Six ways to build your super

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Many people rely on their employer’s contributions to build their super. But there are many other ways to increase your savings, here are six tips to help retire comfortably.

You may be surprised by what you can do with your super. While the different taxes, laws and types of contributions may be confusing, you can start taking control and even boost your super savings by understanding the basics.

Infographic_Six ways to build your super3

1. Super guarantee

With a few exceptions, your employer must contribute 9.5 per cent of your pre-tax salary to your super. This is known as the ‘super guarantee’ and is taxed at 15 per cent.[1] Most people build their super purely through employer contributions but there are other ways to accumulate super.

2.Salary sacrifice

Ask your employer to increase the contribution. This is called ‘salary sacrifice’ because you make voluntary contributions to your super by sacrificing part of your pre-tax salary. This contribution is also taxed at 15 per cent.[2] The pre-tax limit on contributions for anyone under the age of 50 is $30,000 per year, and $35,000 per year for those over 50.[3]

3.After tax contributions

Make voluntary contributions to your super from your after-tax income. These contributions won’t be taxed again as you’ve already paid tax on the money at your normal rate. The after-tax contribution limit is $180,000 per year.[4] But bring forward provisions could allow contributions up to $540,000.
If you are a high-income earner, salary sacrifice may be more tax-effective than voluntary after-tax payments as your income may be taxed at the highest marginal tax rate of up to 47 per cent (plus Medicare levy).[5]

4.Low income super contribution scheme

If you are a low-income earner, you could benefit from the low income super contribution scheme where the government will refund the 15 per cent tax up to $500.[6] Take advantage now as this scheme will end in 2017.[7]


Take advantage of government concessions such as the co-contribution scheme. If you make voluntary after-tax contributions you could receive a contribution from the government, depending on your income.[8]

6.Spouse contributions

If your spouse is on a low income, contribute to their super. This will reduce your income tax and you may even be entitled to a tax offset. You could also split your employer super contributions with your spouse.[9]

There are many other strategies to boost retirement savings and achieve tax-effective outcomes, including transition to retirement plans. A financial adviser could help you build your super today for a more comfortable future.


[1] ASIC, Money Smart, (n.d.), How Super Works. Accessed at

[2] Industry SuperFunds, (n.d.), Tax and Super. Accessed at

[3] Power, Trish, (July, 2015), The short story on super contributions limits (2015/2016). Accessed at

[4] Ibid.

[5] ANZ, (n.d.), Boost your super savings before the end of the financial year. ANZ Source Document.

[6] Power, Trish, (September, 2016), Super for beginners: Top 10 must-know facts. Accessed at

[7] Industry SuperFunds, (n.d), Changes to Super. Accessed at

[8] ASIC, Money Smart, (n.d.), How Super Works. Accessed at

[9] ANZ, (n.d.), Boost your super savings before the end of the financial year. ANZ Source Document.

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