The amount of super savings that can be transferred into a retirement pension account increased from $1.7 million to $1.9 million on 1 July this year, but not for everyone.

From 1 July 2023, this limit (known as the general transfer balance cap) increased to $1.9 million. While this is good news for some, the higher cap won’t apply to everyone, and other caps and limits will also be affected.

Below we give you a brief overview of what’s happening and where to go for more info.

What is the transfer balance cap?

One of the main benefits of transferring super savings into a retirement pension is that the investment earnings within your retirement pension account are tax-free, and from age 60 onwards, so are any pension payments you receive.

The transfer balance cap was introduced from 1 July 2017 and is a limit on how much can be transferred from your super savings into a retirement pension, regardless of how many retirement pensions you hold. Note, these are not to be confused with the government’s Age Pension, or a transition to retirement pension.

Also, once you’ve transferred the maximum amount into a retirement pension (according to your personal transfer balance cap), you typically won’t be able to top up your retirement pension a second time, even if your balance reduces over time. If you transfer more than your relevant transfer balance cap into a retirement pension, tax penalties may apply.

Why is the transfer balance cap changing?

The reason the general transfer balance cap is increasing by $200,000 to $1.9 million in the 2023-24 financial year is because changes to the cap are dependent on the cost of living, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, which recently went up.

Who does the new $1.9 million transfer balance cap apply to?

While the general transfer balance cap has changed, your personal transfer balance cap could be $1.6 million, could increase to $1.9 million, or it could be somewhere in between.

What that will come down to is whether you move, or have already moved, money from your super account into a retirement pension as at 1 July 2017 or since then. How much you’ve moved will also have an impact.

The general transfer balance cap has increased as shown in the following table: 

DateGeneral transfer balance cap
1 July 2017$1.6 million
1 July 2021$1.7 million
1 July 2023$1.9 million

Broadly, if you had a retirement phase pension within any of the date ranges above you would only be eligible for indexation of your personal cap to the extent you have never fully used your personal transfer balance cap.

What this means is, if you’ve never moved money from super into a retirement pension, and do this for the first time after 1 July 2023, the new transfer balance cap of $1.9 million will apply to you.

However, if you have already moved, money from super into a retirement pension as at 1 July 2017 or since then, this will not be the case. Instead, your personal transfer balance cap will be determined by how much you’ve already transferred into retirement pensions.

If you transfer (or have transferred) less than $1.6 million, your personal transfer balance cap will be anywhere between $1.6 million and $1.9 million.

If, by 1 July 2023 you have fully used, or exceeded your transfer balance cap your personal cap will not change and is not eligible for further indexation.

Where can I view my transfer balance cap details?

You can view all transfer balance cap info via the ATO section of your myGov account.

You’ll also be able to view your details there if you’re planning to start a pension account after 1 July 2023.

What other changes are happening that could affect me?

Changes to the general transfer balance cap mean some other caps and limits, which may apply to you, have also been adjusted on 1 July 2023.

  1. The total super balance cap (after which non-concessional contributions to your super can no longer be made) will increase from $1.7 million to $1.9 million.
  2. The limit that determines if you’re entitled to a government super co-contribution will increase from $1.7 million to $1.9 million.
  3. The limit for claiming the tax offset on spouse contributions will increase from $1.7 million to $1.9 million

Looking for more information?

These changes could affect what you do before and after 1 July 2023, so speak to your adviser about what might be right for you.

In the meantime, for a brief rundown of the different types of pensions out there and how these differ to the government's Age Pension, check out our pensions info page.

What's next?

Get a guide to how much you might need in retirement

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