May 20 2024

Spouse super contributions are where a you contribute money into your spouse’s super account from your after-tax income.

Spouse contributions can provide a boost to your spouse’s superannuation balance, while also offering a tax offset for you as the contributor.

The tax offset can be up to 18% of the contribution amount. The maximum tax offset you can receive each financial year is $540. 

Who counts as a spouse?

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) defines a spouse as your partner through marriage or by living together as a couple (a de facto partner). This also includes same-sex couples and relationships registered under a state or territory law.


Spouse eligibility

Your spouse is eligible to receive the spouse contribution if:

  • the person that you are contributing for meets the legal definition of ‘spouse’
  • the contribution is made to a complying super fund or approved retirement savings account
  • you and your spouse are Australian residents when the contribution is made
  • you and your spouse aren’t living separately and apart on a permanent basis when you make the contribution
  • the contribution isn’t tax deductible by you.

Tax offset eligibility

Contributing to your spouse's super account can give you a tax offset. The tax offset can be up to 18% of the contribution amount. The maximum tax offset you can receive each financial year is $540.

To be eligible for the tax offset:

  • your spouse’s annual income* must be less than $40,000 in the financial year in which you make the contribution;
  • they don’t exceed the non-concessional contributions cap in the income year in which you make the contribution;
  • their total super balance must be below the transfer balance cap before the start of the income year in which the contribution is made;
  • they must be under 75 years old (contributions may be accepted up to 28 days after the end of the month in which they turn 75).

To read the full eligibility criteria, go to the Australian Taxation Office website.

*The receiving spouse’s income includes their assessable income (excluding any amount released to your spouse under the First Home Super Saver Scheme), total reportable fringe benefits amounts and total reportable employer superannuation contributions.

How the tax offset works

If you contribute $3,000 or more and your spouse earns $37,000 or less – you could claim the full tax offset of $540.

If you contribute less than $3,000 or your spouse earns between $37,000 and $40,000 – you could claim the partial tax offset.


Spouse contribution case study – Jamie and Taylor

Jamie and Taylor have been married for 6 years and are both Rest members. Jamie is a freelance photographer, earning $36,000 per year, while Taylor works as an IT consultant with an annual income of $120,000. They have a shared goal to balance their super savings as Jamie’s irregular income affects her ability to consistently contribute to her super.

After consulting a Rest Adviser , they decide to use a spouse contribution strategy. Taylor contributes $3,000 to Jamie’s super. By making this spouse contribution, Taylor is eligible for a full tax offset of $540. 

How to make a spouse contribution

So you want to make a contribution into your spouse account. Great!

It’s important to note that spouse contributions count as non-concessional contributions of the receiving spouse, so you should be aware of limits and contribution caps.

If your spouse is a Rest member

You can choose to pay via BPAY or by cheque or money order. Here’s how: 

® BPAY and the BPAY logo are registered trademarks of BPAY Pty Ltd ABN 69 079 137 518

If your spouse isn’t a Rest member

Each super fund may have a different process for spouse contributions. Check with your spouse’s super fund to find out how to make a spouse contribution with them.


Are spouse contributions right for you?

Considering making a spouse contribution? You should seek financial advice* about contributions.

If you are a Rest member, have a chat with a Rest Adviser for advice about contributions. As a Rest member, you can get simple personal advice over the phone at no additional cost. There will be additional costs for more complex advice, but we’ll always talk to you about this fee first.  

*Rest Advice is provided by Rest staff (Rest Advisers) as Authorised Representatives of Link Advice Pty Ltd ABN 36 105 811 836, AFSL 258145. Rest Advisers are paid a salary and do not pay or receive commissions or fees for advice provided to you. Rest Advice may be accessed by members without incurring additional fees for simple advice on your super account. If you need more complex advice from a Rest Adviser you’ll be charged a fee which will vary depending on the complexity of the advice and will be agreed with you before advice is given. You can obtain a full copy of the Rest Advice Financial Services Guide by calling us on 1300 300 778.

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