Do you have a spouse who is not working or is earning a low income?
If your spouse is either not working, or earning a low income, their super may be significantly lower than your own.
Generally, women are more likely to have insufficient super when they retire – on average, in Australia women retire with around half as much super as men. This could be due to various factors such as lower incomes, career breaks to care for children and family, and working part time.
If you do have a spouse who is not working, or is earning a low income as defined by the Australian Tax Office, you can help by making a spouse contribution, which is an effective way to boost their super, and may also reduce the tax you need to pay.
How to make a spouse contribution
If your spouse is a member of Christian Super, and you wish to make a spouse contribution:
- Use their unique BPAY details to make an after-tax contribution into their account. You can find these BPAY details on your spouse’s Christian Super annual statement, if they log in to our app, or in their online MemberAccess account. Your spouse can also contact us to get these BPAY details.
- After you have made a spouse contribution, download a Spouse Contribution form from our website, complete it and return it to us.
If your spouse is not a member of Christian Super and you wish to make a spouse contribution:
- Contact your spouse’s super fund to find out how to make an after-tax contribution into their account.
- When you complete your tax return, you need to elect that you “made contributions to a complying superannuation fund or a retirement savings account (RSA) on behalf of your spouse (married or de facto) who is earning a low income or not working”. Refer to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website for further information.
How to claim the spouse contribution tax offset
You may be able to claim a tax offset of up to 18% (a maximum of $540) on contributions of up to $3,000 that are made into your spouse’s account. A smaller tax offset may be available if you contribute less than $3,000.
You may be eligible to claim the maximum tax offset if:
- You contribute to the eligible super fund of your spouse, whether married or de-facto; and
- Your spouse’s income is $37,000 p.a. or less.
The tax offset amount starts to reduce if your spouse’s income is greater than $37,000 and is not available if your spouse’s income is over $40,000.
There are other conditions you need to satisfy to receive the offset. Visit the ATO website for more information.
If you meet the eligibility criteria and wish to claim the offset, please make sure that your super fund has your Tax File Number. Then, when you complete your tax return, you need to elect that you “made contributions to a complying superannuation fund or a retirement savings account (RSA) on behalf of your spouse (married or de facto) who is earning a low income or not working”. Refer to the ATO website for further information.
A few final comments
The tax offset for eligible spouse contributions cannot be claimed for super contributions that you made into your own account, then split with your spouse. This is treated as a rollover or transfer, not a contribution.
Spouse contributions will still count towards the receiving spouse’s non-concessional contributions cap, which is currently $110,000 per financial year. The ATO website explains the implications of exceeding this cap.
If you need help with making a contribution into your spouse’s super account, or have any other questions, please contact our Member Care Team.
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.
The information on this page was last updated on 12th May 2022.