What is contribution splitting?

If you’re a GESB Super or West State Super member, contribution splitting allows you to share some of your super contributions with your spouse. If you’re a single income family, this means you can make use of the same tax incentives available to dual income families.

Some of your super can be split into a new or existing account for your spouse

A spouse, for these purposes, is your husband, wife or defacto partner (including same sex partner) who lives permanently with you on a bona fide domestic basis, at the time the contributions are made.

You and your spouse both need to be Australian residents when the contributions are made.

Split contributions are reported to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

We report all of your contributions to the ATO, including contributions that were transferred to your spouse after a contribution splitting application. If you’re a GESB Super member, contribution splitting does not reduce the amount that will be counted towards your concessional contributions cap.

When can contributions be split?

You need to apply to split your contributions. Your application should be lodged with us:

  • In the financial year following the year in which the contributions were made
  • Within the same financial year the contributions were made if your entire benefit is to be rolled over, transferred, or cashed before the end of that financial year

Once we have your application, you can’t make another application for the same contribution period.

Which contributions can be split and how much?

Concessional contributions paid into your super account during a financial year can be split into your spouse’s super account, including:

  • Contributions paid by your employer such as Superannuation Guarantee contributions
  • Salary sacrificed contributions
  • Voluntary contributions to your GESB Super for which you have claimed an income tax deduction

The amount that you can split with your spouse each year usually depends on the amount and type of contributions made to your super fund in the previous financial year.

  • GESB Super - you can split up to 85% of your employer contributions (including salary sacrifice) and personal deductible contributions, provided the amount to be split does not exceed your concessional contributions cap for that year.
  • West State Super - you can split 100% of your employer contributions (including salary sacrifice), provided the amount to be split does not exceed your concessional contributions cap for that year

For more information about tax and contributing to your super, read our Tax and super brochure and Contributing to your super brochure.

Which contributions can’t be split?

Not all types of contributions can be split. You can’t split:

  • Non-concessional contributions, such as voluntary after-tax contributions
  • Amounts that have been rolled over from another fund or transferred from a foreign super fund
  • Small business capital gains tax exempt amounts
  • Amounts subject to Family Law splitting orders
  • Voluntary contributions to West State Super for which you have claimed an income tax deduction
  • Contributions made where you were not in a bona fide relationship with the person named as your spouse on your contribution splitting form

What makes a contribution splitting application invalid?

Your application is invalid if:

  • You have already made an application for the same contribution period.
  • The amount on your application is more than the maximum amount you can split.
  • At the time of application, your spouse has reached their preservation age and is retired.
  • You’re not in a bona fide relationship when you apply to split your contributions

You or your spouse who have at any time been gainfully employed are seen as ‘retired’ if:

  • The person, having been gainfully employed after they turned 60 years of age, ceases to be gainfully employed, or
  • The person is at least the preservation age, is not gainfully employed and we are reasonably satisfied they will never again become gainfully employed for 10 hours a week or more

Case study - meet Peter

Peter is aged 54. He earns a salary of $64,000 p.a. and has $540,000 in his super account. He wants to keep working after the age of 56 and continue to salary sacrifice into his super.

His wife Janet is aged 51 and has $50,000 in her super account.

They want to make sure they each have enough super by the time they retire. Peter plans to split his salary sacrifice contributions and transfer them to Janet’s super account.

By splitting the amount of super in his account, Peter and Janet will now have access to two low rate caps if they decide to retire before the age of 60.

How to apply for contribution splitting

Simply download, complete and return the contribution splitting form. This forms allows you to:

  • Split your contributions with your spouse. Your spouse doesn’t have to be one of our members to receive your contribution.
  • Open a new GESB Super account for your spouse if you would like to keep the split contributions with us.
  • Select how much of your contributions you would like to split with your spouse. You can split contributions made in the previous financial year, or in the current financial year, if you are withdrawing your entire benefit.

We need to confirm your and your spouse’s identities before you can split your contributions. Find out more about providing certified proof of identification.

Download the form

Page last updated 20 December 2018