We apologise to our members for the extended hold/wait times and delays to withdrawals from defined benefit accounts. We expect to resolve most issues by the end of May 2022 and are confident the majority will be resolved much sooner. Please read our service update for more information.

Also note: The ESSSuper mobile app has been updated and is available to download. Visit our Members Online web page for more details.

Super co-contributions

May 25 2022

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, search "Low income super tax offset" on the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website at ato.gov.au.

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 below the transfer balance cap at 30 June of the previous financial year**, 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.

** For details of the transfer balance cap, refer to our Tax and super page.

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 ATO website at ato.gov.au

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.


Emergency Services Superannuation Board ABN 28 161 296 741 (ESSB), the Trustee of the Emergency Services Superannuation Scheme ABN 85 894 637 037 (ESSSuper). Before making any decisions about ESSSuper products or services you should read the applicable Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), available on our PDS and handbooks page, for more information.