There are requirements and age restrictions you’ll want to be across if you’re looking to boost your super

If you’re 65 or over, you can typically get full access to the funds in your super. But you may not be ready to retire just yet, or you could be looking to make voluntary contributions towards your retirement plan. The super rules for over 65s vary based on the different types of contributions you make, so it’s helpful to get familiar with these.

If you’re working, the super rules for employer contributions remain the same—you can continue to build your super with compulsory employer contributions (using the Super Guarantee rate, if you're eligible).

If you’re considering voluntary super contributions through salary sacrifice (where you choose to contribute a portion of your pre-tax income), or after-tax super contributions (such as cash from an inheritance or property), you must be under 75 years of age and meet specific requirements under the work test or work test exemption.

Once you reach age 75, you’re generally ineligible to make voluntary contributions into your super (except for downsizer contributions).

What is the work test and work test exemption?

The ‘work test’ and ‘work test exemption’ are tests that you must meet before you’re eligible to make or receive voluntary super contributions, and apply if you’re aged 65 to 74 at the time of your contribution.

Meeting the work test

To meet the work test, you must have been gainfully employed (that is, employed or self-employed for gain or reward) during the financial year, for a minimum of 40 hours within 30 consecutive days.

This can be any consecutive 30-day period within the financial year. In other words, it doesn’t have to be in the same month so for example, the 30 days can start in January and end in February.

Meeting the work test exemption

To meet or use the work test exemption, you must satisfy the following conditions:

  • you’ve met the work test in the previous financial year
  • you haven’t been, and don’t intend to be, gainfully employed for at least 40 hours within 30 consecutive days in the financial year the contributions are made
  • your total superannuation balance with all super providers was below $300,000 at 30 June of the previous financial year, and
  • you haven’t previously made contributions to super using the work test exemption.

Declaration for work test or work test exemption

You’ll need to make a declaration with us each year to confirm you’re eligible to make or receive voluntary contributions to your super because you meet the government’s work test or work test exemption requirements.

Contributions that can be made after you turn 65

Whether we can accept the contribution

Type of contribution You’re 65 – 69 years You’re 70 – 74 years You’re 75 years and over(i)
  • Member (ie personal)(ii)
  • Salary sacrifice(iii)
  • Additional employer (iii)
  • Personal injury
  • Capital gains tax exempt & overseas transfers(iv)
Yes – if you meet the work test or can use the work test exemption Yes – if you meet the work test or can use the work test exemption No
  • Spouse(ii)
  • Other third party
Yes – if you meet the work test or can use the work test exemption No No
  • Downsizer contribution into super
Yes Yes Yes
  • Compulsory employer - Super Guarantee (SG) (iii)
  • Award/Industrial Arrangement(iii)
Yes Yes Yes
  • Government contribution(ii)
Yes If you’re under age 71 at the end of the financial year in which an after-tax contribution is made to receive a government co-contribution No
  • Transfers/rollovers
Yes Yes Yes

(i) Member (ie personal) and other voluntary contributions can be accepted after age 75, if made in the 28 days following the end of the month you turn age 75. You must also be eligible to make super contributions in the financial year contributions are made.

(ii) We can’t accept contributions if we don’t have your tax file number (TFN). If you want to provide your TFN, call us or visit

(iii) If we don’t have your TFN, we’ll deduct no-TFN tax from any employer contributions. This is in addition to the current mandated contributions tax.

(iv) We can’t accept transfers or rollovers from KiwiSaver schemes and UK pensions, including amounts derived from UK pensions.

Are there super contribution limits/caps for over 65s?

Making additional super contributions can help you plan for a more comfortable retirement. Like at all other ages, if you’re over 65 years of age, there are caps on the maximum concessional (before income tax) and non-concessional (after income tax) contributions you can make into your super each year.

  • Your concessional contribution cap includes your employer’s contribution (under the Superannuation Guarantee), and voluntary super contributions such as those made under a salary sacrifice arrangement, as well as personal after-tax contributions that you claim a tax deduction on.
  • Your non-concessional contributions cap includes personal after-tax contributions that you don’t claim a tax deduction on.

Contribution caps change depending on your age. The table below gives you a quick overview of how much you can put in each year.

Contribution type Your age Contributions cap
Concessional contributions All $25,000 per year
Non-concessional contributions

Under 65

(At 1 July of the financial year in which the contribution is made)

$100,000 per year and up to three years of annual caps ($300,000) under bring-forward rules
Non-concessional contributions

65 or over

(At 1 July of the financial year in which the contribution is made)

$100,000 per year

Important things to keep in mind

  • Penalties and super contributions tax could apply if you exceed the super contribution caps.
  • If you have $1.6 million or more of super assets as at 30 June of the previous financial year, your non-concessional contribution limit is reduced to nil.
  • If you’re Australian and aged 65 or over, it’s possible to make an after-tax ‘downsizer’ contribution to your super of up to $300,000, using funds from the sale of your home (see below).

Can I make voluntary super contributions when downsizing?

For many Australians, downsizing is a useful way to free up money for retirement. If you’re aged 65 and over, you can take the proceeds from the sale of your home and make a voluntary ‘downsizer’ contribution of up to $300,000 towards your super.

You can make this contribution regardless of your work status, super balance or personal contributions history. If you’re downsizing with your spouse, you’re both eligible, so you can contribute a combined amount of up to $600,000 toward super.

What are the superannuation rules for over 65s who are downsizing?

When you’re downsizing, you can put the proceeds from the sale of your home into your super. This is in addition to any other contributions you’re eligible to make (including voluntary or employer contributions).

  • The contracts for sale must be exchanged on or after 1 July 2018.
  • You must be age 65 or more when you make the contribution.
  • The property that’s sold needs to have been your (or your spouse’s) main place of residence at some point in time.
  • You or your spouse need to have owned the home for at least 10 years.
  • The property that’s sold must be in Australia and excludes caravans, mobile homes and houseboats.

Important things to keep in mind

  • Your downsizer contributions aren’t tax deductible.
  • There aren’t any special Centrelink means test exemptions that apply to the downsizing contribution, which means it may be wise to consider the effects on your means testing before selling your home.
  • You’ll need to fill out a Downsizer contribution into super form from the Australian Taxation Office, and submit it to your super fund.

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Important information

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