October 01 2020
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Find out more about how our Accumulation Plan can work for your spouse
As an ESSSuper member your spouse or de facto partner is eligible to open an Accumulation Plan or Income Stream with us.
Your spouse may choose to have their employer make Superannuation Guarantee contributions, salary sacrifice or your spouse may choose to make extra contributions directly into this account. They will also then be eligible for other benefits that are enjoyed by ESSSuper Accumulation Plan members like you, including access to our Income Streams, insurance, and investment options.
More about spouse contributions and contribution splitting
How do spouse contributions work?
Contributing to your spouse's super may earn you a tax rebate. The rebate applies to after-tax contributions of up to $3,000 pa made on behalf of an eligible spouse. The maximum rebate is $540.
To be eligible for the full rebate your spouse's income must be less than $37,000. Once your spouse's income reaches $37,000, the rebate reduces dollar for dollar ceasing at $40,000.
To qualify for the spouse rebate you and your spouse must meet certain conditions:
- your spouse must be an 'eligible' spouse as defined in the legislation
- you must make contributions directly to your spouse's super
- your spouse's assessable income plus reportable fringe benefits must be less than $40,000 for the financial year
- The spouse tax offset cannot be claimed if the spouse receiving the contribution has exceeded their non-concessional contributions cap for that year, and
- you must both be Australian residents for tax purposes at the time you make the contributions.
What is contribution splitting?
Contribution splitting is a Commonwealth Government initiative that allows you to split your taxed contributions and/or personal deductible contributions, and transfer them to your spouse's account.
The following contributions cannot be split:
- Member and employer contributions to defined benefit funds,
- Personal (after-tax) contributions, including super co-contributions and payments in lieu of long service leave and annual leave,
- Rollovers from another fund,
- Employer eligible termination payments,
- Contributions for an account that is subject to a payment split or on which a payment flag is operating for Family Law purposes.
Conditions of contribution splitting
The receiving spouse must be under the age of 65 and not retired.
The Spouse Tax Offset cannot be claimed if the spouse receiving the contribution has a superannuation balance of $1.6 million (indexed) before the start of the financial year in which the contribution is made.
The maximum amount that can be split is the lesser of:
- 85% of your total taxed contributions* to the Accumulation Plan; and
- The concessional contributions cap
Note: Contribution splitting does not reduce your concessional contributions for the period.
Benefits of contribution splitting
Contribution splitting may help you in a number of ways:
- Splitting contributions with an older spouse enables earlier access to superannuation benefits (if your older spouse is aged 60 years and over, generally no tax will apply to their superannuation benefits)
- Splitting contributions with a younger spouse (under 65 years old) may result in higher age pension entitlements due to the deferral of those contributions being counted under the Social Security income and assets tests
How to split your contributions
You can make an application to split contributions for the previous year any time after the end of the financial year. If you are terminating employment, you can split contributions made within this financial year.
Once we have processed your application we will pay the split amount to your spouse's super fund. Split contributions must be deposited into a complying superannuation fund.
Our Accumulation Plan is available to all ESSSuper members' spouses, and is classed as a complying superannuation fund. If your spouse chooses to open an Accumulation Plan with us, they can also enjoy all of the other benefits of that plan, including access to our Income Streams, affordable insurance, and investment options.
Spouse contributions and contributions limits
Please note: contribution splitting does not reduce your concessional contributions for the period.
Limits apply to all contributions, and exceeding the government contributions caps will have significant tax implications for you. You can learn about contributions caps on the ATO website, or contact us to speak with a Member Education Consultant before making any decisions.