Compulsory superannuation contributions (Superannuation Guarantee) and voluntary superannuation contributions are an integral part of the federal government’s retirement income policy, along with the taxpayer-funded Age Pension.
As an incentive for Australians to stash money away for 30 to 40 years (rather than spending it all now), the federal government provides tax incentives for superannuation saving, and also for retaining those savings in the superannuation system when a person retires (that is, taking a super pension).
Due to the tax incentives associated with superannuation, there are many rules and restrictions on how much you can contribute to super, when you can contribute, when you can access your super, and the tax treatment of super benefits. Several of these important rules are linked to your age, and for your convenience and reference, we have divided the explanation into the following age categories:
Tip: In the discussion below, we refer you to helpful articles on the various age-based rules. You may also be interested in popular superannuation strategies that Australians consider at different life stages (see SuperGuide article, Retirement planning: Choosing the right super strategies for your age).