On this page
- Can I contribute to my super in my late 60s?
- What are the limits on making super contributions in my 60s?
- What is the work test and work test exemption for contributions?
- Age restrictions on your super fund accepting your contributions
- Over 75? Making personal super contributions
- Downsizing your home, upsizing your super
As more and more birthdays roll past in your 60s, most people get fairly keen on putting their feet up and enjoying a well-earned rest. When they think about their 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. With Aussies living longer than ever, many people are concerned they won’t have enough for a comfortable retirement and want to top up their account balance.
So what are the rules on making contributions when you’re in your late 60s?
Can I contribute to my super in my late 60s?
The short answer is yes, but the rules for making contributions into your super account can be a little confusing.
If you are in your 60s, compulsory employer concessional contributions such as the Super Guarantee (SG) and mandated award or enterprise 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, you need to satisfy a work test or use the one-off work test exemption before your super fund can accept your contribution.
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Once you hit age 75, your super fund is generally unable to accept further contributions into your super account.
Need to know
Until 30 June 2020, once you reached age 65 you needed to meet the requirements of the work test or work test exemption to make non-concessional or non-mandated employer contributions into your super account.
Legislative amendments have now lifted the maximum age limit to 67 before you are required to be working to make contributions into your super account. For more information, read SuperGuide article Work test: Making super contributions over 67.
What are the limits on making super contributions in my 60s?
Whatever your age, the concessional (before-tax) contributions cap (or limit) is $25,000 each year (2020/21).
The non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap is $100,000 a year (2020/21), with up to three years of annual caps (3 x $100,000 = $300,000) available if you choose to use the bring-forward rules.
Once you reach age 65, however, your non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap becomes a flat $100,000 a year, as fund members aged 65 and over are not able to commence a bring-forward arrangement.
Need to know
If you have super assets of $1.6 million or more on 30 June of the previous financial year, you are not permitted to make any additional non-concessional contributions to your super, whatever your age.
Also, once you reach age 67, you can only make a non-concessional contribution if you satisfy a work test or the one-off work test exemption in the financial year in which the contribution is made. (For more information, read SuperGuide article Work test: Making super contributions over 67.
Need to know
To align the bring-forward rules with the new upper age limit of 67 before you are required to meet a work test, the government is introducing new legislation that will allow older super fund members to commence bring-forward arrangements.
This will mean if you are under age 67 (currently 65), you will be able to contribute up to $300,000 into your super account if you meet the other eligibility criteria.
At the time of writing this legislation is before the House of Representatives but has yet to be passed and come into effect.
What is the work test and work test exemption for contributions?
From 1 July 2020, if you have reached age 67 but are not yet aged 75, you must be ‘gainfully employed’ at least 40 hours within 30 consecutive days in a financial year before your super fund can accept contributions into your super account.
These rules are known as the work test for super contributions and you must meet this test if you plan to continue making contributions into your super account past age 67.
The work test exemption was introduced from 1 July 2019 as a one-year exemption from the work test for people with a Total Super Balance below $300,000. This is to allow recent retirees to better prepare for retirement by boosting their super account balance if they are aged 67 to 74. The work test exemption can only be used once and only applies in the financial year following the last year you were working.
For more information, read SuperGuide article Work test: Making super contributions over 65.
Age restrictions on your super fund accepting your contributions
This table summarises whether or not your super fund can accept different types of super contributions at various ages:
|Age at time of contribution||SG||Award or industrial agreement||Salary sacrifice||Non-concessional||Spouse||Downsizer|
|66 years or under||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No (only available if aged 65 or over)|
|67 to 74 years old||Yes||Yes||Yes1||Yes1||Yes1||Yes|
|75 years old or over||Yes||Yes||No2||No2||No2||Yes|
1To qualify, you must meet the requirements of the work test or work test exemption during the same financial year in which the contributions are made.
2 Includes up to 28 days after the end of the month in which the member turns 75
Note: Your employer is not required to make SG contributions if you are aged 75 or over.
Over 75? Making personal super contributions
Once you reach age 75, you can’t make non-concessional personal contributions, even if you satisfy the work test or work test exemption.
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. However, you still need to pass the work test and your Total Super Balance (TSB) must not exceed $1.6 million.
Kyle is turning 75 during the 2020/21 financial year and he would like to make a last-minute non-concessional contribution of $50,000 into his super account to boost his account balance before retirement.
Kyle is still working part time in his legal practice and meets the requirements of the work test. His super balance is under the $1.6 million TSB cap.
Kyle’s 75th birthday is on 3 March 2020, so under the rules he can make a non-concessional (after-tax) contribution within 28 days of the end of March (30 March). This means the final deadline for making his contribution is 28 April 2020.
Downsizing your home, upsizing your super
If you cannot meet the rules for the work test or work test exemption, there is another way you can give your super account a boost – make a downsizer contribution.
If you are aged 65 or over, a downsizer contribution of up to $300,000 can be made 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 this type of contribution regardless of your work status or super contributions. Downsizer contributions are not tax deductible and are not counted towards your normal annual non-concessional contributions cap ($100,000 in 2020/21).
For more information about downsizer contributions, see SuperGuide article Contributing to super by downsizing your home: 10-point guide
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