Salary sacrifice to your Gold State Super account
While you're 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.
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.
If your contributions rate is below 5% for a period of time, you are able to increase your rate to 6% or 7% until your ACR becomes 5%. Once your ACR reaches 5%, you can't continue paying at a higher rate.
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.
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 $27,500 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 (assuming you have no unused concessional contributions cap carry forward amounts available).
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 2021/22 financial year is $1.615 million3.
Gold State Super example: meet Julie
Here’s an example of how salary sacrifice and its tax benefits work. Julie’s annual salary is $100,000 and she currently contributes 5% ($5,000) 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).
Without salary sacrifice
With salary sacrifice
|Gross (before-tax) salary||$100,000||$100,000|
|Less income tax (including Medicare Levy)||$24,967||$23,242|
|After-tax personal contribution||$5,000||$0|
|Total take-home pay||$70,033||$71,758|
|Net amount added to Julie’s super||$5,000||$5,000|
|Total benefit (income plus super)||$75,033||$76,758|
Please note: the figures above are for the 2021/22 financial year. The example used in this document is for illustrative purposes only. These calculations do not take into account that you may be entitled to the temporary low and middle income tax offset (LMITO). Visit ato.gov.au for more information on LMITO.
After arranging salary sacrifice contributions through her employer:
- Julie’s taxable income has been reduced by $5,000 to $95,000 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 $1,725 a year ($76,758 minus $75,033)
- Julie’s salary is still $100,000 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. This means the $5,000 personal contribution Julie made will be taxed at 15% or more when she withdraws her benefit.
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.
Tim is paying the highest rate of income tax and is making salary sacrifice contributions up to his ACR. Tim 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 Levy4||-$2,350|
|Extra take-home pay||$2,650|
Tim sacrifices the extra $5,000 salary to super
|Contributions tax of 15%5||-$750|
|Net contribution to GESB Super||$4,250|
Please note: the figures above are for the 2021/22 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%5
If Tim had a West State Super account, his salary sacrifice contributions would not be taxed until he accessed his benefit2.
For more information read the Contributing to your super brochure or call your Member Services Centre on 13 43 72.
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.
If you would like to go through a salary packaging provider, simply contact them for help with setting up your salary sacrifice arrangement.
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.
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 2021/22 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 The figure is based on the 2021/22 financial year.
5 As the additional contribution will be paid into GESB Super, a taxed fund, contributions tax is applied at the time the contribution is made.
- Find out more about Gold State Super and tax
- Learn about salary sacrifice to GESB Super
- Learn about salary sacrifice to West State Super
- How to salary sacrifice to GESB Super or West State Super
- Find out more about financial advice
- Call us on 13 43 72
Thank you for printing this page. Remember to come back to gesb.wa.gov.au for the latest information as our content is updated regularly. This information is correct as at 04 August 2021.