Most people think about putting money into their own account. However, the government also allows eligible people to contribute to their spouse’s account.
This is particularly useful for couples where one spouse is a low-income earner, has reduced hours or is taking some time out of the workforce. It is designed to ensure their balance continues to grow over time.
In addition to helping boost your spouse’s account balance, you may also be eligible for a tax offset of up to $540.
There are two types of contributions you can potentially make to your spouse’s super – either a post-tax contribution – often referred to as a ‘spouse contribution’, or taking some of your super and transferring it to your spouse – known as ‘contribution splitting’.
Both of these contribution types have an eligibility criteria and rules surrounding them, so it’s important to understand how they work before deciding which type of contribution to make.
A spouse contribution is made with your already-taxed money and when contributed will count towards your spouse’s non-concessional contribution cap.
Tax offset eligibility
If you make a contribution to your spouse’s super you may be able to claim a tax offset of up to $540 on up to $3000 of contributions as part of your tax return. To be eligible for this tax offset you must meet all of the following criteria:
The contribution made to your spouse’s super must be a non-concessional contribution.
Both of you must be Australian residents.
You must be married to, or in a de facto relationship with the account holder who receives the contribution.
Your spouse must be under age 75.
Your spouse’s income must be $37,000 or less for the financial year you intend to claim the tax deduction (if your spouse’s income is between $37,001 and $39,999 you may be eligible for a partial tax offset).
If your spouse’s income is too high for you to receive a tax offset, you will still be able to make non-concessional contributions to their account.
Depending on your circumstances, you may want to give your spouse some of your own super – this is known as contribution splitting.
This allows you to split up to 85% of your concessional contributions for the previous financial year, such as super contributions from your employer, salary sacrifice payments and voluntary contributions you’ve claimed a tax deduction on, with your spouse.
This is unique because you’re making a concessional contribution from your account to your spouse’s and the amount transferred doesn’t count towards their concessional contribution cap. Please note the transferring of funds from your account does not reduce the amount of your concessional contribution cap used.
For your spouse to be eligible, they need to be under their preservation age, or between their preservation age and 65, and not retired.
The below table has been prepared to help you determine when your spouse will reach preservation age:
Date of birth
Before 1 July 1963
1 July 1963 - 30 June 1964
1 July 1964 and onwards
If your spouse does not meet the above criteria they will not be eligible to receive your split contributions.
Making the contribution
If your spouse is a member of the Mercer Super Trust, and you’d like to make a spouse contribution on their behalf, please download and complete the Your spouse’s contributions to the Mercer Super Trust form. If your spouse has a super account with another fund we recommend checking with the other fund how you should make the contribution.
For contribution splitting please download and complete the Splitting super contributions in the Mercer Super Trust form.
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