Salary sacrifice to your GESB Super account

You can choose to give up or ‘sacrifice’ part of your before-tax salary and have it paid into your GESB Super account instead. This is generally a tax-effective way to grow your super1.

To start salary sacrifice contributions, you need to set up a contractual agreement with your employer, called a salary sacrifice arrangement.

How to salary sacrifice

Your concessional contributions cap

GESB Super is an example of a taxed fund. The general concessional (before-tax) contributions cap is currently $25,000 per financial year2.

You’ll pay more tax on any contributions over the amount of your cap

If you reach your cap and still make contributions to your super, then you may have to pay extra tax.

Carry forward concessional contributions from 1 July 2018

If you have a total super balance of less than $500,000 on 30 June of the previous financial year, you will be able to carry forward your unused concessional contributions 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.

How much can I contribute?

GESB Super example: meet Ross

Here’s an example of how salary sacrifice and its tax benefits work. Ross’s annual salary is $70,000. He makes a personal contribution of $5,200 a year ($100 a week) to his GESB Super account.

Comparing super contributions with and without salary sacrifice

The table below shows the differences between contributions made from Ross’s after-tax income (without salary sacrifice) and contributions made from his before-tax income (with salary sacrifice).

Comparing Ross's super contributions with and without salary sacrifice

No personal super contribution

Without salary sacrifice
(from after-tax income)

With salary sacrifice
(from before-tax income)

Gross (before-tax) salary $70,000 $70,000 $70,000
Salary sacrifice $0 $0 $5,200
Taxable income $70,000 $70,000 $64,800
Less income tax (including Medicare Levy) $14,6173 $14,6173 $12,7954
After-tax income $55,383 $55,383 $52,005
After-tax personal contribution   $0 $5,200 $0
Total take-home pay $55,383 $50,183 $52,005
Net amount added to Ross’s super $0 $5,200 $4,4205

Total benefit (income plus super)

$55,383$55,383$56,425

Please note: the figures above are for the 2019/20 financial year.

After arranging salary sacrifice contributions with his employer:

  • Ross has contributed $5,200 to his super without reducing his after-tax income by the same amount
  • This is because he has only paid income tax on $64,800 instead of $70,000.
  • Over the year, Ross’s tax has reduced by $1,822 ($14,617 minus $12,795), and his take-home pay has only reduced by $3,378 ($55,383 minus $52,005)
  • Ross has reduced his income tax by about $35 a week ($1,822 divided by 52 weeks) with his $100 a week contribution to super
  • At the same time, his take-home pay has only reduced by about $65 a week ($3,378 divided by 52 weeks).
  • Ross has increased his total benefit (net income plus super) by $1,042 ($56,425 minus $55,383)
  • This includes the 15% contributions tax on the salary sacrifice amount.

The cost of salary sacrifice depends on your provider

You can usually salary sacrifice directly to your GESB Super account at no cost through your employer’s payroll system, if this is in line with your employer’s agreement.

If your salary sacrifice is arranged through a third party salary packaging provider, they may charge a fee.

It’s easy to arrange salary sacrifice

You should first check with your employer to confirm what arrangements they have for salary sacrificing to your super. They should be able to arrange for your super contributions to be deducted from your before-tax salary.

You can also use our Payroll deduction form. This will need to be completed and given to your employer’s payroll department.

If you would like to go through a salary packaging provider, simply contact them for help with setting up your salary sacrifice arrangement.

How to salary sacrifice

Finding the right advice

There are a number of factors to take into account when deciding whether to start salary sacrifice contributions. You might want to seek advice for your personal circumstances from a qualified financial adviser.

See our range of services and tools to help you manage your super.

Get help managing your super

1 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.
2 For the 2019/20 financial year. The concessional contributions cap is indexed annually in line with Average Weekly Ordinary Time Earnings in increments of $2,500 rounded down.
3 Includes low and middle income tax offset ($1,080). 
4 Includes low income tax offset of $28 and low and middle income tax offset of $1,080 (total tax offset $1,108).
5 Salary sacrifice contributions are generally taxed at the concessional rate of 15%.

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Page last updated 27 September 2019