Super savings. Extra contributions. Retirement. It all seems such a long way off, so why should you care about it now?

While retirement may be a long way down the road, the lifestyle you enjoy when you get there could be largely based on the savings you’re building right now.

Making super contributions yourself, even small ones, can make a big difference to your super balance. And, depending how you contribute, you could also pay less tax or receive a co-contribution payment from the Australian Government. Bonus money – that’s choice.

So, what are some of the main ways to contribute extra to your super?

Before-tax (salary sacrifice) contributions

Also known as salary sacrifice, these contributions are made from your before-tax salary.

If you earn more than $45,000 per year, your marginal tax rate is between 19-45% (excluding Medicare levy). Did you know that salary sacrifice contributions are taxed at only 15%?

Plus, when you salary sacrifice, you reduce your take-home pay so you pay less tax.

This means you could enjoy a tax break while growing your super savings! There’s a before-tax contributions limit of $27,500 p.a. which includes salary sacrifice, employer contributions and personal tax-deductible contributions. For full details see First Super’s salary sacrifice factsheet.

After-tax contributions

After-tax contributions are made from your take-home pay. By making after-tax contributions, you could be eligible to receive a boost from the Government under its co-contribution scheme. If you earn under $41,112 p.a., make after-tax contributions of $1,000 (around $20 a week) and meet eligibility requirements, you’ll receive the maximum co-contribution of $500. If you earn up to $56,112 p.a. your after-tax contributions may still be eligible for a smaller co-contribution. What an easy way to boost your super! For full eligibility conditions and details see First Super’s Government co-contribution factsheet.

How do I get started?

Make sure you understand the different contribution types and eligibility conditions. ASIC’s Contributions Optimiser can help you work out which contribution will give your super the biggest boost. You may also want to chat to someone at your super fund.

To make salary sacrifice contributions, contact your employer. Check with your current fund how they accept after-tax contributions.

Want to bring your KiwiSaver balance across the ditch?

Did you know you can move your KiwiSaver balance to First Super? We’re one of the only funds in Australia where you can.

There are no fees for this process, and we’ll help you every step of the way.

Issued by First Super Pty Limited (ABN 42 053 498 472, AFSL 223988) as Trustee of First Super (ABN 56 286 625 181).

Past returns are not an indicator of future returns.

This document contains general advice which has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the advice is appropriate for you and read the Product Disclosure Statement before making any investment decisions. To obtain a copy of the PDS or Target Market Determination please contact First Super on 1300 360 988 or visit our website at