How much can you contribute

Since your super account receives tax concessions that can reduce the amount of tax you pay, there are limits on the amount that you or your employer can contribute. There are two types of limits, or caps:

  • Concessional contributions cap
  • This is a limit to the amount of concessional (before-tax) contributions you or your employer can make to your super each financial year. If you have more than one super account, all of the concessional contributions made to all of these accounts count towards this cap. The exception is if you have a West State Super or Gold State Super account, as these are constitutionally protected funds, and different caps apply.
  • Non-concessional contributions cap
  • This is a limit to the amount of non-concessional (after-tax) contributions you can make. If you have more than one account, all of your non-concessional contributions made to all of your accounts are added together and counted towards this cap.

If you reach your cap and still make contributions to your super, then you may have to pay additional tax. Contributions count in the financial year when your super fund receives the money.

Contribution caps for GESB Super, West State Super and Gold State Super 2018/19 financial year

Concessional contributions cap for GESB Super

GESB Super is an example of a taxed fund. There’s a limit on how much you can salary sacrifice to a taxed fund, and this limit is known as the concessional contributions cap.

Both your salary sacrifice contributions and your employer’s Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions count towards this cap. If you have more than one super account, generally all of the concessional contributions made to all of your accounts are included in the cap.

The general concessional contributions cap for the 2018/19 financial year is $25,0001.

Catch-up concessional contributions from 1 July 2018

If you have a total super balance of less than $500,000 at 30 June of the previous year, you will be able to carry forward your unused concessional cap amounts from 1 July 2018. For example, if in 2018/19 you have $15,000 in concessional contributions you will have a carry forward amount of $10,000.

Concessional contributions cap for 2018/19

Type of contribution

General cap

Concessional contributions $25,000 p.a.1

Tax on your concessional contributions

Concessional contributions below your concessional contributions cap are generally taxed at what’s known as ‘the concessional rate’ of 15%2.

If you reach your cap and still make contributions to your super, then you may have to pay extra tax. The extra contributions will be included in your assessable income and taxed at your marginal tax rate plus an interest charge, called the excess concessional contributions (ECC) charge.

If you have made contributions over your cap, you can choose to have 85% of these contributions withdrawn from your super to assist in paying your income tax assessment.

Visit GESB Super and tax page

Concessional contributions for West State Super and Gold State Super

West State Super and Gold State Super are untaxed, constitutionally protected super funds.

Unlike taxed schemes such as GESB Super, employer contributions (including salary sacrifice), and personal deductible contributions made to West State Super are generally not taxed when the contributions are accumulating.

Concessional contributions to West State Super and Gold State Super don’t count towards your concessional contributions cap. However, they do count towards your cap for contributions to a taxed scheme. For example, if you made $50,000 in concessional contributions to West State Super (including your employer contributions) you wouldn’t be able to make any further concessional contributions to a taxed scheme in that financial year.

From the 2017/18 financial year, Gold State Super notional employer contributions count towards the annual concessional contributions cap. Read our fact sheet to find out more about notional employer contributions.

With West State Super and Gold State Super, there’s an untaxed plan cap of $1.480 million3 per super fund for the 2018/19 financial year, which applies to the untaxed element of your benefit. This is the amount that can be paid as a lump sum or transferred to a taxed fund and still be subject to tax concessions.

Visit West State Super and tax page

Non-concessional contributions cap

Non-concessional contributions are contributions usually made after income tax has already been deducted. Generally, you won’t pay any more tax on these amounts if you stay below your non-concessional contributions cap.

Non-concessional contributions cap for 2018/19

Non-concessional contributions cap

Special arrangement or transitional rule

$100,000 p.a.4 If aged under 65, you may be able to bring forward one or two years of contributions depending on your total super balance on 30 June of the previous financial year. If your total super balance is less than $1.4 million, you can bring forward one or two years of contributions i.e. $100,000 plus $200,000, giving you a cap of $300,000 over three years5 subject to the transitional arrangements set out below. It is important to note that your remaining cap amount in years two or three will be reduced to nil if your total super balance on 30 June of the previous financial year exceeds the transfer balance cap ($1.6 million for the 2018/19 financial year6). The transfer balance cap is tested each 30 June during the bring-forward period, rather than only on 30 June prior to the year in which the bring-forward rule is triggered.
Eligibility for using the bring forward rule will depend on the size of your total super balance and transitional arrangements. Please note for the 2018/19 financial year, transitional arrangements only apply to individuals who brought forward their non-concessional contributions cap in the 2016/17 financial year.

Transitional arrangements

If you triggered the bring-forward rule in 2015/16 or 2016/17 and did not fully utilise your available non-concessional cap by 30 June 2017, then your non-concessional contributions cap is subject to transitional arrangements.

For more information, read the ATO’s Superannuation Reform: Annual non-concessional contributions cap fact sheet.

If you make contributions over the amount of your non-concessional contributions cap, your excess contributions will be taxed at 47%7. You might choose to take out the excess from your super rather than be subject to this tax.

Find out more about how your contributions are taxed

Every account is different. For more information about how contributions are treated in your account, visit:

1 For the 2018/19 financial year. The concessional contributions cap is indexed annually in line with Average Weekly Ordinary Time Earnings in increments of $2,500 rounded down.
2 If you are a high income earner whose adjusted taxable income and low tax contributions exceed $250,000 then you may be liable for Division 293 tax. It applies to both GESB Super and West State Super members.
3 For the 2017/18 financial year, indexed annually in line with Average Weekly Ordinary Time Earnings, in increments of $5,000 rounded down. The untaxed plan cap applies for each untaxed scheme you are a member of.
4 For the 2018/19 financial year, indexed annually. This cap is equal to four times the general concessional contributions cap (which is currently $25,000).
5 Where the bring-forward rule has been triggered, the two future years' entitlements are not indexed.
6 This cap will be indexed annually against Consumer Price Index (CPI), rounded down to the nearest $100,000.
7 If you have a total superannuation balance greater than or equal to $1.6 million for the 2018/19 financial year your non-concessional contribution cap will be nil. In this case, if you make a non-concessional contribution they will be excess contributions and will be taxed at 47%.

More information

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Page last updated 13 November 2018