Changes to Superannuation Contribution Rules for Over 65’s

There are requirements and age restrictions you will want to be across if you’re looking to boost your super leading up to, or during ‘retirement’.

If you’re 65 or over, you can typically get full access to the funds in your superannuation. However, you may not be ready to retire just yet, or you could be looking to make voluntary contributions towards your retirement plan. The superannuation rules for those aged over 65 will vary based on the different types of contributions you make, so it is helpful to get familiar with these.

If you’re working, the superannuation rules for employer contributions remain the same – you can continue to build your superannuation with compulsory employer contributions (using the Super Guarantee rate, if you’re eligible).

If you’re considering voluntary superannuation contributions through salary sacrifice (where you choose to contribute a portion of your pre-tax income), or after-tax super contributions (such as cash from an inheritance or property), you must be under 75 years of age and meet specific requirements under the ‘work test’ or ‘work test exemption’.

Once you reach age 75, you’re generally ineligible to make voluntary contributions into your super (except for downsizer contributions).

The Federal Government has recently updated superannuation laws to allow older Australians to contribute to their superannuation for longer.

Work test to apply from age 67

The government has increased the age up to which superannuation contributions can be made without having to meet a “work test” from ages 65 to 67.

What is a ‘work test’?

The work test requires you to be in paid work for a minimum of 40 hours in any consecutive 30-day period in the financial year to make voluntary super contributions.

What is changing?

From 1 July 2020, the work test now only applies for people aged between 67 and 74.

People aged 65 or 66 will now be allowed to make voluntary super contributions—both concessional and non-concessional—regardless of whether they are working or not. The usual contribution caps will continue to apply, which are as follows: 

Concessional contributions cap

Concessional contributions include:

  • employer contributions (including contributions made under a salary sacrifice arrangement)
  • personal contributions claimed as a tax deduction.

If you have more than one fund, all concessional contributions made to all of your funds are added together and counted towards your concessional contributions cap.

Concessional contributions caps
Income yearDateYour age at this dateYour concessional contribution cap
2020–21N/AAll ages$25,000

Non-concessional contributions cap

Non-concessional contributions include personal contributions for which you do not claim an income tax deduction.

If you have more than one fund, all non-concessional contributions made to all of your funds are added together and counted towards the non-concessional contributions cap.

Non-concessional contributions cap
Income yearAmount of cap    

* If you are under 65 years old, you may be able to make non-concessional contributions of up to three times the annual non-concessional contributions cap in a single year. If eligible, when you make contributions greater than the annual cap, you automatically gain access to future year caps. This is known as the ‘bring-forward’ option.

Work test exemption continues to apply

The ‘work test exemption’ for recent retirees will continue to apply for people aged 67 to 74.

This allows people with a total super balance below $300,000 on 30 June of the previous financial year to make voluntary super contributions for 12 months from the end of the financial year in which they last met the work test. It can only be applied once.

For spouse contributions, the work test exemption applies to the receiving spouse.

If you have any queries relating to these recent changes or would like to see how these changes may be of benefit to you, please contact your Stonehouse Adviser for assistance.

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