Topping up your concessional contributions

Topping up your concessional contributions

Thinking about making up for lost time and making extra contributions to top up your super? The good news is that the “catch-up” concessional contribution (CC) rules can help individuals who feel they have missed out on building their retirement savings to make extra before-tax contributions.

Remember, CCs can include super guarantee contributions from your employer, salary sacrificed amounts and tax-deductible personal contributions.

What are catch-up CCs?

You can carry forward any unused CC cap amounts that have accrued since 2018/19 for up to five financial years and use them to make CCs in excess of the general annual CC cap (currently $27,500 in 2021/22).

You can then make a CC using the unused carry forward amounts provided your total super balance at the end of the previous financial year is below $500,000.

Once you start to use some of your unused cap amounts, the rules operate on a first-in first-out basis. That is, any unused cap amounts are applied to increase your CC cap in order from the earliest year to the most recent year. So, when you use some of your unused cap from prior years, the unused cap from the earliest of the five-year period is used first.

And remember, if you don’t use your accrued carry forward amounts after five years, your unused cap amounts will expire. So it’s best to use it before you lose it!

Who can benefit from catch-up contributions?

Catch-up contributions may assist individuals who:

  • Previously couldn’t afford to make additional contributions
  • Have spent time out of the workforce to study, look after children or elderly family members
  • Work part-time or are casual employees
  • Have interrupted or non-standard work patterns (ie, self-employed people)
  • Dispose of an asset and want to reduce their tax and further maximise their contributions to super
  • Receive a windfall/inheritance and want to contribute the funds to super.

If you finally have capacity to make extra contributions and want to build your super, utilising the catch-up CC rules can allow you to make up for lost time and be an easy way boost your super for retirement.

This information has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation, or needs.  Because of this, you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation or needs. Content in partnership with Taxpayers Australia.