Putting extra into your super

By law, your employer is required to contribute at least 9.5% of your Ordinary Time Earnings (OTE) into your super account. However 9.5% may not be enough to provide for your retirement. To keep retirement savings on track, you can make extra contributions to super.

How can I make extra contributions?

1. Salary sacrifice for super

Salary sacrifice is an easy way to make extra payments into your super.

Your employer agrees to redirect a portion of your before-tax salary into your super account. It’s generally worthwhile considering if your income is over $37,000.

The benefits of salary sacrifice

Lower tax rate

If you make super contributions through a salary sacrifice, these contributions are taxed at a maximum rate of 15%.

When super is paid from your pre-tax salary, your taxable income is lowered. And the higher your tax bracket, the less tax you pay on the money that’s salary sacrificed to super.

Super growth

Over time, you’ll enjoy the benefit of compounding returns in your super fund. And as your account grows over time you’ll see how even a little extra contribution now, can mean a lot to your savings at retirement.

Why salary sacrifice

How can I set up a salary sacrifice?

Salary sacrifice is an agreement between you and your employer.

Simply print and complete our Salary sacrifice form (PDF) and submit it to your employer.

Tips for setting up salary sacrifice for superannuation
Super contribution limits

A salary sacrifice arrangement may affect your existing salary-based entitlements. Employers may base their super contributions on your reduced salary amount. It’s a good idea to check first, before deciding to salary sacrifice.

Limits on contributions to super

There are limits to the amount you can contribute into your super account.

This maximum limit includes both your normal super payments, plus your additional salary sacrificed amounts. These are your concessional contributions limits*.

Age At date Income year Yearly limit
< 49 30 June 2015 2016/17 $30,000
49 + 30 June 2015 2016/17 $35,000

*All concessional contributions that exceed the limit will be taxed at your marginal income tax rate, payable by you. If you contribute over the limit you can withdraw excess contributions.


Since your contributions are made by your employer, you can’t claim a tax deduction for any sacrificed amount.

Salary sacrificed amounts are included as reportable super contributions that count toward certain income tests used for working out benefits, concessions and offsets.


A salary sacrifice contribution is not a fringe benefit, so it’s not subject to fringe benefits tax. It shouldn’t be reported on your PAYG payment summary.

Further reading

You can read more about salary sacrifice by clicking on the links below.

2. Top up my super

Grow your super faster by making personal payments into your account

You can pay money that’s already been taxed, straight into your super account. If you have a little extra from your take home pay, additional savings or an inheritance, you can make non-concessional contributions to boost your superannuation.

You may also be eligible to receive the Government Co-contribution.  

Why top up your super

Four easy ways to make a personal contribution

Super payment limits

There are limits to how much you can put into your super as after-tax contributions. These are known as non-concessional limits.

Age Contribution limit for after tax contributions
Under 65 years $180,000 per year or
$540,000 over a 3 year period
65 to 74 years $180,000 a year

Tax file number (TFN) requirements

To accept personal contributions from you, Cbus needs your TFN.

Update your TFN online, via your online account, or call us .


If you’re over 65, you need to pass the work test

For those aged between 65 and 74, there are Government restrictions on making personal contributions to your super account.

To be eligible to make personal contributions, you must pass the ‘work test’. This means you need to have worked for at least 40 hours within 30 consecutive days, in the financial year you made the contributions. Keep in mind that any unpaid work, such as volunteering, can’t be considered for the ‘work test.’

Government Co-contribution

To encourage personal contributions into your super account, the Government offers extra contributions to give your balance a boost.

Within the limits on non-concessional contributions, you can contribute any amount you like to your super fund. The more money you put in, the higher the Government contribution, up to a $500 maximum.

After you've made your personal contribution and lodged your tax return for the year, the Government will automatically pay your super co-contribution direct into your super account.

It’s tax-free, so any benefit you receive will go directly towards building your super.

For every $1 of after-tax contributions you make, the Government will contribute an extra 50 cents to your super, up to a maximum of $500.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible to receive the Government Co-contribution you must:

  • be a permanent resident of Australia and under 71 years of age
  • make an after-tax contribution to your super and not claim a tax deduction for it*
  • ensure your 'total income' is less than $51,021 for the 2016/17 financial year
  • lodge a tax return for that year of income

*Employer or salary sacrifice contributions do not count as after-tax contributions
10% or more of your 'total income' must be from employment related activities, such as working as an employee, running a business, or a combination of both.

Government co-contribution for $1,000 after-tax contribution
Your total income Government co-contribution
$36,021 or less $500
$42,021 $300
$48,021 $100
$51,021 or more $0

Total income is your assessable income, plus reportable employer super contributions and reportable fringe benefits. Figures are for the 2016/17 financial year. For more information visit the ATO website.

3. Spouse super contributions

If you make a contribution to your spouse’s super account, you may be eligible for a tax offset of up to $540 per financial year. The tax offset applies when specific criteria is met, including your spouse earning less than $13,800 or not working.

Your spouse can make a contribution to your Cbus account to be eligible for the same tax offset of up to $540 per financial year. Again, the tax offset applies when the criteria below have been met.

Is your spouse eligible?

Your spouse may be entitled to claim a tax offset if:

  • he or she did not claim a tax deduction for the contributions
  • both you and your spouse were Australian residents when the contributions were made
  • you and your spouse were living together on a permanent basis when contributions were made
  • your assessable income and total reportable fringe benefits were less than $13,800 per year
  • the contribution was made to a complying super fund, such as Cbus.

Download our Spouse contributions form (PDF).

4. Low income superannuation contribution

If you earn $37,000 or less, you’ll automatically receive a contribution tax rebate of up to $500 paid into your super fund.

Am I eligible?

To receive the Low Income Superannuation Contribution (LISC) payment you must:

  • be a permanent resident of Australia
  • have an adjustable taxable income of up to $37,000 per year
  • earn 10% or more of your total income from employment or business related activities
  • have made before-tax (concessional) contributions for the year to a complying super fund like Cbus.

How will I receive the Low Income Superannuation Contribution?

When you lodge an income tax return for the financial year, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) will work out your eligibility for the LISC. Even without lodgement of your tax return, the ATO can determine your eligibility.

Visit the ATO website for more information on the Low Income Super Contribution.


We’re here to help

Call our Cbus Advice Team on 1300 361 784

Press 4 to be connected

8am to 8pm Monday to Friday AEST/AEDT

Email: advice@cbussuper.com.au

Or use our online form to book a time for our Advice Team to call you.