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Superannuation is one of the most tax-effective vehicles for retirement savings, but it's far from simple.

Here we summarise the confusing range of tax rates and thresholds that can affect the amount of tax you pay on your super savings in the accumulation phase (when you're working) and retirement phase (when you take money out).

Complying Superannuation Fund Rates of Tax


Type of Receipt



Earnings (except non-arm's length income and exempt pension income)

  • Income received, including realised (non-discount) capital gains
  • Discount capital gains (asset held more than 12 months)1



Employer Contributions2,3

–    All employer contributions (except any portion covered by S.295-180 choice4)


Personal Contributions2

  • The portion covered by S.290-170 notice (of intention to claim a deduction)3
  • All other personal contributions (no S.290-170 notice)



Other Contributions

  • Spouse contributions (where a contributor cannot deduct the contribution) (S.295-165)
  • Contributions for minor (not by an employer) (S.295-170)
  • Government Co-contributions (S.295-170)
  • Generally, all other contributions (except any portion covered by S.295-180 choice4)





Roll-overs originating from taxable source (e.g., another complying fund)

  • tax-free component and taxable component (taxed element)
  • taxable component (untaxed element)5



Non-arm's Length Income (less attributable deductions) – S.295-550


  1. This is the effective tax rate (calculated as 15% fund rate x two-thirds of discount capital gain).
  2. The additional tax applies to contributions received for a member who has not quoted their TFN. However, an offset is generally available if the TFN is provided within three years after the year of the contribution.
  3. Additional ('Div. 293') tax of 15% may apply to concessional contributions made in respect of a member whose ‘income’ exceeds $250,000. The tax is assessed to the member, but they may choose to have the fund pay it.
  4. The choice applies to contributions made to a public sector super scheme (except one that commenced after 5 September 2006). The portion of contributions covered by a S.295-180 choice is not assessable.
  5. A rollover benefit is taxed in the receiving fund to the extent it is not an 'excess untaxed rollover amount'.



Concessional Contributions - General Cap

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


Income Year

Cap Amount1,2



  1. From 2018/19, individuals with a total superannuation balance of less than $500,000 can make additional concessional contributions if they have unused cap amounts. Unused carried forward amounts expire after five years.
  2. Increased from $25,000 from 1 July 2021 as a result of indexation.



Non-concessional Contributions ('NCCs') - General Cap

NCCs include personal contributions for which taxpayers do not claim a tax deduction1.


Income Year

Cap Amount



  1. An individual's NCCs cap will be $0 if their Total Superannuation Balance on 30 June 2021 was greater than or equal to the general transfer balance cap of $1.7 million (increased from $1.6 million as from 1 July 2021).
  2. Increased from $100,000 as from 1 July 2021, as a result of indexation.


Non-concessional Contributions ('NCCs') - Bring-forward

An individual's NCCs cap may be higher under the 'bring-forward rule', broadly if:

  • an NCC is made in excess of the annual cap (e.g., $110,000 for 2021/22);
  • the individual is under 67 years of age (increased from 65 years as from 1 July 2020) at any time in the income year in which the rule is first triggered (the 'work test' may also need to be considered)1; and
  • they are not already in an active bring-forward period.

The period over which the ‘bring-forward rule’ applies varies, broadly depending on the member’s Total Superannuation Balance (‘TSB’) on 30 June of the income year before the year in which the rule is triggered.

The table below sets out the NCCs cap where the bring-forward rule is triggered in 2021/22 :


Total Superannuation Balance on 30 June 2021

NCCs Cap for the Bring-forward Period2

Bring-forward Period

Less than $1.48 million


3 years

$1.48 million to less than $1.59 million


2 years

$1.59 million to less than $1.7 million



(i.e., general NCCs cap applies)

$1.7 million or more



  1. Pursuant to recent legislative changes as from 1 July 2022, individuals up to the age of 75 years (previously 67 years) will be able to make NCCs averaged over three years under the 'bring-forward rule'.
  2. NCCs made over the bring-forward period must not exceed the remaining cap. Note also that access to the remaining cap in the second or third year of the bring-forward period is subject to the individual's Total Superannuation Balance on 30 June of the previous income year being less than the general transfer balance cap for that year.
  3. The general transfer balance cap (TBC) increased from $1.6 million to $1.7 million as from 1 July 2021. As from 1 July 2021 every individual has their own personal TBC of between $1.6 million and $1.7 million, depending on their circumstances.

CGT Cap Amount

An individual may elect for certain contributions made in connection with applying the CGT small business 15-year or retirement exemptions to count towards their lifetime CGT cap, rather than their non-concessional contributions cap.

Income Year

Amount of Cap


$1.615 million


Government Co-contribution

If an individual is a low or middle-income earner (and satisfies other eligibility requirements), and makes personal (non-concessional) contributions, the Government will make a co-contribution of $0.50 for every $1 contributed, up to a maximum amount. The co-contribution income thresholds and maximum amount for 2021/22 are as follows:

Total Income1

Maximum Co-contribution2

$0 – $41,112


$41,113 – $56,111

$500 – [3.333% x (Total Income – $41,112]

$56,112 +


  1. 'Total Income' is the sum of assessable income, the reportable fringe benefits total and reportable employer superannuation contributions. If the individual carries on a business, deductions may be taken into account in certain circumstances.
  2. An individual is ineligible for a co-contribution for 2021/22 if their non-concessional contributions ('NCCs') exceed their NCC cap or their Total Superannuation Balance on 30 June 2021 is generally $1.7 million or more (increased from $1.6 million as from 1 July 2021).

General Transfer Balance Cap

The general transfer balance cap is used for various purposes, including to determine:

  • the total capital amount that can be transferred into the retirement (pension) phase; and
  • eligibility for making non-concessional contributions.

Income Year

General Transfer Balance Cap1


$1.7 million

1    Increased from $1.6 million from 1 July 2021 as a result of indexation.


Lump-Sum Superannuation Benefits – Low Rate Cap Amount

The application of the low rate threshold for superannuation lump sum payments is capped. The low rate cap amount is reduced by any amount previously applied to the low rate threshold.


Income Year

Cap Amount1



1    From 1 July 2022, the low rate cap amount will be $230,000 as a result of indexation.


Superannuation Guarantee Rate

Employers who provide less than a prescribed level of superannuation support (the 'charge percentage') for their eligible employees, will be liable to pay a superannuation guarantee charge based on the shortfall.


Income Year

Charge Percentage1



1    From 1 July 2022, the charge percentage will be 10.5%.

Superannuation Guarantee – Maximum Contributions Base

Income Year

Maximum Employee Earnings (per quarter)1,2



  1. For superannuation guarantee purposes, employers do not have to provide superannuation support for a quarter on that part of an individual employee’s earnings base above this limit.
  2. From 1 July 2022, the maximum contribution base will be $60,220.

Please get in touch with our North Coast Accounting team and schedule a meeting to review the changes coming into effect as of 1 July 2022.

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