Spouse contributions

A Financial Services Partners Adviser may help assess how spouse contributions can help you reach your retirement goals.

What is a spouse contribution?

A spouse contribution is when you make a contribution to your spouse’s superannuation fund from your after tax income (your take home pay), or savings.

You can make a spouse contribution into your spouse’s superannuation fund to help boost their savings. This may help a spouse who has been out of the workforce for an extended period of time. You may also be eligible to receive a tax offset of up to $540 to reduce your annual personal tax liability.

A spouse contribution may be suitable for people who:

  • have a spouse under the age of 70
  • wish to build retirement savings in the name of a spouse
  • have the capacity to save additional money
  • are comfortable that their savings are not accessible until they reach retirement (after preservation age).

If your spouse is under the age of 65, they do not need to be working. However, if your spouse is 65 or older, they must have done at least 40 hours of paid work within a 30 consecutive day period in the current financial year before you can make a contribution. You cannot make a spouse contribution if your spouse is age 70 or older.

For you to be eligible to receive the spouse contribution tax offset you must satisfy all of the following:

  • you and your spouse are both Australian residents for tax purposes
  • you have made an after-tax contribution to your spouse’s superannuation fund, and
  • your spouse’s income is less than $13,800 in the same year*.

*Your spouse’s income is the total of:

  • assessable income (before-tax deductions), plus
  • reportable fringe benefits of more than $2,000 recorded by your employer on their PAYG payment summary, plus
  • reportable employer superannuation contributions (includes amounts salary sacrificed to superannuation).

The tax offset is limited to a maximum of $540 in any year. This is calculated as 18% of the first $3,000 contributed but will be lower if your spouse’s income exceeds $10,800 or you contribute less than $3,000 for your spouse.

What kind of goals can spouse contributions be used for?

Spouse contributions are suitable for people who:

  • meet the eligibility criteria
  • wish to build their spouse's retirement savings
  • are eligible to contribute to superannuation
  • have the capacity to save additional money
  • are comfortable that their savings are not accessible until they reach retirement (after preservation age).

Your Financial Services Partners Adviser can determine if making spouse contributions is right for you, after they consider your needs and objectives. They can also determine which other superannuation strategies can best meet your needs.

Talk to us about how spouse contributions might work for you

If you are ready to see how spouse contributions can work for you as part of your superannuation strategy, we can match you with a suitable Financial Services Partners Adviser who will be happy to begin working with you to create a financial plan that's right for you.

To get started, please use our adviser matching service.

* An increased concessional contributions cap applies until 30 June 2012 for people 50 years old or over. If you were 50 years old or over, the annual cap for the 2007-08 and 2008-09 financial years was $100,000. If you are 50 years old or over, the annual cap for the 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 financial years is $50,000. If you have more than one fund, all concessional contributions made to all your funds are added together and count towards the cap. This cap is not indexed.

The government has announced changes that, if passed by parliament, will permanently increase the concessional contributions cap to $50,000 for individuals who have total super balances below $500,000 and are 50 years old or over. We will publish updated guidance if these announced changes become law.

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