Q. I understand we are able to put up to $450,000 from personal savings into Superannuation while I am still working. Is there an age limit? Do we need a SMSF to be able to do that? I have also heard that I am limited to $25,000 of employer contributions in a tax year. Is that in addition to the 9% of wages? Is there an age limit or restriction on either contribution?
A. Personal contributions to Superannuation (Non-Concessional Contributions or NCC) are limited to$150,000 per tax year. This is referred to as the NCC Cap. If you are under age 65, you are eligible to make up to $450,000 as a contribution but only once every 3 tax years. If you are over age 65, you are restricted to $150,000 per tax year provided you satisfy the work test; you have worked 40hours in a 30 day period in the tax year in which you are making the contributions. Provided you satisfy the work test on an ongoing basis, you can make contributions to Superannuation up until age 75.
Any Superannuation fund that will accept personal contributions can be used. You do not need a Self Managed Superannuation fund.
Contributions in excess of the NCC cap must be returned to the member by the Trustee of the Superannuation fund within 21 days or tax can be levied at 46.5% on the excess amount.
Employer or Deductible Personal Contributions to Superannuation (Concessional Contributions or CC) are limited to $25,000 per tax year. This is referred to as the CC Cap. The CC Cap includes the 9% Superannuation Guarantee. CC can only be made up until age 75. Employer contributions can be made beyond age 75 provided they are mandated payments under an Award or Industrial agreement.
Contributions in excess of the CC Cap will be taxed at 31.5% and the excess amount will count against the members NCC Cap. In response to complaints by Super fund members that had inadvertently exceeded their CC Cap, the ATO will waive penalties on excess contributions of up to $10,000 on the first incident.
The government recently announced proposed changes to the Superannuation system which may impact contribution limits. These changes will not be considered by the parliament until after the September 2013 election.