Give your super a boost with a top up from the Government


What is the super co-contribution scheme?

If you're eligible, and you make an after-tax contribution to super, the Government may also make a co-contribution to your account.

For the 2014/15 financial year, the co-contribution is set at 50c for each $1 of after-tax contributions up to a maximum of $500 for a $1,000 contribution.

To be entitled to the maximum co-contribution, your total income must be less than $34,488. Your total income includes assessable income, reportable fringe benefits and any salary sacrifice super contributions you make.

Eligibility conditions for a government co-contribution are:

  • You make an after-tax contribution to a super fund in the income year, for which you do not claim a tax deduction,
  • You earn a total income of less than $49,488,
  • You receive at least 10% of income from employment (either as an employee or self-employed),
  • You are under age 71 at the end of the financial year in which you make the contribution,
  • You lodge your tax return for the year in which you make the contribution, and
  • You do not hold a temporary visa at any time during the income year, unless you are a New Zealand citizen or holder of a prescribed visa.

The scheme is means tested and co-contributions are calculated on a sliding scale, so the more total income you have the less co-contribution you will get. A maximum co-contribution of $500 per annum is available to those who make a $1,000 after-tax contribution to super, with total income of $34,488* or less. The co-contribution then reduces by 3.333 cents for every dollar of total income above the minimum threshold of $34,488 and cuts out altogether at $49,488* pa of total income.

*2014/2015 thresholds


Who should consider applying for the co-contribution?

Let's look at the following three case studies.


1. Worker on a steady wage Richard, 47, is a mechanic and has a total income of $42,000, including salary, fringe benefits and interest. Based on his total income, he is entitled to a maximum Government co-contribution of $250 but he must first make a personal contribution to super of at least $500 to be entitled to it. If Richard makes an after-tax contribution of only $200, he will get a co-contribution of $100.

2. New parent working a few days per week Amy, single and 30 years of age, had baby Oliver in June 2013. She returned to work on 1 July 2014 for a publisher and works two days a week, with a total income of $28,000 per annum. If Amy makes a personal contribution to super of $1,000, she'll be entitled to receive a co-contribution of $500.

3. Spouse working part time Bill, 60, is CEO of an IT firm and plans to start a transition to retirement strategy shortly. His spouse, Judy, is also 60 but considers herself semi-retired. She has a part-time job working one day per week in sales. Judy has a total income of $25,000 p.a. which includes investment income and $5,980 of salary. As more than 10 per cent of Judy's income comes from employment, she is entitled to the maximum $500 Government co-contribution if she makes a personal contribution to super of $1,000.

Take advantage if you can

Even small contributions can grow steadily over time to increase your overall super savings. The earlier you start contributing, the more time your super has to grow.

Got a question about the Government co-contribution? Contact us.

This information has been prepared by Mercer Outsourcing (Australia) Pty Ltd (MOAPL) ABN 83 068 908 912, Australian Financial Services Licence #411980. Any advice contained in this document is of a general nature only, and does not take into account the personal needs and circumstances of any particular individual. Prior to acting on any information contained in this document, you need to take into account your own financial circumstances, consider the Product Disclosure Statement for any product you are considering, and seek professional advice from a licensed, or appropriately authorised financial adviser if you are unsure of what action to take. Mercer financial advisers are authorised representatives of Mercer Financial Advice (Australia) Pty Ltd (MFAAPL) ABN 76 153 168 293, Australian Financial Services Licence #411766. "MERCER" is a registered trademark of Mercer (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 32 005 315 917. Copyright 2014 Mercer LLC. All rights reserved.

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