BOK logo

Summary of superannuation issues and recent changes

Recent changes to Superanuation



Concessional contributions cap: The annual concessional contributions cap is currently $27,500 per person effective from 1 July 2021. The cap will increase to $30,000 per person from 1 July 2024.

Making catch-up concessional contributions: From 1 July 2018, a person with an account balance of less than $500,000 is able to make “catch up” concessional contributions by using any unused portion of their concessional contributions cap from the previous five consecutive years.

Division 293 tax: The income threshold after which an additional 15% of tax (making an effective contributions tax rate of 30%) was imposed on the contributions of “high income” earners is currently $250,000.

Spouse contributions: People who make contributions for their spouse are able to claim a tax offset up to $540 per annum (at the rate of 18% up to a maximum of $3,000) where their spouse earns below $37,000.

Non-concessional Contributions (After Tax Contributions):

  • The standard annual non-concessional contributions cap is currently

$110,000 effective from 1 July 2021. This cap will increase to $120,000 from 1 July 2024.

  • If a member’s super balance is above the superannuation balance cap at 30 June in a year, currently $1.9m, the member is not eligible to make non- concessional contributions in the following year.
  • The three year bring forward rule is applied to enable after tax contributions up to three times the standard annual non-concessional cap, i.e. of contributions of up to $330,000 will be permitted at any time if under age 75. From 1 July 2024 this will increase to $360,000 in alignment with the increase of the annual contributions cap to $120,000 per annum.
  • If a member’s super balance is close to the balance cap amount at 30 June, currently being $1.9m, the member is only able to bring forward the

$110,000 annual cap for the number of years that would take the member’s balance to the cap amount.

Individuals with super balances at or above the balance cap are only able to increase their overall super balance via concessional tax deductible contributions and investment growth.


Retirement phase transfer limits: From 1 July 2023, the total amount a member can “transfer into retirement phase” is limited to $1,900,000 where the first transfer occurred on or after 1 July 2023. Earnings arising from a pension account, which cause the account to exceed the cap, may be retained in the “retirement phase” account, but pension payments deducted cannot be replenished. Given this, a strategy of taking out only the minimum amount from pension accounts with supplementary additional amounts being withdrawn from accumulation accounts or withdrawn as commutations from the “retirement phase” account should be considered.


Current market valuations of all assets were required to be incorporated into the Financial Statements. Valuations for listed investments are readily available. Valuation of unlisted investments, including property investments are required to be arranged as at 30 June 2024, and for following years.

In respect of property investments, the ATO valuation guidelines are not definitive, however it is recommended that at least two valuations from a real estate agent or one from an independent sworn valuer is obtained.


Self-managed super funds (SMSFs) are subject to a reporting regime relating to the transfer balance cap and event-based reporting framework.

The transfer balance account report (TBAR) is a separate form from the SMSF annual return (SAR). The TBAR enables the ATO to record and track an individual's balance for both their transfer balance cap and total superannuation balance cap.

From 1 July 2023, TBAR’s are required to be lodged for all Funds on a quarterly basis.


No Work Test

If you are under age 75, you do not have to satisfy the work test in order to make or receive non-concessional super contributions and salary sacrificed contributions.

Super Guarantee increase

The rate of super guarantee payable by employers increases from 11.0% to 11.5% of employee wages from 1 July 2024.

Downsize your home and add to your super

From 1 January 2023, people aged 55 or over can make contributions into their super account of up to $300,000 ($600,000 for a couple) using the proceeds from the sale of their main residence. Although these ‘downsizer’ contributions are considered non-concessional (after-tax) contributions, they are in addition to any voluntary contributions made under the current non-concessional contributions cap ($110,000 in 2023/24).


The minimum account based pension payments for the 2023/24 year are as follows :

Age Rate
Under 65 4%
65-74 5%
75-79 6%
80-84 7%
85-89 9%
90-94 11%
95+ 14%

SMSF Investment Strategies

The ATO’s requirements

The guidance and requirements from the ATO are summarized as follows: Extent of Diversification

The ATO have advised that trustees should consider including in the strategy the extent to which the fund investments are diverse and the risks which could apply from a lack of diversification.

Tailored and specific

The ATO have advised that the trustees should consider the personal circumstances of each member and explain how the investment strategy meets the retirement objectives of each member.

Investment strategy compliance

To ensure a fund’s investment strategy meets the requirements of the ATO, it is recommended that the trustee :

  • have a current investment strategy in place;
  • review it regularly (at least annually), and in doing so :
    • document the personal circumstances of the members including their ages, retirement plans, likely future contributions and employment status;
    • consider the likely risk and return of the assets invested in;
    • consider the liquidity and cash-flow requirements of the fund;
    • consider the ability of the trustee to discharge the liabilities of the fund;
    • consider the degree of diversification of the assets invested in; and
    • consider whether insurance should be held for the members.

Proposed Super Changes

Pay Day Superannuation

It has previously been announced that from 1 July 2026, employers will be required to pay their employees’ super at the same time as their salary and wages.

The start date will provide employers, super funds, payroll providers and other parts of the superannuation system with sufficient time to prepare for the change. This measure is not yet law.

Additional 15% tax on earnings where member balances are in excess of $3m.

The proposal is effectively an additional 15% tax on “earnings” on balances (excluding the first $3m), calculated as described below. It is proposed that tax will be able to paid by the Fund, or by the member personally.

The proposed method of calculation is controversial as it includes taxing unrealised capital gains and a negative result is only available to be carried forward.

The proposed start date is 1 July, 2025, after the next federal election.

Based upon published information, the tax calculation methodology is summarised as follows:

  1. Closing member balances (CMB) + any withdrawals for the year – any net contributions for year, less opening balance (OB) = earnings (E).
  2. Percentage of earnings (POE) = CMB less $3m/CMB
  3. Tax = POE * E * 15%.

Please note the above information is purely factual in nature and does not take account of personal objectives, situation or needs. The information is objectively ascertainable and, therefore, does not constitute financial product advice.

Would you please contact us at your convenience to discuss any aspect of this paper.

Shane O’Brien 16 April 2024

Want to know more?

Do you have a question about something you've read in this article? Need more information? Want to book an appointment? Simply let us know below and we'll get back to you ASAP.


In the preparation of this website every effort has been made to provide accurate and timely information. However, errors can occur and applicable laws and regulations may change.

The information contained in the site is general and is not intended to serve as advice. No warranty is given as to the reliability of any information.

Users are encouraged to consult with professional advisers for advice before making any decisions that affect their own interests.

Bourke O’Brien Kennedy disclaims all and any liability to any person as to the consequences of anything done or omitted to be done by any person in reliance whether wholly or partially, upon any information contained in this website.

Links on this website are to resources managed by other parties over whom Bourke O’Brien Kennedy has no control. As such, Bourke O’Brien Kennedy accepts no responsibility as to the accuracy of any statement, opinion or advice contained in any of the supplied information and readers should rely on their own enquiries before making any decisions affecting their own interests.

Privacy Policy

We will only use the information you provide to us to respond to your requests and provide you with information about Bourke O’Brien Kennedy services.

Whenever you receive information from us electronically, you will always have an opportunity to request not to receive the information again and your wishes will be respected.

If you send us a curriculum vitae (CV) to apply for a position with Bourke O’Brien Kennedy, we will only use that information to consider you for available opportunities.

We do not share personal information with third parties except as necessary to carry out our business or as required by law or other processes. We do not sell personal information. All personnel with access to personal information ensure to maintain its confidentiality.

If you have questions or comments about anything to do with our website, please do not hesitate to contact us at