Boost your super and pay less tax

Before-tax contributions, also referred to as `concessional contributions’, is money you put into your super before any tax is taken out. They include compulsory 9.5% employer contributions and any salary sacrifice contributions your employer makes for you. There are two good reasons to salary sacrifice: you’ll give your super balance a boost and you’ll pay less tax.

Ask your employer to make payments for you

To set up regular payments into your super you need to ask your employer to add money from your before-tax pay. Check with your employer how to make this request or simply download the Authority to deduct from my pay form, complete it and give it to them to action.

What you need to know

  • The limit or cap on how much before-tax money you can contribute is $25,000 this financial year and will go up to $27,500 in the 2021-22 financial year.
  • If you have less than $500,000 in super and haven’t used all your annual before-tax contribution cap over the previous five years, you can make catch up contributions using unused cap amounts. As this initiative started in the 2018-19 financial year, two years of catch up contributions can be used in the 2020-21 financial year, with the full five years of catch up contributions available in the 2023-24 financial year.
  • Before-tax contributions are taxed at 15% if you earn less than $250,000 pa and 30% if you earn more than $250,000 pa.

Case study | Using the carry forward rule

Patrick's before-tax contribution cap for the 2019–20 year is $25,000. His before-tax contributions during that year, including his employer's Super Guarantee payments, were $15,000 (which is $10,000 short of the cap).

In May 2021, Patrick sells his boat for $10,000 which he adds to his super. He claims this contribution as a tax deduction by sending his super fund a completed Notice of intent to claim or vary a deduction for personal super contributions. Although his total employer and salary sacrifice contributions for the 2020-21 year will add up to $25,000 (the before-tax contributions cap), Patrick has $10,000 worth of unused before-tax cap amounts from 2019–20, so he won’t exceed his cap for this financial year.

Things to consider

  • Ensure you calculate how much you can comfortably contribute. Once the money has been placed into your super, you can’t take it back until you retire.
  • Remember to consider any bonuses and pay rises you may get throughout the year, as these may result in your employer making higher than expected before-tax contributions into your super account.
  • After-tax super contributions you claim as a tax deduction will also count towards your before-tax contributions cap.
  • Be mindful that if you have more than one super fund, all before-tax contributions made to all of your funds are added together and counted towards the cap. You can check how much you’ve contributed to your Mine Super account throughout the year by logging in to your online account.
  • Remember, your contribution needs to be in your account by Wednesday, 30 June 2021 for it to be counted this financial year. As some banks and payment methods can take a few days, it’s best to not leave it to the last minute.

Other ways to grow your super

We're here to help

If you have any questions about contributing to super, we’re here to help. Call us on 13 64 63 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, or email