Q: Am I able to make a contribution to my Spouse’s Superannuation fund and what are the advantages?

A: Contributing Spouses are entitled to make personal after tax or non-concessional contributions to the superannuation account of your spouse.

Spouse for this purpose, includes individuals who although not legally married to, live with the contributing spouse on a genuine domestic basis in a relationship as a couple whether of the same sex or a different sex.

An individual who makes a super contribution to their spouse may be eligible for a tax offset of up to 18% of the contribution up to a maximum offset of $540 if the spouse recipients income is less than $37,000.  To claim the spouse contributions tax offset, the contributing spouse completes the relevant section in their tax return.

To make an eligible spouse contribution, the contributing spouse can be of any age.  However the receiving spouse must be under age 67 or if aged between 67 and up to age 74 must be gainfully employed for at least 40 hours in a period of not more than 30 consecutive days in the financial year.

Contributions cannot be made where the receiving spouses total superannuation balance on 30 June of the preceding financial year is $1.6 million or more. Spouse contributions also count against the receiving spouse’s non-concessional contributions caps.

Spouse contributions will be preserved and cannot be accessed until age 65, unless another condition of release occurs prior to that.

Apart from increasing the balance of your spouse’s Super, spouse contributions may assist in equalising the Superannuation account balances between a couple. If your spouse is older than you, it can also result in obtaining earlier access to super benefits.  Spouse contributions can be used to pay insurance premiums for cover held with Superannuation.