How can I contribute extra money to my superannuation?

Superannuation (super) is Australia’s compulsory retirement savings scheme. While employers contribute a minimum percentage of your salary towards your super, proactively contributing extra can significantly improve your retirement nest egg. This article explores various strategies to increase your super contributions and secure a comfortable future.

Understanding Contribution Types:

There are two main categories of additional contributions you can make to super:

  • Concessional contributions: These are made from your pre-tax income, reducing your taxable income and offering potential tax benefits. The current concessional contribution cap for the 2023-24 financial year is $28,000 per year.
  • Non-concessional contributions: These are made from your after-tax income and are not tax-deductible. However, they offer more flexibility and may be subject to lower tax rates within the super fund (around 15%). There are also annual caps for non-concessional contributions, which vary depending on your age and whether you have used any carry-forward provisions.

Strategies for Increasing Super Contributions:

  1. Salary Sacrifice:

This involves negotiating with your employer to redirect a portion of your pre-tax salary directly into your super. This reduces your take-home pay but increases your concessional contributions, potentially lowering your tax bill.

  1. Personal (Concessional) Contributions:

You can directly contribute to your super fund from your after-tax income. You can claim a tax deduction for these contributions, effectively making them pre-tax.

  1. Spouse Contributions:

If your spouse earns less than you, they may be eligible to receive spouse contributions from you into their super fund. This can be particularly beneficial if your spouse has a lower super balance due to career breaks or caring for children. There are annual caps for spouse contributions, so consult with a financial advisor for details.

  1. Non-concessional Contributions:

This option allows you to contribute extra funds from your after-tax savings or windfalls. While not tax-deductible, the contributions benefit from the lower tax rate within the super fund. This strategy might be suitable for individuals nearing retirement age who have already maxed out their concessional contributions.

  1. Salary Packaging:

Salary packaging involves sacrificing a portion of your salary for benefits like meal allowances, which are taxed at a lower rate. This can free up additional income to contribute to super.

  1. Tax Time Windfalls:

Consider using tax refunds or bonuses to make lump sum contributions to super. This boosts your retirement savings and may further reduce your tax liability.

  1. Regular Savings:

Set up automated transfers from your bank account to your super fund. Even small, regular contributions can significantly increase your super balance over time due to the power of compound interest.

  1. Downsizer Contributions:

If you’re aged 60 or over and selling your principal residence, you may be eligible to make a downsizer contribution of up to $300,000 into your super from the proceeds of the sale.

Important Considerations:

  • Contribution Caps: Be aware of the annual caps for concessional and non-concessional contributions. Exceeding these caps may result in excess contributions tax.
  • Tax Implications: Consult a tax advisor to understand the tax implications of different contribution strategies, particularly for spouse contributions and non-concessional contributions.
  • Super Fund Fees: Research and compare fees charged by different super funds. Lower fees can significantly improve your long-term returns.
  • Investment Strategy: Choose an investment option within your super fund that aligns with your risk tolerance and retirement goals.


Taking charge of your superannuation is crucial for a comfortable retirement. By understanding the different contribution types, utilizing available strategies, and seeking professional advice when needed, you can significantly boost your super savings and secure your financial future.

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