A How-To On Boosting Spousal Superannuation

Posted on 21 June '24 by , under super.

Boosting retirement savings is a priority for many Australian couples.

One effective strategy is co-contributing to your spouse’s superannuation account, which can balance super balances between partners and offer tax benefits.

What Can Co-Contributing To My Spouse’s Super Do?

  1. Increased Retirement Savings: Helps ensure both partners have sufficient funds for retirement.
  2. Tax Offset: You may be eligible for a tax offset of up to $540 on contributions up to $3,000 if your spouse earns $37,000 or less, phasing out at $40,000.
  3. Balanced Super Balances: Particularly useful if one partner has lower contributions due to career breaks.
  4. Government Co-Contribution: Low-income earners may qualify for additional government contributions.

Eligibility and Contribution Limits

  • Eligibility: To be eligible for the spouse tax offset, the receiving spouse must be under the age of 75 and meet the work test requirements if they are aged between 67 and 74. The contributing spouse must also ensure that the receiving spouse’s income does not exceed the threshold limits.
  • Contribution Limits: The spouse contributions are subject to the non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap, which is $110,000 per financial year (as of 2024). Exceeding this cap may result in additional tax penalties.

Making Spouse Contributions

Direct Contribution:

  • You can directly contribute to your spouse’s superannuation account through their super fund. Most super funds offer easy methods for making spouse contributions, such as online payments or direct deposits.

Inform the Super Fund:

  • Ensure that the contribution is designated as a spouse contribution to qualify for the tax offset. This may involve filling out specific forms provided by the super fund.

Keep Records:

  • Maintain records of the contributions made to ensure accurate reporting during tax time and to substantiate any claims for tax offsets.

Important Considerations

  1. Spouse Income Assessment:
    • Carefully assess your spouse’s income to determine eligibility for the tax offset. Income includes assessable income, reportable fringe benefits, and reportable employer super contributions.
  2. Impact on Superannuation Caps:
    • Be mindful of the contribution caps to avoid exceeding the limits and incurring additional taxes. Monitor both concessional and non-concessional contributions to stay within the allowed limits.
  3. Long-Term Planning:
    • Consider how co-contributing fits into your overall retirement strategy. Balancing contributions between partners can have long-term benefits, but aligning this with your retirement goals and financial plans is essential.

Co-contributing to your spouse’s superannuation is a strategic way to enhance your combined retirement savings and take advantage of available tax benefits.

By understanding the rules, eligibility criteria, and potential advantages, you can make informed decisions that strengthen your financial future together.

Regularly reviewing and adjusting your contributions in response to changing circumstances will help ensure that both partners enjoy a comfortable and secure retirement. For more tailored guidance