On this page
- Can I still contribute to my super in my late 60s?
- What are the caps or limits on making super contributions in my late 60s and early 70s?
- What is the work test and work test exemption?
- Age restrictions on your super fund accepting your contributions in 2022–23
- Over 75? Making personal super contributions
- Downsize your home, upsize your super
As more and more birthdays roll by in your 60s, most people can’t wait to embark on the next chapter of their lives. When they think about super, it’s usually more about how to spend their retirement nest egg than how to add to it.
But that’s not true of everyone. These days Aussies are living longer and staying in the workforce longer than ever. The economic impact of the pandemic and rising inflation and interest rates have added to the complexity of successfully planning your retirement, leaving many of us concerned we won’t have enough for a comfortable retirement.
If that’s you and you have some cash to spare, you may be interested in topping up your super account balance. So, what are the rules on making contributions when you’re in your late 60s?
Can I still contribute to my super in my late 60s?
The short answer is yes.
If you’re in your 60s – or even your early 70s – compulsory employer concessional contributions such as the Super Guarantee (SG) and mandated award or industrial agreement contributions can still be made into your super account.
When it comes to non-concessional (after-tax) contributions, or voluntary contributions for which you claim a tax deduction, the same contributions caps apply to you as for younger super fund members.
Once you reach age 67, however, you must satisfy a work test if you plan to make personal contributions for which you intend to claim a tax deduction.
Once you hit age 75, your super fund is generally unable to accept further contributions into your super account (see more details below).
What are the caps or limits on making super contributions in my late 60s and early 70s?
Whatever your age, the general concessional (before-tax) contributions cap (or limit) is $27,500 each year (2022–23). From 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2021, the annual general concessional contributions cap was $25,000.
Concessional contributions include your employer’s Super Guarantee contributions and any other mandated award or industrial agreement contributions, salary-sacrifice contributions and any voluntary personal contributions for which you intend to claim a tax deduction.
The general non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap is $110,000 a year (2022–23). From 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2021, the annual general non-concessional contributions cap was $100,000.
If you are eligible to use a bring-forward arrangement, you can use up to three years of your annual general non-concessional caps (3 x $110,000 = $330,000) in a single year to make a larger contribution. Your personal annual non-concessional cap and bring-forward limit, however, may be different to this amount.
What is the work test and work test exemption?
Until 1 July 2022, the work test represented a big barrier for many Aussies in their late 60s and early 70s if they wanted to continue adding to their super account.
Under the requirements of the work test, you needed to be ‘gainfully employed’ for at least 40 hours over 30 consecutive days in a financial year before your super fund could accept contributions into your super account. Fortunately, if you’re aged 67 to 75 the work test requirements are now only an issue if you want to make personal tax-deductible super contributions (see table below).
The work test exemption was introduced from 1 July 2019 as an exemption from the work test for people with a Total Super Balance below $300,000. It allowed recent retirees to better prepare for retirement by boosting their super account balance if they were aged 67 to 74.
Age restrictions on your super fund accepting your contributions in 2022–23
This table summarises whether your super fund can accept different types of super contributions from you at various ages:
*Contribution can be accepted by super funds up to 28 days after the end of the month in which you turn 75.
Over 75? Making personal super contributions
Once you reach age 75, you are ineligible to make further non-concessional personal contributions into your super account, regardless of your work status.
There is one exception to this rule. If you are turning 75 during a financial year, you can make a non-concessional contribution on or before the day that is 28 days after the end of the month in which you turn 75. In addition, your lifetime super contributions or Total Super Balance (TSB) must not exceed $1.7 million (in 2022–23).
Downsize your home, upsize your super
Although the rules for making additional contributions into your super account have been eased considerably, there is one contribution option many older Aussies overlook. You can also give your super a valuable boost by making a downsizer contribution.
Once you reach age 60, you are able to make downsizer contributions of up to $300,000 into your super account using the proceeds from the sale of your home. For couples, both partners can make a downsizer contribution, so you can contribute up to $600,000 per couple into your super accounts.
You can make a downsizer contribution regardless of your work status or other super contributions. Currently, there is no upper age limit for making a downsizer contribution.
Downsizer contributions are not tax deductible and do not count towards your annual general non-concessional contributions cap ($110,000 in 2022–23).