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Types of caps

Caps apply to before-tax contributions and after-tax contributions. If you go over your cap, you may pay extra tax.

Before-tax contributions cap

You can generally contribute up to $25,000 each financial year.

These contributions are taxed at 15%.

If you earn over $250,000, you may pay an extra 15% tax—so in total, you’ll pay 30% tax on some or all of the contributions.

If you go over the before-tax cap

Any contributions you make over the cap will be taxed at your marginal rate, less a 15% tax rebate. You’ll also be charged interest.

At the end of the financial year, the ATO will give you the option to :

  • withdraw up to 85% of your excess contributions for the financial year. This doesn’t apply to Defined Benefit Division members.
  • leave your excess contributions in your super. These will then count towards your after-tax contributions cap.

Carry forward unused cap amounts

You may also be able to carry forward unused portions of your before-tax contribution cap over a rolling five-year period. If eligible, you'll need to have:

  • a total super balance of less than $500,000 across all your super accounts (not just your UniSuper account), at 30 June of the previous financial year
  • contributed less than the before-tax contributions cap for one or more of the previous five years, starting from 2018–19.

Visit the ATO website to learn more.

  • About before-tax contributions

    Before-tax contributions are payments made before your income tax is taken out. Also known as salary sacrifice or concessional contributions, they include:

    • super from your employer
    • salary sacrificed contributions
    • notional taxed contributions (for Defined Benefit Division members)
    • personal contributions for which you’ve validly claimed a tax deduction.

    Read more about before-tax contributions

After-tax contributions cap

You can generally contribute up to $100,000 in after-tax contributions each financial year without having to pay extra tax.

Your total super balance, as at 30 June of the previous financial year, must be less than $1.6 million.

If there are excess before-tax contributions in your super, they count towards your after-tax contributions cap as well.

If you go over the after-tax cap

Any contributions you make over this limit will be taxed at 47%.

If you go over the cap, at the end of the financial year, the ATO will give you the option to:

  • withdraw the amounts over the limit along with 85% of any associated earnings:
  • The associated earnings withdrawn will be taxed at your marginal tax rate.
  • You’ll be entitled to a 15% non-refundable tax offset of the associated earnings.
  • leave your excess contributions in your super. These will be taxed at the highest marginal rate.

Some types of after-tax contributions, like downsizer contributions, aren’t included in the cap. For more information visit the ATO website.

Bring forward unused cap amounts

If you're under 65 and you go over the cap, you may be able to bring forward up to 3 years of after-tax contributions. The amount you can bring forward depends on your total super balance at 30 June of the previous financial year.

Bring-forward entitlements for 2020-21 financial year
Total super balance on 30 June 2020 After-tax contributions cap for the first year1 Bring-forward period
Less than $1.4 million $300,000 3 years
$1.4 million to less than 1.5 million $200,000 2 years
$1.5 million to less than $1.6 million $100,000 No bring-forward period, general after-tax (non-concessional) contributions cap applies
$1.6 million and over Nil N/A

 

1Assumes you haven’t triggered the bring-forward rule for the relevant period.
Note that your total super balance and your contributions cap is based on the balances of all your super accounts, not just your UniSuper account.
document download

Learn more in How super is taxed (PDF, 1.1 MB) or visit the ATO website.

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If you have any questions about contributions caps please call 1800 331 685 or contact us.

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