Carry Forward and Bring Forward Rules

A new way to top up your super, tax effectively

Your super may provide a more favourable tax outcome over time, compared to other investments. A lower tax rate means you have more available funds to fulfil a purposeful retirement.

There are many tax advantages are available to everyone from the moment you start earning super through to your retirement:

  • On the way in – when you can claim a tax deduction for personal contributions,
  • On the way through – when your superannuation makes earnings (taxed at a maximum rate of 15% but often much less due to tax credits earned) and,
  • On the way out – when you finally retire your superannuation can be converted to a 100% tax free source of income.

A new opportunity to receive a tax advantage ‘on the way in’ is now available. You may be aware that there are two ways to put money into your super and assist you to boost your super account balance. You can make concessional or before tax contributions up to $27,500 each year or you can make non-concessional or after-tax contributions up to $110,000 each year (or more depending on circumstances).


Carry forward rule – Concessional Contributions (CC)

Also known as the catchup rule, the carry forward rule was introduced in the 2019/2020 financial year. This arrangement allows you to use your unused concessional cap amounts from previous years and “carry” it forward. It also allows qualifying members to make extra concessional contributions above the general concessional cap- without having to pay extra tax.

To use your unused concessional caps, you must meet the below conditions:

  • Your total super balance at the end of 30 June of the previous financial year is less than $500,000.
  • You made concessional contributions in the financial year that exceeded your annual concessional contributions cap.

Under this rule, any used portion of your $27,500 CC (2021/22) can be rolled over in the following financial year, or anytime within a rolling five year period. So if you do not use the full $27,500 CC amount, you can carry the unused portion forward and take advantage of it at a time that suits you.

However, only unused CC from 1 July 2018 and onwards can be carried forwards. Unused concessional cap amounts are available for a maximum of five years and will expire after this

For full details on CC and the carry forward rule, please visit the ATO website.

What are the benefits?

This change enables those who were not able to contribute to their CC cap in previous years to make catch-up contributions. Individuals with an irregular work-pattern or who have taken time off work may be able to use the CC cap tobenefit from the tax concessions available within super in the same way as an individual who earns a regular income.

Things to consider

  • The CC cap is the difference between your total CC (outlined below) and the CC cap of $27,500,000 per annum starting 2021/22. Total CC includes:
    • Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions from your employer.
    • Salary sacrifice contributions that your employer is paying on your behalf.
    • Personal deductible contributions where you have submitted a Notice of Intent to claim a tax deduction (i.e. converting non-CC to CC).
  • Only unused cap amounts from the 2018–19 financial year onwards can be carried forward.
  • You may not be eligible to utilise unapplied unused CC cap if your total super balance is over $500,000 on 30 June of the previous financial year.
  • If you contribute more than what you are allowed, you will be taxed at your marginal tax rate.
  • Oldest unused CC caps are applied first, therefore, it is important to track how much of an unapplied unused CC cap is utilised in a later financial year.
  • You cannot access your super until you meet a condition of release such as preservation age and retiring.


Bring forward rule – Non-Concessional Contributions

Non-Concession Contributions (NCC) can now be increased through bring forward contributions.

How does it work?

Starting 1 July 2021, the annual non-concessional (after tax) contributions cap is $110,000. From 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2021, the annual concessional contributions cap was $ 100,000. If you meet all the eligibility criteria, the Bring forward rule allows you to make NCC of up to three times the annual contributions cap in a single financial year (3 x $110,000 = $330,000 in 2021/22), providing your total superannuation balance is less than $1.7 million on 30 June of financial year before the one in which you want to make your contribution.

Bring forward Table^

Total super balance on 30 June of previous year Non-concessional contributions cap for the first year Bring-forward period
Less than $1.48 million $330,000 3 years
$1.48 million to less than $1.59 million $220,000 2 years
$1.59 million to less than $1.7 million $110,000 No bring-forward period, general non-concessional contributions cap applies
$1.7 million or more nil

^The total superannuation balance is determined on 30 June of the previous financial year.

For full details on NCC and the bring forward rule, please visit the ATO website.

What are the benefits?

Using the bring-forward rule may be handy if you receive a financial windfall such as an inheritance or sell a large asset and would like to contribute an amount into your super account over your annual non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap.

Other things to consider

  • Your total superannuation balance must be less than $1.7 million on 30 June of the previous financial year to the one in which you want to make the contribution.
  • To access a bring-forward arrangement under the current rules, you need to be aged under 65 for at least one day during the triggering year (the first year you make the contribution).
  • Excess concessional (before-tax) contributions during the financial year made by you or your employer are counted toward your non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap.
  • Once you trigger a bring-forward arrangement in a particular year, any change to the non-concessional contributions cap during the following three-year period will not apply to you, so you are unable to take advantage of any increase (or decrease) in the contributions cap.


If you have any questions or require assistance, please call our Member Care Team on 1300 360 907 or email us at

General Disclaimer – The content of this article includes advice that is general in nature and does not consider your personal situation. Christian Super encourages all people considering their options in retirement planning to seek out qualified professionals who can provide specific personal advice.