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Personal superannuation contributions overview

Adding your own contributions to your super fund is a simple and effective way to boost your superannuation.

Personal super contributions are amounts an individual contributes to their super fund from their after-tax income. These contributions are in addition to any compulsory super contributions an individual’s employer makes on their behalf and do not include super contributions made through a salary-sacrifice arrangement.

Personal contributions are non-concessional (after-tax) contributions that count towards a person’s non-concessional contributions cap unless they have claimed a tax deduction for them.

While employees generally can’t claim a tax deduction for personal super contributions, they may be eligible for a super co-contribution.

Those who are under the age of 65 can make personal after-tax contributions to their super fund if they’re not working. Those who are 65 years of age or over can only make personal after-tax super contributions if they aren’t yet 75 years of age and have been gainfully employed for at least 40 hours over 30 consecutive days during the financial year.

Some people may be eligible to claim a tax deduction for contributions made to their super if they are not an employee. This includes people who get their income from:

Posted on 18 October '16 by , under Super.

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Superfund categories and what they mean

There are four different categories of super funds. These have different primary features and are more applicable to certain people than they are to others.

Retail super funds

Anyone can join retail funds. They are mostly run by banks and investment companies:

  • Allow for a wide range of investment options.
  • Financial advisors may recommend this type of fund as they receive commissions or might get paid fees for them.
  • Although they usually range from medium to high cost, there may be low-cost alternatives.
  • The companies that own these funds will aim to keep some of the profit they yield

Industry super funds

Anyone can join bigger industry funds, but smaller ones may only be open to people in certain industries i.e. health.

  • Most are accumulation funds but some older ones may have defined benefit members
  • Range from low to medium cost
  • Not-for-profit, so all profits are put back into the fund

Public sector super funds

Only available for government employees

  • Employers contribute more than the 9.5% minimum
  • Modest range of investment choices
  • Newer members are usually in an accumulation fund, but many of the long-term members have defined benefits
  • Low fees
  • Profits are put back into the fund

Corporate super funds

Arranged by employers for employees. Large companies may operate corporate funds under the board of trustees. Some corporate funds are operated by retail or industry funds, but availability is restricted to employees

  • If managed by bigger fund, wide range of investment options
  • Older funds have defined benefits, but most are accumulation funds
  • Low to medium costs for large employers, could be high cost for small employers

Self-managed super funds

Private super fund you manage yourself. Many more nuances to this type of fund. Most prominent feature is the autonomy over investment.

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