The basic contribution limits are:
The limits apply to the total of your contributions even if they come from several sources. For example, if you have two jobs, the limit on your employer contributions is $25,000 in total, not $25,000 from each job. Similarly, if you’re making personal contributions and your spouse is also contributing for you, the combined limit is $100,000 p.a. However, your spouse also has their own $100,000 limit if they are still allowed to contribute to superannuation.
There are certain circumstances under which you can contribute more than these amounts. For instance, there are special extra limits if you sell a small business or receive a compensation payment for an injury. Both have particular conditions you need to meet - talk to an adviser if you think they might be relevant for you.
The amount you have in super for this purpose is a figure called your "total superannuation balance". It is generally just the amount that appears on your member statements from all your combined superannuation funds but for some people (e.g. those with special superannuation arrangements called defined benefits) it is calculated using a formula.
For some people it is possible to contribute more than 1 years' worth of non-concessional contributions in a single year. This is called a "bring forward" (because you are bringing forward future limits to the current year).
Your ability to "bring forward" future years' contribution limits depends on several things:
- whether or not you were under 65 at the start of the year (only people in this position can start a "bring forward")
- whether you have already done so in the past and what you have contributed since you last started a "bring forward"
- the amount you had in super at the previous 30 June
For example, if you had less than $1.4m in super at the previous 30 June, had not started a bring forward in the previous two years and met all the other conditions to do so now, you could contribute up to $300,000 in non-concessional contributions in the current year. You would be bringing forward the next 2 years' contribution limits and could not make any more non-concessional contributions until three financial years had been completed.
If, on the other hand, you had between $1.4m and $1.5m in super at the previous 30 June, you could only bring forward one year's contribution limit. In other words you could contribute up to $200,000 and then start again once two financial years had been completed.
The rules for bringing forward future years' limits are complicated - you should seek advice if you wish to use them.