Contributing to your spouse’s super

Contributing to your spouse’s super can help boost their balance, as well as potentially providing you with a tax offset.

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.

Spouse contribution

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.


Contribution splitting

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.

Eligibility criteria

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

Preservation age

Before 1 July 1963

Already Reached

1 July 1963 - 30 June 1964

59

1 July 1964 and onwards

60

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.

Disclaimer: This content has been prepared and sent on behalf of Mercer Superannuation (Australia) Limited (‘Mercer Super’), ABN 79 004 717 533, Australian Financial Services Licence #235906, the trustee of the Mercer Super Trust ABN 19 905 422 981. Any advice contained in this content is of a general nature only, and does not take into account the personal needs and circumstances of any particular individual. Prior to acting on any information contained in this content, you need to take into account your own financial circumstances. Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement, Product Guide, Insurance Guide, and Financial Services Guide before making a decision about the product, or seek professional advice from a licensed, or appropriately authorised financial adviser if you are unsure of what action to take. 'MERCER' is a registered trademark of Mercer (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 32 005 315 917. Copyright 2022 Mercer LLC. All rights reserved.