Tax may apply to your super in a few ways
You'll usually pay tax on your super contributions, but tax can also apply to your:
- investment earnings
- rollovers containing untaxed elements
There are concessions and offsets you may be eligible to receive.
Super contributions tax
Before-tax super contributions
These are generally taxed at 15% if you earn less than $250,000.
This tax rate generally applies to up to $27,500 in before-tax super contributions each financial year. This is known as the concessional contributions cap.
Any superannuation contributions over $27,500 are taxed at your marginal rate at the end of the financial year (less the 15% you’ve already paid). The ATO may also charge you interest.
Tax refund for those earning under $37,000
Tax for those earning over $250,000You’ll generally pay an extra 15% tax on some or all your before-tax contributions if your income and super contributions are more than $250,000 a year. The ATO will let you know if you need to pay this tax after you do your tax return each year. See the ATO for more information.
Defined Benefit Division members
Your before-tax contributions include a notional taxable contribution (NTC).
The NTC is representative of your employer’s contributions in respect to your defined benefit interest and used to determine your concessional contributions. We calculate your NTC using a government-defined formula (not the same as the DBD formula).
As a result of the factors which make up the formula, NTC amounts are generally lower than your actual employer contributions and any default member contributions you make, so you might be able to contribute more without going over the $27,500 cap.
The NTC does not include after-tax contributions you have claimed a tax deduction for.
NTC amounts vary depending on your employer contribution rate. You can check your cap amount in your online account or download the fact sheet related to your membership:
After-tax super contributions
You can generally contribute $110,000 a year (or up to $330,000 over three years if you’re eligible) in after-tax contributions without paying any extra tax.
Super contributions over these caps are taxed at 47%, but there are things you can do if you go over your cap. See more about contributions caps.
Tax deductions and offsets
Tax on investment earnings
These are usually taxed at 15% for accumulation and transition to retirement pension accounts. The tax is deducted before your earnings are allocated to your account.
Generally, no tax applies to earnings in Flexi Pension accounts.
Tax on withdrawals
If you’re aged 60 or over, you can usually withdraw your super as a lump sum tax-free.
For others, tax may apply depending on your circumstance:
- If you withdraw a lump sum before you turn 60, you may pay tax on any taxable component of your super.
- If you’ve reached your preservation age, your first $225,000 is tax-free and the rest is taxed at 17% (including Medicare Levy) or your marginal tax rate, whichever is lower.
- If you’re under your preservation age you’ll be taxed 22% (including Medicare Levy) or your marginal tax rate, whichever is lower.
- If you’re claiming the Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP), it’s taxed at 35% or 65% if you’re a working holidaymaker.
Tax may apply to your retirement income stream, so check the relevant product disclosure statement for the details.