Meeting the Superannuation Work Test is required for members who have reached age 65 and wish to make or receive certain contributions.

The Government did not make any changes to the superannuation work test from 1 July 2017.

Members under age 65 are not required to meet any form of Superannuation Work Test.

Individuals over age 65 are required to meet the superannuation work test if making most types of superannuation contributions.

The table below details the age limits for superannuation contributions, including those requiring the work test to be met.

Contribution Type Under 65 65-69 70-74 75+
Mandated SG or Award No Restriction No Restriction No Restriction No Restriction
Salary Sacrifice/Self Employed No Restriction Must Meet Work Test Must Meet Work Test Cannot Be Accepted
Personal After-Tax Contributions No Restriction Must Meet Work Test Must Meet Work Test Cannot Be Accepted
Spouse Contributions No Restriction Receiving Spouse Must Meet Work Test Cannot Be Accepted Cannot Be Accepted

Superannuation Work Test

The specific rule states that “a member meets the Work Test if the member has been gainfully employed for at least 40 hours in a period of not more than 30 consecutive days in the financial year”

In re-wording this – the member must work at least 40 hours within a 30 consecutive day period in the same financial year (e.g. one solid weeks’ work within a month).

Gainfully Employed

Gainfully employed includes employed or self-employed for gain or reward in any business, trade profession, vocation, calling, occupation or employment.

Gain or Reward

Gain or reward can be interpreted as the receipt of remuneration such as salary or wages, business income, bonuses, commissions or fees in return for personal exertion. Charity work is generally not considered gainful employment, the gain or reward must be tangible.

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Superannuation Work Test Conditions

The following conditions are required to be met in relation to the Superannuation Work Test:

  • The Work Test, if applicable, must be met prior to the contribution being made. The member must have already worked 40 hours within a 30 consecutive day period before the trustee can accept the contribution.
  • The Work Test does not apply to those under age 65
  • The Superannuation Work Test can be satisfied anywhere throughout the world.

The work test applies to those who have triggered the superannuation Bring Forward Rule prior to reaching age 65 and would like to maximise their contributions after reaching age 65. Transitional rules apply to individuals who triggered the Bring Forward Rule in the 2015/16 and 2016/17 financial years.

Age 75 includes 28 days after the end of the month in which the member turns age 75. For example, if the member turns age 75 on March 20, they would still meet an age 75 condition up until 28 April.

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Chris Strano

Chris Strano is a specialist independent superannuation author for SuperGuy.com.au - one of Australia's leading superannuation information resources.

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