Age limits for superannuation contributions are important for determining who can and who cannot make contributions to superannuation and the type of contributions that can be made. The age limits and types of contributions that can be made to super have changed a few times over recent years. However, with an aging population and a society that has been working for longer, the age requirements for making super contributions is becoming more flexible.
Age Limits For Super Contributions
The following will discuss the different age brackets relevant to making and receiving superannuation contributions, as well as the types of contributions that each age bracket is able to make or receive. While contributing to superannuation does provide tax advantages and allows you to build your retirement nest egg, you should consider that such contributions will be inaccessible until you meet a superannuation condition of release. Generally, the first time that you will be able to access your superannuation benefits is once you have met your superannuation preservation age and satisfying the superannuation definition of retirement. However, you can have limited access to your savings after reaching your preservation age while still working, via a transition to retirement strategy.
Super Contributions Under Age 67
People under age 67 are unrestricted with the type of contributions that they are able to make to their superannuation account. A person under age 67 is only limited by the relevant contribution caps and the inability to contribute when their total superannuation balance exceeds the transfer balance cap. Employer contributions, salary sacrifice contributions, personal deductible (Concessional) contributions, after-tax (Non-Concessional) contributions and spouse contributions are all permitted to be made by individuals under age 67 and accepted by the receiving superannuation fund.
Super Contributions Aged 67 or Over, But Under 70
Your employer can make mandated employer Superannuation Guarantee contributions into your superannuation account without restriction. However, the superannuation work test must be met in order for other types of contributions such as salary sacrifice contributions, self-employed contributions, personal non concessional contributions and spouse contributions to be made. Further, the work test must be met in the financial year that the contribution is made and must be met prior to the contribution being made. In regard to spouse contributions, the receiving spouse must meet the work test. Recent retirees aged between 67-74 are able to make non-concessional contributions to super without meeting the work test for 12 months after the financial year in which they last met the work test, if they have a superannuation balance below $300,000. For example, if Mary is aged 66 and retires on 1 May 2021 with a super balance of $270,000, she can make a non-concessional contribution up to the cap until 30 June 2022, despite not working in the 2021/2022 financial year. Home-downsizer contributions are permitted for people over age 65. In fact, only people over age 65 are able to make home-downsizer contributions.
Super Contributions Aged 70 or Over, But Under Age 75
This age bracket for superannuation contributions has the same rules as the 67-70 age bracket, above, with one small difference; spouse contributions are unable to be accepted by superannuation funds. Home downsizer contributions are also permitted.
Super Contributions Aged 75+
So here’s where it gets brutal. The only contributions that can be accepted by a superannuation fund on behalf of a member are mandated employer SG contributions or award contributions, without restriction. Home downsizer contributions are also permitted. All other types of contributions are unable to be made or accepted. Read more about superannuation rules for people over age 65 years.
Work Test Super Contributions Over Age 67
Generally, to make or receive personal super contributions over age 67 (but under age 75), you will need to meet the superannuation work test. The work test is defined as working at least 40 hours over a 30 consecutive day peirod in the financial year the contribution is made and before the contribution is made, unless the work test exemption is satisfied.
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Summary of Age Limits For Super Contributions
|Contribution Type||Under 67||67-69||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 (or work test exemption)||Must Meet Work Test (or work test exemption)||Cannot Be Accepted|
|Spouse Contributions||No Restriction||Receiving Spouse Must Meet Work Test||Cannot Be Accepted||Cannot Be Accepted|
|Home Downsizer Contributions||Cannot Be Accepted||Yes||Yes||Yes|
All contributions are subject to contribution cap limits.