Super co-contributions

April 22 2021

Often referred to as the 'Government co-contribution', or simply 'co-contributions', this is an additional contribution paid by the Australian Government to you as a reward for making an after tax personal contribution to your super.

This benefit is for lower-income earners and does not apply to those on higher incomes. For current income thresholds and the rate the government contributes on your behalf, check out the ATO website.

To receive the co-contribution, you must:

  1. make an eligible personal contribution during the financial year
  2. have a total income of less than the higher income co-contribution threshold for the year
  3. receive 10% or more of your total income from eligible employment-related activities or carrying on a business, or a combination of both
  4. be under 71 years old at the end of the financial year
  5. not have held a temporary visa at any time during the financial year*
  6. have lodged your tax return for the relevant financial year
  7. not have contributed more than your non-concessional contribution cap
  8. have a total super balance of less than $1.6 million at 30 June of the previous financial year1 , and 
  9. have not claimed a deduction for the concessional contribution you have made.

*unless you are a New Zealand citizen or it was a prescribed visa.

1The cap will be indexed in line with Consumer Price Index (CPI) in increments of $100,000.

If you're 67 to 70 years old, you need to satisfy the work test to be eligible to make non-concessional contributions to receive the co-contribution. To satisfy the work test, you must have been gainfully employed for at least 40 hours during a consecutive 30-day period for each financial year in which the contributions were received. Unpaid work doesn't meet the definition of 'gainfully employed'. If you satisfied the work test in the previous financial year, you may able to meet the work test exemption if you have:

  • satisfied the work test in the income year preceding the year in which you made the contribution
  • a total super balance of less than $300,000 at the end of the previous income year, and
  • not relied on the work test exemption in a previous financial year.

This is referred to as the work test exemption. To find out more, search "Work test" on the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website:

Applying for the co-contribution

You don't need to apply for the co-contribution. If you meet all of the eligibility criteria and have provided your TFN to ESSSuper, the co-contribution will be automatically deposited in your super account.

You will not receive the Government co-contribution if you are claiming your superannuation payments as a tax deduction.


Before making any decisions about ESSSuper products or services, you should read the applicable PDS or Handbook. You can access all of our publications here.