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Spouse contributions – it takes two

Spouse contributions are contributions that you make into your spouse’s super account on their behalf, or contributions that your spouse makes into your account. Making contributions to your spouse’s super can not only help build their super – it can also help you pay less tax (or vice versa).

Spouse contributions can be particularly helpful in cases where one spouse has taken an extended career break (for example to look after children or a family member, or due to illness). The contributions from one spouse can help to boost the non-working spouse’s super at a time when they may not otherwise be receiving anything into their super account.

How are they taxed?

Just like personal after-tax contributions, spouse contributions are made from your (or your spouse’s) take-home pay (which is what’s left of your pay after income tax has been deducted). So they’re generally not taxed again once they reach your spouse’s (or your) super account.

However, they do count towards the receiving spouse’s non-concessional contributions cap (that’s your spouse if you’re making the contribution for them, or you if you’re receiving the contributions from your spouse). 

Both of you could pay less tax

The partner making the spouse contribution may be eligible to receive an 18% tax offset of up to $540 in each financial year if the spouse receiving the contribution earns under $37,000 (the tax offset reduces as income increases and phases out at $40,000).

You and your spouse both benefit from the concessional tax rates that apply to super when you both contribute into each other’s super.

Splitting your contributions

Another great way of helping to equalise super balances between spouses is known as contribution splitting. This allows one spouse to split up to 85% of their before-tax contributions (that’s superannuation guarantee contributions, any salary sacrifice personal or personal deductible contributions they’re making), with the other spouse.

Tax benefits

Unlike spouse contributions which are made from your after tax savings, contribution splitting takes place before income tax is taken out.

Splitting your contributions across two super accounts may be more tax-effective if both you and your partner are planning to make withdrawals or receive an income stream from your super between the ages of 55 and 59 (inclusive).

Who can split contributions?

Contributions can be split provided:

  • each partner agrees to the split
  • the eligible contributions were made during the previous financial year and/or the current financial year provided you are exiting your VicSuper FutureSaver account. Please note due to the successor fund transfer between the Victorian Superannuation Fund and the First State Superannuation Scheme, you cannot submit contribution splitting applications for the 2019/20 financial year after 30 June 2020.
  • the couple is married or in a de facto relationship (includes same-sex couples)
  • the ‘receiving’ spouse has not reached preservation age, or is between preservation age and age 74 and not yet permanently retired
  • an application to split the contributions has not already been made in the same financial year

How does it impact on the contributions cap?

The original amount before being split counts towards the concessional contributions cap of the person making the split. It does not count towards the non-concessional contributions cap of the person receiving the split.


Can we access split super early?

Split contributions are generally preserved until the receiving spouse turns 65 or reaches their preservation age and permanently retires. Find out more about accessing your super. For more details on spouse contributions, view our Member Guide.

View guide



  • Decide whether this benefits you and your spouse

    Decide whether this benefits you and your spouse

    Give our team a call on 1300 366 216 for professional financial advice on whether these strategies could be effective for you and your spouse. In most cases, this type of advice for members is at no extra charge.

    Get advice

  • Make a contribution

    Make a contribution

    There are several ways you can make a spouse contribution. 

    Payment options

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