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Understanding super & money
So you’re on board with topping up super with extra payments to grow your balance faster. Find out what’s involved and how to make it as easy as possible.
How super works makes it easy to save for your future in retirement. As you earn money, your employer is required to make super guarantee payments into your super fund. That’s happening without you having to lift a finger.
But there’s a lot more you can do to look after your money in super and that includes saving a little (or a lot) extra. There are a few different ways you can do this:
Salary sacrifice is one way to make regular before-tax payments into your super savings. As a set and forget solution, it helps you save without having to think or do anything else. But if you’re not ready to commit to making these payments from your income, you can still top up your super with regular or one-off transfers from any of your bank accounts. These are after-tax contributions also known as a personal contribution or non-concessional contribution
As you generally can’t access your money in super until retirement, you might be more comfortable saving into a regular account from week to week or month to month. If you find you don’t need that money for anything else, you can move it across to your super fund when you’re ready - by making regular or one-off transfers using BPay or a direct debit arrangement with your super fund.
If you do this, you may be eligible to claim a tax deduction on the amount you put into super, if you meet certain criteria. While a tax deduction will reduce your taxable income, the amount of personal contributions you claim will be taxed at 15% inside super. To claim a tax deduction you must complete a ‘Notice of intent to claim’ or vary a deduction for personal contributions’ form and give it to your super fund by the due date. This form is available on the Australian Taxation Office website.
Find out how super payments can help you save on tax
If your partner is a low-income earner, you can help them save more super by making extra payments (a spouse contribution) into their account. You can also split your super guarantee payments with them up to a certain amount. They still count towards your cap, but this can be a helpful way of boosting your spouse’s lower balance.
If your partner is earning less than a certain amount, you may also benefit from a further tax offset for spouse contributions which is where you make an additional after-tax contribution into your partner’s account.
Visit the ATO website to find out more about super contributions splitting and the tax offset for super contributions on behalf of your spouse
With salary sacrifice, your extra super payments are still money taken from your income. But as it’s paid before tax, you can potentially pay less tax and save more super.
When you make pre-tax contributions into super you only pay 15% in tax. Depending on your marginal tax rate, you could be paying less tax with every dollar you save.
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