Super co-contributions

September 30 2020

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.

You must satisfy a work test or be eligible for work test exemption when making super contributions on or after the age of 65. To satisfy the work test, you must work 40 hours in a 30-day period in the financial year in which you plan to contribute. To qualify for the work test exemption, you must have a total super balance under $300,000, you must have met the work test in the previous financial year and you must not have contributed under the exemption previously.

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.