July 1 2024

Maximum super contribution base: overview for 2024-25

The maximum super contribution base (MSCB) sets a limit on the quarterly earnings that qualify for Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions.

Put simply, if you earn more than this limit in a quarter*, your employer doesn’t have to pay you SG contributions for any amounts earned above the limit. 

*Quarters are three-month periods in each financial year – Jul-Sep, Oct-Dec, Jan-Mar and Apr-Jun. 

What is the maximum super contribution base for 2024-25?

For the 2024-25 financial year, the most an employer would be required to contribute to an employee’s super fund is 11.5% of $65,070 each quarter, which is $7,483.05.

The table below shows the MSCB for each listed financial year, according to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Financial year MSCB (quarterly earnings)
2024-25 $65,070
2023-24 $62,270
2022-23 $60,220
2021-22 $58,920
2020-21 $57,090
2019-20 $55,270

Source: ATO

The MSCB is indexed annually according to average weekly ordinary time earnings (AWOTE). This means it is adjusted every year to reflect changes in average incomes. The MSCB is generally available on the ATO website around February or March each year. Visit the ATO website for the latest quarterly caps and information on the MSCB.

Note that the income that’s assessed for MSCB is ordinary time earnings. For more information on ordinary time earnings, visit the ATO website.

What does it mean for variable income workers?

As the MSCB is assessed quarterly rather than annually, those who earn an income that changes over the year should pay extra attention to see if their quarterly income goes over the limit.

For example, if you earned $50,000 between July and September, your income wouldn’t have exceeded the MSCB. But if your income between October and December increased to $80,000 thanks to a handsome end-of-year bonus, your employer will only be required to pay super on the amount up to the MSCB. Any income above the limit is ignored.

Quarter Income per quarter Over MSCB?  SG contributions capped?
July - September $50,000 No No
October - December $80,000 Yes Yes

Note: The information contained in this example is illustrative only. It assumes that all income counts as ordinary time earnings.

For workers with variable income, this can lead to receiving inconsistent amounts in SG contributions. They might find their SG contributions are capped in one quarter (if their income reached or was over the MSCB), while receiving the full amount in the next quarter (if their income was below the MSCB). This could make financial planning a tough job for them. Those planning their retirement may find it harder to understand what their super could look like in the long term.

Also, some variable income workers might miss out on the benefits of higher employer contributions if they get a pay rise, as their SG contributions would be capped if their income goes over the MSCB.

Who could be affected by the maximum super contribution base?

The MSCB may impact you if any of your income is:

If your income goes over the MSCB for 2024-25, your employer is still required to make SG contributions of at least 11.5% of your income for that amount up to the MSCB.

On the flip side, if you earn a stable income that falls under the quarterly caps, chances are you don’t need to worry about MSCB.

Can an employer pay super for income above the maximum contribution base?

Yes, an employer can choose to make super contributions even if your income exceeds the MSCB.

While the MSCB limits what an employer is required to contribute, it doesn't prevent them from contributing extra if they choose to. If your employer chooses to do so, you should keep an eye out on whether you go over the concessional contributions cap, which is $30,000 in the 2024-25 financial year (unless the carry-forward contributions apply). Exceeding contributions caps means you’ll need to pay extra tax.



If you’re a Rest member, you can use the Rest App to keep track of your super contributions on the go.

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