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Super Strategies: Topping up Super with ‘Catch-Up’ Contributions

Article By Janik Hrabovcak | | Financial Planning

Maximize Your Super Savings: Unlock the Power of Catch-Up Contributions before the End of Financial Year (EOFY)

Planning for retirement requires careful consideration of various strategies to maximize your superannuation savings. One such strategy is utilizing ‘catch-up’ contributions, which allows you to make use of unused concessional contribution (CC) amounts from previous financial years. This strategy can potentially increase your tax-effective super contributions and help you invest more for a comfortable retirement.

To be eligible for catch-up contributions, there are a few key conditions to meet. First, your total superannuation balance must be below $500,000 on the prior 30th of June. Second, you should be below the age of 67, or between 67 and 74 and meet the work test rules, unless you are eligible for the work test exemption. Lastly, you must have unused CC cap amounts accrued from one of the five prior financial years (but not before 2018/19).

The concept of accruing unused CC cap amounts began in the financial year 2018/19. If your CCs in a particular financial year are below the annual CC cap, you can carry forward the unused amount for up to five years. This allows you the flexibility to make larger CCs when your circumstances permit. It is particularly beneficial if you have irregular employment income, fluctuating income, or have taken time out of the workforce.

The primary benefit of utilizing catch-up contributions is the concessional tax treatment. The contributions you make are generally taxed at a concessional rate of up to 15%, which is significantly lower than your marginal tax rate that could be as high as 47%. Additionally, any earnings generated within your super fund are also taxed at the concessional rate of 15%. Depending on your circumstances, this strategy could result in a tax saving of up to 32% and help you boost your super savings.

However, it’s important to seek advice from a financial adviser to determine if this strategy aligns with your specific situation. They can help you calculate your available carried forward unused CC balance and the maximum contribution you’re eligible to make. It’s crucial to ensure that you don’t exceed your available cap, as doing so may incur additional taxes and penalties.

To determine your carried forward amounts, you can review the total CCs you made in each financial year since July 1, 2018. You can access this information by logging into, although it’s recommended to maintain accurate contribution records and consult your super fund directly for the most up-to-date information.

It’s essential to consult with a financial adviser to assess your specific circumstances and determine the suitability of catch-up contributions for your retirement planning strategy.

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