Government co-contribution

Turn up your super …with some money from the government

If you put some of your own money into your super during the 2016-17 financial year, you could get a top-up from the government.

If you’re eligible, and you put some of your own after-tax money into your super, the government could match it by 50% up to a maximum of $500.

Jenny’s story 

Jenny is an eligible person with a total annual income of $30,000. She puts an extra $1,000 into her super during the 2014/15 financial year. The government matches 50% of it. So that’s a bonus $500 for Jenny, and her UniSuper account balance goes up by $1,500.

How much can you get?

If you make up to $1,000 in after-tax contributions to your super during the financial year, and meet certain conditions, the government will match your contribution by 50%.

There are different income thresholds and matching rates depending on the year you made your contribution.

Government co-contribution income thresholds

 Year  Maximum entitlement Matching rate  Lower income threshold  Higher income threshold
 2016-17  $500  50%  $36,021  $51,021
 2015-16  $500  50%  $35,454  $50,454

The government co-contribution reduces by 3.333 cents for every dollar you earn above the lower income threshold for that year, until you reach the higher income threshold.

To give you an idea of how much of a top-up you may be entitled to if you contribute $1,000 to your super, based on income thresholds, take a look at the tables below (rounded to the nearest whole dollar).

2016-17 income year

Up to $36,021 $500
$39,021 $400
$45,021 $200
$51,021 or more $0

*Total annual income amount is the sum of your assessable income, your reportable fringe benefits and your total reportable employer super contributions for the income year (less any excess concessional contributions included in assessable income), minus any allowable business deductions.

#The government will put in 50c for every $1 you contribute (after-tax) this financial year, up to this maximum. Some eligibility conditions apply.

Are you eligible?

The first thing you need to do to make sure you’re eligible.

To see if you could be eligible, answer a few questions. If you can answer yes to all of these, chances are you’re eligible for a payment from the government:

  • Did you lodge an income tax return for this last financial year?
  • Is your total income less than the higher income threshold for the relevant financial year? This includes assessable income, reportable fringe benefits and reportable employer super contributions.
    • If yes, is at least 10% of this from eligible employment-related activities and/or carrying on a business?
  • During this financial year, have you made any eligible personal  super contributions and not claimed a deduction for all of it? Take a look at what the government counts as an eligible personal super contribution.
  • Do we have your tax file number?
  • At the end of the financial year, will you be aged below 71 years?
  • Are you an Australian permanent resident, a New Zealand citizen, or the holder of a prescribed visa?
  • Did you make an eligible voluntary member contribution into your account? Take a look at our Lump sum voluntary member contribution form to see.
If you want to know more about eligibility, take a look at the ATO website.

How to claim the government co-contribution

You don’t even have to do anything to claim the government co-contribution. If you’ve made an after-tax super contribution during the financial year, the government will take a look at your tax return and assess whether you qualify.

In most cases, the ATO will pay the government co-contribution amount directly to the super fund you made your eligible personal super contribution to.

If you have more than one super fund and you want your co-contribution paid to UniSuper, you need to inform the ATO by completing their Superannuation fund nomination form.

You can find this form, and more on receiving the co-contribution, at the ATO website.

It’s easy to make contributions

Take a look at how to make an after-tax contribution into your super: