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Spouse super contributions

If your partner has taken time off work, whether to raise children, study or for another reason, it’s likely their super balance is not growing as much as it could be. But the good news is you can help grow their retirement nest egg by making what’s known as spouse super contributions. Below we'll take a look at what spouse contributions are and how to know if you're eligible to make them.

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3 minute read

Key takeaways:

  • Spouse super contributions are a way to keep your partner’s super balance growing if they are out of work or working reduced hours.
  • You can make contributions to your spouse’s super if they are under the age of 75.
  • Making spouse super contributions could also give you a tax offset if your spouse earns below $40,000 per year.

What are spouse superannuation contributions?

Spouse super contributions are payments you make into your partner’s super account. It’s a clever way to keep their retirement nest egg growing while they are either out of work or working reduced hours.

By definition, a spouse refers to someone you are legally married to or in a de facto relationship with.

Why should I make spouse super contributions and what are the benefits?

Both you and your partner could benefit from you making super contributions into their account. Along with boosting your partner’s super balance, making spouse super contributions could also reduce your own tax bill by giving you a tax offset.

If your partner earns less than $40,000 a year and you make after-tax contributions to their super account, you may be eligible to claim a tax offset of up to $540. The table below gives a breakdown of how the tax offset works.

Effective date Total income of recipient spouse Tax offset1 available to contributing spouse
Up to 30 June 2017 $0 - $10,800 Up to $540
$10,800 - $13,800 Between $540 - $02
$13,800 + Nil
From 1 July 2017 $0 - $37,000 Up to $540
$37,000 - $40,000 Between $540 - $02
$40,000 + Nil

Am I eligible to make spouse super contributions?

There are a few things you should keep in mind before making spouse super contributions, including:

  • Your spouse must be under the age of 75.
  • You and your spouse must both live in Australia
  • Your contribution must be from after-tax dollars
  • You and your spouse must not live separately on a permanent basis

It’s also worth considering that you won’t be eligible to claim the tax offset if your spouse has exceeded their non-concessional contributions cap for the financial year, or if their super balance is $1.7 million (for the 2022-23 financial year) or more on 30 June of the previous financial year in which the contribution was made.3 View the ATO's website for more information.

How can I make a spouse super contribution?

Making spouse super contributions is fairly simple. Every super fund will have a different process, so the best place to start is by contacting your spouse’s fund to find out how it accepts spouse super contributions.

If you and your partner are both Australian Retirement Trust members, it’s easy to make and receive spouse contributions. Simply make a BPAY payment online on our website using the correct Biller Code and your Australian Retirement Trust member account number, or complete and download the Spouse Contribution Form.

If you or your partner are not Australian Retirement Trust members, you can both easily join online in just a few minutes.

1 Tax offset applies to a maximum contribution of $3,000 p.a.

2 Tax offset proportionally decreases, cutting out when the spouse earns the higher threshold amount.

3 ATO, Super-related measures, April 2021

Before joining Australian Retirement Trust, consider the potential loss of insurance and other benefits that you may have in your other funds. The information contained on this website is general information only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial circumstances or needs. You should consider your own objectives, financial circumstances and needs, before making a decision about the financial product. Also, think about where your future employer contributions will be paid. You should consider the Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determination before deciding whether to acquire, or continue to hold the product. For more information or financial advice from Australian Retirement Trust, call us on 13 11 84.

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