteria you must meet to be eligible for the Super Co-contribution – for further information please visit the ATO website.

Co-contribution Income Thresholds

  Lower income threshold Higher income threshold What will you receive for every $1 of eligible personal super contributions? What is your maximum entitlement?
 
 

From 1 July 2018 until 30 June 2019

$37,697

$52,697

$0.50, up to your maximum

Your maximum entitlement is $500. However, you must reduce this by 3.333 cents for every dollar your total income, less any allowable business deductions, is over $37,697 up to $52,697.

From 1 July 2017 until 30 June 2018

$36,813

$51,813

$0.50, up to your maximum

our maximum entitlement is $500. However, you must reduce this by 3.333 cents for every dollar your total income, less any allowable business deductions, is over $36,813 up to $51,813.

From 1 July 2016 until 30 June 2017

$36,021

$51,021

$0.50, up to your maximum

Your maximum entitlement is $500. However, you must reduce this by 3.333 cents for every dollar your total income, less any allowable business deductions, is over $36,021 up to $51,021.

From 1 July 2015 until 30 June 2016

$35,454

$50,454

$0.50, up to your maximum

Your maximum entitlement is $500. However, you must reduce this by 3.333 cents for every dollar your total income, less any allowable business deductions, is over $35,454 up to $50,454.

         

From 1 July 2014 until 30 June 2015

$34,488

$49,488

$0.50, up to your maximum
entitlement

Your maximum entitlement is $500. However, you must reduce this by 3.333 cents for every dollar your total income, less any allowable business deductions, is over $34,488 up to $49,488.

 

From 1 July 2013 until 30 June 2014

$33,516

$48,516

$0.50, up to your maximum
entitlement

Your maximum entitlement is $500. However, you must reduce this by 3.333 cents for every dollar your total income, less any allowable business deductions, is over $33,516 up to $48,516.

 

From 1 July 2012 until 30 June 2013

$31,920

$46,920

$0.50, up to your maximum
entitlement

Your maximum entitlement is $500. However, you must reduce this by 3.333 cents for every dollar your total income, less any allowable business deductions, is over $31,920 up to $46,920.

 



Low Income Superannuation Tax Offset

From 1 July 2017, the government introduced the low income superannuation tax offset (LISTO) to assist low income earners to save for their retirement.

If you earn an adjusted taxable income up to $37,000 you may be eligible to receive a refund into your superannuation account of the tax paid on your eligible concessional superannuation contributions, up to a cap of $500.

You don't need to apply for LISTO. If you're eligible and your fund has your tax file number (TFN), the ATO will pay it to your fund account automatically.

Low Income Superannuation Contribution

From 1 July 2012, the Government provides a low income superannuation contribution (LISC) of up to $500 annually for eligible individuals on adjusted taxable incomes of up to $37,000.

The amount payable under this measure will be calculated by applying a 15 per cent matching rate to concessional contributions made by, or for individuals on adjusted taxable incomes of up to $37,000, with an annual maximum amount payable of $500 (not indexed). The amount will be paid into a superannuation account of the individual to directly boost their retirement savings.

Note: The payment of LISC has been maintained in respect of concessional contributions made up to and including 30 June 2017. Payment of LISC will cease in respect of concessional contributions made on or after 1 July 2017.   While LISC will continue to be payable in respect of concessional contributions made up to and including the 2016–17 income year, determinations of LISC will cease at 30 June 2019.

Superannuation Guarantee Contributions

Since 1 July 2003, employers have been required to contribute a percentage of an employee’s earnings to a superannuation fund under the superannuation guarantee (SG) law. Recent changes to legislation saw the superannuation guarantee increase from 1 July 2013. In line with the repeal of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax, the proposed schedule for the increase is as follows:

 

 

Period Superannuation guarantee rate
 
1 July 2003 – 30 June 2013 9.0%
1 July 2013 - 30 June 2014 9.25%
1 July 2014 - 30 June 2020 9.5%
1 July 2020 - 30 June 2021 10.0%
1 July 2021 - 30 June 2022 10.5%
1 July 2022 - 30 June 2023 11.0%
1 July 2023 - 30 June 2024 11.5%
1 July 2025 and onwards 12.0%



Maximum SG Contribution Base

The maximum super contribution base is used to determine the maximum limit on any individual employee's earnings base for each quarter of any financial year.

If an employee earns more than the amount shown below in a quarter for the relevant financial year, the employer is not obligated to pay superannuation guarantee contributions on the excess above that amount in that quarter.

Income year Per quarter
 
2018-19 $54,030
2017-18 $52,760
2016-17 $51,620
2015-16 $50,810
2014-15 $49,430
2013-14 $48,040
2012-13 $45,750
2011-12 $43,820
2010-11 $42,220
2009-10 $40,170
2008-09 $38,180
2007-08 $36,470


Preventing inadvertent concessional cap breaches by certain employees

As announced in the 2018-19 Federal Budget, the Government intends to allow individuals whose income exceeds $263,157 and have multiple employers to nominate that their wages from certain employers are not subject to the superannuation guarantee (SG) from 1 July 2018.

If legislated, this measure will allow eligible individuals to avoid unintentionally breaching the $25,000 annual concessional contributions cap as a result of multiple compulsory SG contributions. Breaching the cap otherwise results in these individuals being liable to pay excess contributions tax, as well as a shortfall interest charge.  Employees who use this measure could negotiate to receive additional income, which is taxed at marginal tax rates.

At the time of preparing this document, legislation had not been passed.

Lump Sum Low Rate Cap Amount

For members aged between 55 and 60, the taxed element of the taxable component of a superannuation lump sum up to the Low rate cap is taxed at a lower (or nil) rate of tax. Amounts exceeding the low rate cap are taxed at 15% plus the Medicare levy.

The low rate cap only applies once a member has reached their preservation age currently between the age 55 and age 60 depending upon a person’s date of birth.

Income year Amount of cap
 
2018-19 $205,000
2017-18 $200,000
2016-17 $195,000
2015-16 $195,000
2014-15 $185,000
2013-14 $180,000
2012-13 $175,000
2011-12 $165,000
2010-11 $160,000
2009-10 $150,000
2008-09 $145,000
2007-08 $140,000

 

 

CGT Cap Amount

Under certain circumstances, the proceeds of the sale of small business and assets contributed to superannuation might not count towards the concessional and non-concessional contribution caps. Provided certain conditions are satisfied, these additional amounts may count towards a separate cap (CGT cap) instead. The CGT cap amount is a lifetime limit. The CGT cap amount applies to all qualifying CGT contributions.

Income year Amount of cap
 
2018-19 $1.480 million
2017-18 $1.445 million
2016-17 $1.415 million
2015-16 $1.395 million
2014-15 $1.355 million
2013-14 $1.315 million
2012-13 $1.255 million
2011-12 $1.205 million
2010-11 $1.155 million
2009-10 $1.1 million
2008-09 $1.045 million
2007-08 $1 million

Excess concessional contribution (ECC) charge

The excess concessional contributions (ECC) charge is applied to the additional income tax liability arising as a result of having excess concessional contributions included in your income tax return. The intent of the ECC charge is to acknowledge that the tax is collected later than normal income tax. The charge is payable for the year a person makes excess concessional contributions and applies from the 2013–14 income year onwards.

The ECC charge period is calculated from the start of the income year in which the excess concessional contributions were made and ends the day before the tax is due to be paid under your first income tax assessment for that year.

The formula for calculating the ECC charge is provided for under section 4 of the Superannuation (Excess Concessional Contributions Charge) Act 2013. It uses a base interest rate for the day plus an uplift factor of 3%. The base interest rate is defined under section 5 of the same Act and is the monthly average yield of 90-day Bank Accepted Bills published by the Reserve Bank of Australia.

This compounding interest formula is applied against the base amount (the additional income tax liability) for each day of the ECC charge period.

Division 293 Tax Threshold

From 1 July 2012, Division 293 tax will be applied to certain super contributions to reduce the concessional tax treatment of those contributions made for very high income individuals.

The high income threshold is:

Income year Threshold amount
 
2017-18 onwards $250,000
2012-13 to 2016-17 $300,000


An individual's income is added to certain super contributions and compared to the high income threshold. Division 293 tax is payable on the excess over the threshold, or on the super contributions, whichever is less. The rate of Division 293 tax is 15%.

Division 293 tax is not payable on excess concessional contributions that have been taxed under Division 292 (or refunded under section 292-467).

Preservation Age

Generally, you must reach preservation age before you can access your super. Use the following table to work out your preservation age.


Date of birth Preservation age
 
Before 1 July 1960 55
1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961 56
1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962 57
1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963 58
1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964 59
From 1 July 1964 60

 

Minimum Annual Payments for Super Income Streams

Once you start a pension or annuity on or after 1 July 2007, a minimum amount is required to be paid each year. There is no maximum amount other than the balance of your super account, unless it is a transition to retirement pension in which case the maximum amount is 10% of the account balance.

 The minimum payment amounts have been halved for certain pensions and annuities for the 2008–09, 2009–10 and 2010–11 years and reduced by 25% for the 2011–12 and 2012–13 years. The reductions in these years apply only to account-based pensions and annuities (allocated pensions and annuities and market-linked pensions and annuities).

 

Age Minimum % withdrawal for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 and 2010-11 income years for certain pension and annuities Minimum % withdrawal for the 2011-12, 2012-13 income years for certain pension and annuities Minimum % withdrawal (in all other cases)
 
Under 65 2% 3% 4%
65-74 2.5% 3.75% 5%
75-79 3% 4.5% 6%
80-84 3.5% 5.25% 7%
85-89 4.5% 6.75% 9%
90-94 5.5% 8.25% 11%
95 or more 7% 10.5% 14%

 

The information on this page has been sourced from the Australian Taxation Office.