Salary sacrifice to your West State Super account

You can choose to give up or ‘sacrifice’ part of your before-tax salary and have it paid into your West State Super account instead.

This is generally a tax-effective way to grow 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

West State Super’s unique features

West State Super is a constitutionally-protected, untaxed fund. These unique features may provide extra benefits when you make salary sacrifice contributions.

Salary sacrifice contributions are not taxed upfront1

Having an untaxed fund means you only pay tax when you withdraw your benefit or roll your super into a taxed fund or retirement income stream.

With an untaxed fund, 100% of your contributions are invested in your chosen plan, instead of only 85% if you had a taxed fund. You receive investment returns on the full amount of your contributions, which means you might see a slightly higher benefit over time.

Salary sacrifice contributions to West State Super are not capped

While you’re working for the WA public sector, you can sacrifice up to 100% of your salary into your West State Super account. This can help you to build your retirement savings, especially in the lead up to retirement.

Concessional contributions made to West State Super don’t count towards your concessional contributions cap for that scheme. However, they do count towards your cap for contributions to a taxed scheme. For example, if you make $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 West 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 million2.

West State Super and tax

West State Super example: meet Amanda

Here’s an example of how salary sacrifice and its tax benefits work. Amanda’s annual salary is $70,000. She makes a personal contribution of $5,200 a year ($100 a week) to her West State Super account.

Comparing super contributions with and without salary sacrifice

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

Comparing Amanda'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) $15,1673 $15,1673 $13,3454
After-tax income $54,833 $54,833 $51,455
After-tax personal contribution   $0 $5,200 $0
Total take-home pay $54,833 $49,633 $51,455
Net amount added to Amanda’s super $0 $5,200 $5,2005

Total benefit (income plus super)

$54,833$54,833$56,665

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

After arranging salary sacrifice contributions with her employer:

  • Amanda has contributed $5,200 to her super without reducing her after-tax income by the same amount
  • This is because she has only paid income tax on $64,800 instead of $70,000.
  • Over the year, Amanda’s tax has reduced by $1,822 ($15,167 minus $13,345), and her take-home pay has only reduced by $3,378 ($54,833 minus $51,455)
  • Amanda has reduced her income tax by about $35 a week ($1,822 divided by 52 weeks) with her $100 a week contribution to super
  • At the same time, her take-home pay has only reduced by about $65 a week ($3,378 divide by 52 weeks).
  • Amanda has increased her total benefit (net income plus super) by $1,822 ($56,665 minus $54,833)
  • Amanda’s salary sacrifice contributions are not taxed at the time they are made to her West State Super account6, so the full amount of her contributions are invested in her account
  • Tax will only be need to be paid on her untaxed benefit when it is paid to her, or rolled over to a taxed fund or retirement income stream.

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

The cost of salary sacrifice depends on your provider

You can usually salary sacrifice directly to your West 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

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.

If you want to sacrifice more than 50% of your salary into your West State Super account, the WA State Government requires you to get financial advice to help you make an informed decision.

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 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.
3 Includes low and middle income tax offset ($530).
4 Includes low income tax offset of $28 and low and middle income tax offset of $530 (total tax offset $558).
5 West State Super is an untaxed fund and generally no contributions tax is applied. Instead, there is a lifetime limit (referred to as an untaxed plan cap) of $1.480 million per super fund for the 2018/19 financial year (indexed annually) which applies to the untaxed benefit. This is the amount of taxable component - untaxed element that can be paid or rolled over to a taxed fund and still be subject to concessional tax treatment.
6 If you are a high income earner whose income and relevant concessionally taxed contributions exceed $250,000 then you may be liable for Division 293 tax. For more information see the Tax and super brochure.

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Page last updated 21 November 2018