How super is taxed

Your super scheme is either taxed or untaxed. Tax still applies to both types, but the tax is deducted at different stages. Taxed super funds deduct tax when money gets added to the fund and earns investment returns, while untaxed schemes only pay tax when money is taken out.

At GESB, we manage both taxed and untaxed super schemes. Our taxed schemes are GESB Super, Retirement Income Allocated Pension, and Retirement Income Term Allocated Pension, and our untaxed schemes are West State Super and Gold State Super.

How will your contributions be taxed?

The way your contributions are taxed depends on whether you have a taxed or untaxed fund, and if the contributions are made from before-tax or after-tax income.

Let’s look at before-tax contributions first.

Before-tax contributions

Before-tax contributions are also known as concessional contributions. These are payments made to your super from your income before you have paid tax. Examples include:

  • Employer contributions, like Super Guarantee
  • Salary sacrifice
  • Contributions for which you have claimed a tax deduction, if you are eligible

There are different rules for concessional contributions for taxed and untaxed funds.

Your concessional contributions cap

If you’re a GESB Super member, you have a taxed scheme so these caps apply for the 2016/17 financial year:

  • $30,000 per year
  • $35,000 per year if you’re aged 49 or over on the last day of the previous financial year

If you make contributions to super over your cap, you might need to pay extra tax.

For West State Super and Gold State Super

If you’re a West State Super or Gold State Super member, you have an untaxed scheme. This means your before-tax contributions made to West State Super or Gold State Super don’t count towards your concessional contributions cap.

Instead, there’s an untaxed plan cap of $1.415 million2 per super fund, 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.

After-tax contributions

After-tax contributions are also called non-concessional contributions. These are contributions you make to your super from your income after you’ve already paid tax, such as personal contributions or spouse contributions.

Since you’ve already paid tax on your income, there is no further tax for contributions you make to your super in this way. There are limits that apply to how much money you can add to your super, known as contribution caps

Your non-concessional contributions cap

If you’re a GESB Super or West State Super member, your non-concessional contribution cap for the 2016/17 financial year is:

  • $180,000 per year
  • If you’re under 65, you can bring forward two years of contributions i.e. $180,000 plus $360,000, giving you a cap of $540,000 over three years1

If you make contributions to super over your cap, you might need to pay extra tax.

Other contributions

If you transfer super from other funds, a 15% tax is applied to the untaxed element3 and no tax on the taxed element.

If you’ve received a Commonwealth Government Super Co-contribution in the past, no tax applies to these contributions.

Do we have your tax file number?

If you don’t provide us with your tax file number (TFN), you might need to pay more tax on your super than is necessary and we may not be able to accept some of your contributions. This will also affect your eligibility for the Super Co-contribution.

You can lodge your TFN using Member Online, by completing a tax file number form or by calling your Member Services Centre on 13 43 72.

Learn more about how your super is taxed

Read our Tax and super brochure for more details on how your super is taxed, including:

  • Tax that applies to investment earnings
  • Tax on benefits including lump-sum benefits and death benefits
  • Other considerations including Division 293 tax for high income earners

Read Tax and super

1 Where the bring-forward rule has been triggered, the two future years' entitlements are not indexed. For example, if you triggered the bring-forward rule on 15 March 2014 (when the non-concessional contributions cap was $150,000), your total cap for the three years will be $450,000, even though the non-concessional contributions cap changed to $180,000 on 1 July 2014.
2 For the 2016/17 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 Up to the untaxed plan cap of $1.415 million for the 2016/17 financial year.

More information

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Page last updated 28 April 2017