Salary sacrifice to your Gold State Super account

While you are a Gold State Super member, you need to contribute to your account. You can choose to contribute either 3%, 4% or 5% of your gross remuneration, depending on your needs.

The average rate you contribute over your entire membership period is known as your Average Contribution Rate (ACR). We accept contributions up to a maximum ACR of 5%1.

Your contributions can be made from your after-tax salary or from your before-tax salary, known as salary sacrifice.

What is salary sacrifice?

This means you give up part of your before-tax salary and have it paid into your Gold State Super account instead. By salary sacrificing, you might pay less income tax while still contributing the same amount to your super.

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

Salary sacrifice contributions are not taxed upfront2

With an untaxed fund like Gold State Super, generally no tax is deducted when a contribution is made. Instead, you pay tax when you withdraw your benefit, roll it over to a taxed fund or into a retirement income stream.

Concessional contributions to Gold State Super or West State Super are not capped, but they count towards your cap when making these 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.

With Gold State Super, an untaxed plan cap applies to the untaxed element of your benefit. This is the amount you can accumulate and still be taxed at the concessional rate when you access your money. The untaxed plan cap for the 2018/19 financial year is $1.480 million3.

Gold State Super and tax

Gold State Super example: meet Julie

Here’s an example of how salary sacrifice and its tax benefits work. Julie’s annual salary is $60,000 and she currently contributes 5% ($3,000) a year to her Gold State Super account.

Comparing super contributions with and without salary sacrifice

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

Comparing Julie's super contributions with and without salary sacrifice

Without salary sacrifice
(from after-tax income)

With salary sacrifice
(from before-tax income)

Gross (before-tax) salary $60,000 $60,000
Salary sacrifice $0 $3,000
Taxable income $60,000 $57,000
Less income tax (including Medicare Levy) $11,6174 $10,5735
After-tax income $48,383 $46,463
After-tax personal contribution   $3,000 $0
Total take-home pay $45,383 $46,463
Net amount added to Julie’s super $3,000 $3,0004

Total benefit (income plus super)

$48,383$49,463

Please note: the figures above are for the 2018/19 financial year.

After arranging salary sacrifice contributions through her employer:

  • Julie’s taxable income has been reduced by $3,000 to $57,000
  • Her salary sacrifice contributions to her Gold State Super account are not included in her assessable income.
  • Julie’s total benefit (net income plus super) has increased by $1,080 a year ($48,383 minus $49,463)
  • Julie’s salary is still $60,000 a year for the purpose of calculating her Gold State Super benefit
  • Julie’s salary sacrifice contributions are treated as employer contributions. Gold State Super is an untaxed fund, so no tax is deducted when the contribution is made
  • Julie will pay tax when she withdraws her benefit, or rolls it over to a taxed fund or retirement income stream.

For more information visit the Gold State Super and tax page.

You can make extra salary sacrifice contributions

If you would like to make salary sacrifice contributions over your maximum ACR, they need to be made to your GESB Super or West State Super account.

If you don’t already have one of these accounts, we can automatically open a GESB Super account for your extra contributions.

Both GESB Super and West State Super are market-linked schemes. It’s important to keep in mind that when you invest in this type of fund, your benefit is not guaranteed and will be influenced by the performance of the financial markets. Learn more about GESB Super and West State Super.

To make extra contributions, you will need to decide how much you would like to contribute and then complete a Payroll deduction form.

How to salary sacrifice

Meet Tim

Tim is paying the highest rate of income tax and receives a salary increase of $5,000. He is considering salary sacrificing the extra $5,000 into his super instead of taking it as cash.

This is an additional contribution, so it will be paid into Tim’s GESB Super account. The tables below compare his options.

Tim takes the extra $5,000 salary as cash

Extra salary before tax $5,000
Income tax plus Medicare Levy6 -$2,350
Extra take-home pay $2,650

Tim sacrifices the extra $5,000 salary to super

Additional contribution $5,000
Contributions tax of 15% -$750
Net contribution to GESB Super $4,250

Please note: the figures above are for the 2018/19 financial year.

By salary sacrificing $5,000 into GESB Super:

  • Tim contributes $1,600 more to his super than if he took the salary increase as cash
  • These savings will vary depending on your own personal income tax rate.
  • Tim can grow his overall super benefit, as his contributions to GESB Super are in addition to his Gold State Super contributions
  • The salary sacrifice contributions are treated as employer contributions and are generally taxed at 15%7
  • If Tim had a West State Super account, his salary sacrifice contributions would not be taxed until he accessed his benefit7

For more information read the Contributing to your super - GESB Super and West State Super brochure or call your Member Services Centre on 13 43 72.

How to salary sacrifice

The cost of salary sacrifice depends on your provider

You can usually salary sacrifice directly to your Gold State 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 contributions

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.

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1 In some circumstances, it is possible to increase your contribution rate above 5%, for example, if you are a Police Officer, a Magistrate or an Industrial Commissioner (as defined in the State Superannuation Regulations 2001), or when you have taken Recognised Unpaid Leave and you chose not to pay any contributions. For more information, please read the Gold State Super essentials brochure.
2 There is a tax on contributions for very high income earners. It applies to concessional contributions, including those made to tax-exempt constitutionally protected funds like Gold State Super. For more information visit the Gold State Super tax page.
3 For the 2018/19 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 Includes low income tax offset of $100 and low and middle income tax offset of $530 (total tax offset: $630).
5 Includes low income tax offset of $145 and low and middle income tax offset of $530 (total tax offset: $675).
6 The figure is based on the 2018/19 financial year.
7 As the additional contribution will be paid into GESB Super, a taxed fund, contributions tax is applied at the time the contribution is made.

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Page last updated 21 November 2018