Spouse contributions and super splitting
There are 2 main ways you can help grow your spouse’s super: make a spouse contribution, or split your own contributions with your spouse.
A spouse contribution is when you pay money into your spouse or partner’s super account from your after-tax income. If they earn less than $40,000 a year or are not working right now,1 you can claim an 18% tax offset of up to $540 if you add $3,000 to their super.
The tax offset starts when your spouse earns less than $37,000 a year, and it reduces as they earn more, ending when they earn $40,000 a year or more.
Spouse Retirement Calculator
Find out how much you and your spouse could have in retirement, based on both of your situations. The calculator will ask you if you want to include your partner’s details.Try it now
How to add to your spouse's super
We make it easy to make a spouse contribution or split your super contributions.
These may be helpful
You can find this on your spouse or partner’s end-of-financial-year PAYG summary, or you may be able to add it up from their payslips for the year.
Make sure you check the limits for the year for their non-concessional super contributions and total super balance.
Making a spouse contribution
Charlie (30) works as a teacher, earning $80,000 a year, while their partner Amy (28) works casually and earns $37,000 a year.
They’ve been living together for 5 years, and Charlie wants to help grow Amy’s super balance and also get the tax benefits. Together, they decide to do this with regular spouse contributions, putting $120 a fortnight after-tax into Amy’s super account.
Since Amy is a low-income earner, the first $3,000 of Charlie’s spouse contribution gets the maximum tax offset of 18%. This reduces the tax payable on Charlie’s income by $540, and Amy ends up with an extra $3,120 in her super for the year.
How do we know if a spouse contribution vs super splitting is right for us?
Deciding what's best for you depends on your personal circumstances, so you might want to get financial advice about your and your partner’s super. Check out the advice options included with your membership. Not a member yet? Join today.
Some of the benefits of growing your spouse’s super can include:
Insurance in super
If they have insurance on their account for illness and injury, or even death, keeping their account balance up means they can pay the cost to keep their insurance.
Save on tax and Centrelink
You receive a tax offset when you make a spouse contribution if it meets the criteria. Contribution splitting might mean you or your spouse is more likely to get the government’s Age Pension.
Stay within the limits
Contribution splitting can help you avoid going over the limit on the total super balance each person can have.
Earlier access to super
If you’ve split super contributions with your spouse and they retire before you, it means together, you effectively get earlier access than if you waited until your retirement to access that super.
FAQs about super for your spouse or partner
What is a spouse?
A spouse is someone you're legally married to or your de facto partner. De facto means you live together as a couple, including same-sex relationships.
How do I transfer super to my spouse?
The main things to consider are your current budget and your income level, and you can get financial advice about whether salary sacrificing to your super is right for your situation.
You need to make sure you'd have enough left in your take-home pay if you salary sacrificed. There's no point saving extra for the future if you leave yourself short today.
And if you earn less than $45,000 a year, there's less of a tax benefit to salary sacrificing. Instead, you might think about making after-tax contributions, which could make you eligible for the government's super co-contribution.
How much can I make in spouse contributions?
There's no limit on how much you can pay as a spouse contribution, as long as it's under your spouse's non-concessional contribution limit for the year.
Keep in mind the maximum tax offset you can get is $540 if you contribute $3,000 or more.
When can you split contributions?
You can apply to transfer super to your spouse or partner once each financial year.
Usually you need to do this in the financial year after the year the contributions came into your account – unless you're leaving your super fund in the current financial year.
How does splitting work with contribution limits?
The contributions you transfer to your spouse still count towards your before-tax (concessional) contribution limits.
Splitting contributions to keep each other's balances below $500,000 could help you both to take advantage of the carry forward rules on your before-tax contributions for up to 5 years.
What kinds of super can’t you split with your spouse?
Types of contributions that you're unable to split with your spouse include:
- After-tax (non-concessional) contributions
- Money you’ve rolled over from another super fund
- Contributions made to a QSuper Defined Benefit account
- Downsizer contributions
- Contributions subject to family law conditions
- Long service and annual leave paid out to you when your employment is terminated
- Amounts counted towards capital gains tax (CGT) for small business
- Government co-contributions and low income super tax offset (LISTO) contributions
- Contributions made by your spouse to your super
What other ways can we grow our super?
There are so many ways you can grow your or your partner's super, depending on your situation and how much you each earn.
Show them you're in this together
Make a spouse contribution
Add money directly to your partner’s super account using BPAY or this form.
Split super contributions
Fill out our contribution splitting form to transfer contributions to your partner’s account.
®Registered to BPAY Pty Ltd ABN 69 079 137 518.
In general, we can accept personal super contributions from you if you’re under 75 years old. (Unless you make the contribution within 28 days of the month you turned 75.)
1. What they earn includes your spouse’s assessable income, total reportable fringe benefits, and reportable employer super contributions, less any amounts they’ve taken out of their super for a home deposit during the financial year.