Low Income Earners Co-Contribution

Superannuation is a system that encourages you to save money in a fund throughout your life to get pension like payments when you retire. You make after-tax payments to the fund annually and the trustee invests the money elsewhere helping your fund grow while you earn. The superannuation constitutes of your own payments, government contribution and employer contribution. It is a partly compulsory practice in Australia and is also encouraged by the Australian Government through tax benefits.

One of the benefits provided by the Australian Government to support low and middle income earners is the super co-contribution scheme. If you fall in the eligibility criterion provided, you can receive a few bucks (from $20 up to $500) from the government for free. Every time you make a payment to your super, the government will automatically send an endorsement to your account as well.

Calculation of your super co-contribution:

The government pays 50 cents against each dollar you pay into the superannuation fund. The minimum co-contribution is $20 while the maximum co-contribution is $500. Payment amounts are rounded up to the nearest multiple of five cents. For example, your annual payment into the superannuation fund is $600 from your take-home pay. The government will pay an amount of $300 into your super against your contribution of $600.

Eligibility criteria:

In order to be eligible for the super co-contribution you must meet all the following conditions:

  • Be an Australian citizen, permanent Australian resident or a New Zealand citizen employed in Australia
  • Be younger than the age of 71 years
  • Make at least one after-tax payment to your super fund voluntarily, without claiming a deduction on it and filing your tax return as well for the year
  • Have an annual income of less than $52,697
  • Be employed and/or run your own business
  • Attach all the details and documents of your account and the contribution made by you in your tax return
  • Your previous year’s superannuation balance should be less than $1.6 million.
  • The before-tax contribution cap mustn’t have been exceeded.

What is the threshold?

The minimum amount of co-contribution you may receive of $20 is eligible if you have an income of $52,697. You may receive a co-contribution of up to $500 if your income is less than $37,697. The maximum co-contribution varies if your income lies between $37, 697 and $52, 697. It will be rounded off to the nearest 5 cents.

How to receive this?

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) automatically evaluates your co-contribution amount and pays it in your account once you have lodged your tax return along with the relevant documents. You don’t need to officially apply for a super co-contribution as long as you have provided your tax file number (TFN) to your fund.

Direct payment of co-contribution:

You may receive a direct payment instead of a payment to the fund if:

  • You have retired either due to reaching the preservation age or due to permanent invalidity/incapacity and your super account is no longer eligible.
  • You are the legal representative of the deceased account holder.

Come and speak to us here at Ross Accounting so we can help you utilize the full potential benefits of Australia’s super co-contribution as we specialize in all super related matters.

All information sourced from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

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