Government co-contributions

Basically, if you earn less than $49,488 each year, and you make a personal superannuation contribution, the government will also make a co-contribution to your superannuation fund.

This government scheme started in 2003–04 to encourage us to make personal contributions to superannuation. It was initially targeted at low to middle income earners and has been improved progressively since then.

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In 2008–09, 1.4 million Australians were paid $784 million in super co-contributions; an average of $560 each.

In the 2014-15 year, if you earn an income of less than $34,488, you can qualify for the maximum co-contribution.  (Income is assessable income plus reportable fringe benefits.) The co-contribution reduces by 3.333c in the dollar for each dollar of income over $34,488 and cuts out when your income reaches $49,488.

Self employed?

The super co-contribution is also available to self-employed Australians. All you need to do is make a personal contribution without claiming a tax deduction for it. The Tax Office will work out your co-contribution from information on your tax return, and details of contributions will be provided by your super fund.

You must earn at least 10% of your total income from employment or running a business.  Your income is assessable income plus reportable fringe benefits less business income deductions.

If you haven’t already taken advantage of this generous option, talk in more detail to one of our financial advisers.