Yes. You can contribute make before- or after-tax contributions as long as you’re under 75. If you’re between 65 and 75, you’ll need to meet the ‘work test’. Before making extra contributions you’ll need to consider the contributions caps.
Before-tax contributions are contributions you make to your super from your before-tax salary. Under tax law, they’re treated as concessional contributions. These contributions may reduce the income tax you pay, while giving your super savings a boost. This is known as ‘salary sacrificing’ and is organised through your employer’s payroll department.
The government, however, imposes limits, known as ‘contributions caps’, on the total contributions you can make each financial year to your super. If you exceed these limits, you’ll need to pay a higher rate of tax.
You can contribute up to $25,000 of concessional contributions in the 2017-18 financial year and incur the 15% contributions tax, provided we have your TFN and the very high income earners tax does not apply to you (see How super is taxed) for details. Any concessional contributions exceeding this limit will be added to your assessable income and taxed at your marginal rate.
From 1 July 2018, if you have a total super balance of less than $500,000 on 30 June of the previous financial year, you can carry forward any unused concessional contributions under your cap on a rolling basis for five years. This means that from 1 July 2019 you may be able to access unused concessional contributions for one or more of the past five financial years on a rolling basis.
If you’re DBD member, your concessional contributions are calculated based on your ‘notional taxed contributions’ rather than the total amount of before-tax contributions you make. For more information, read:
You can also make after-tax contributions to your super if you’re under 75. If you’re between 65 and 75, you need to meet the ‘work test'.
After-tax contributions are voluntary contributions you can make from your salary after income tax has been deducted. Your after-tax contributions are treated as ‘non-concessional’ contributions in applying the contributions cap.
If your total super balance at 30 June of the previous financial year is less than the general transfer balance cap (which is currently $1.6 million), you can generally contribute up to the annual non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap of $100,000.
If you’re under 65, you may be able to ‘bring forward’ up to three years of non-concessional contributions if your non-concessional contributions exceed the cap in a financial year. The cap amount you can bring forward, and whether you have a two- or three-year bring forward period, will depend on your total super balance at the end of June of the previous financial year.
For more information about before-tax and after-tax contributions and caps, visit the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website.