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 for recent retirees?

The ‘work test’ and ‘work test exemption for recent retirees’ are tests that you must meet before you’re eligible to make or receive voluntary super contributions, and apply if you’re aged 67 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 for recent retirees

To meet or use the work test exemption for recent retirees, 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 this work test exemption.

Declaration for work test or work test exemption for recent retirees

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)

65-66 - Yes

67-69 - 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

65-66 - Yes

67-69 - 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
  • Downsizer contribution into super
Yes Yes Yes
  • Compulsory employer - Super Guarantee (SG) (iii)
  • Award/Industrial Arrangement(iii)
Yes Yes Yes
  • Government co-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 amp.com.au.

(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 concessional contributions cap may be higher than $25,000 if you’re eligible to contribute unused concessional contribution cap amounts that you’ve carried forward from previous years, so long as your total super balance at 30 June 2020 is less than $500,000)
  • 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

Products in the Super Directions Fund and the Wealth Personal Superannuation and Pension Fund are issued by N.M. Superannuation Proprietary Limited (N.M. Super) ABN 31 008 428 322 (trustee), which is part of the AMP group (AMP). Before deciding what’s right for you, it’s important to consider your particular circumstances and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Terms and Conditions available from AMP at amp.com.au or by calling 131 267. Read AMP’s Financial Services Guide for information about our services, including the fees and other benefits that AMP companies and their representatives may receive in relation to products and services provided to you.

Products in the AMP Eligible Rollover Fund, National Mutual Retirement Fund, and NM Pro Super Fund are issued by Equity Trustees Superannuation Limited ABN 50 055 641 757 (trustee). Risk products are issued by AMP Life Limited ABN 84 079 300 379 (AMP Life), which is part of the Resolution Life group. AMP Life has proudly served customers in Australia since 1849. AMP Limited ABN 49 079 354 519 has sold AMP Life to the Resolution Life group whilst retaining a minority economic interest. AMP Limited has no day-to-day involvement in the management of AMP Life whose products and services are not affiliated with or guaranteed by AMP Limited. AMP Limited is not liable for products issued by AMP Life or any statements or representations made in the PDS for those products. “AMP”, “AMP Life” and any other AMP trademarks are used by AMP Life under licence from AMP Limited. Before deciding what’s right for you, it’s important to consider your particular circumstances and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Terms and Conditions available from AMP Life at amp.com.au or by calling 133 731. Read AMP Life’s Financial Services Guide for information about our services, including the fees and other benefits that AMP Life and/or other companies within the Resolution Life group may receive in relation to products and services provided to you.

Any advice and information provided is general in nature, hasn’t taken your circumstances into account, and is provided by AWM Services Pty Ltd ABN 15 139 353 496 (AWM Services), which is part of the AMP group (AMP). All information on this website is subject to change without notice.