Who can contribute to an SMSF?

Contributions can be accepted for anyone up to age 65, once you turn 65 the rules begin to change. 

Contributions from you and/or your employer can generally only be accepted if: 

  • you have worked, and been paid, for at least 40 hours during a 30-day period in the financial year, or 

  • the contributions are 'mandated' employer contributions. This means contributions that the employer is required to make by law, for example, to comply with Superannuation Guarantee requirements, or contributions required under an award. 

Once you reach 65 you become eligible to start making "downsizer” contributions (subject to other eligibility rules) and the age-based eligibility continues from this point forward.

The rules change again once you reach 70, for example, personal contributions can only be made on your own behalf (you cannot receive contributions made on your behalf from your spouse). 

The rules change again one last time when you reach 75. As a general rule, only 'mandated' contributions can be made on your behalf after age 75. 


How to contribute to an SMSF

Contributions are normally made by writing a cheque to the fund or arranging a bank transfer. However, they can also be made by transferring assets the contributor already personally owns. These are known as in specie contributions. An example of an in specie contribution is transferring ownership of publicly-listed shares you already own from your name to the fund.  Anything that your fund is allowed to buy from you can be used to make an in specie contribution but there are rules about what you fund is allowed to buy from you.