Catch-up with your super

‘Catch-up’ contributions aim to give people the same opportunity to save for retirement. You can take advantage of catch-ups if you haven’t used your entire pre-tax (concessional) contribution cap since the 2018-19 financial year, by contributing the remainder in future financial years.

How it works

From 1 July 2021 the pre-tax contributions cap is $27,500 pa. From 1 July 2018, eligible members who contributed less than the cap can ‘carry-forward’ any unused amounts for up to five years. This may allow you to make additional pre-tax contributions that would have otherwise exceeded the cap. Please note the pre-tax contribution cap before 1 July 2021 was $25,000. Any unused amounts up to $25,000 can be carried forward for previous financial years, see example below.


To be eligible, your total superannuation balance at 30 June of the previous financial year must be less than $500,000. If you have multiple super accounts, the total of all accounts combined must be less than $500,000.  

Calculating your contributions

Pre-tax (concessional) contributions include: 

  • employer paid super
  • employer paid insurance premiums
  • amounts you salary sacrifice, and 
  • post-tax contributions for which you have claimed a tax deduction.

If you have multiple super accounts, you’ll need to include pre-tax contributions that have been made into all of your accounts when calculating any ‘carry forward’ amount you believe you are eligible for. You can check your unused concessional contributions cap in mygov.

Case study

In the 2018/19 financial year, Susie was not working. 

In the 2019/20 financial year, Susie made total pre-tax (concessional) contributions of $15,000, which is $10,000 less than the annual cap amount of $25,000.

From 1 July 2020, Susie took 12 months maternity leave and didn’t make any pre-tax contributions in the 2020/21 financial year.

As on 30 June 2021, Susie had a total superannuation balance of $150,000.

From 1 July 2021, Susie returned to work on a part-time basis where her employer made mandatory pre-tax contributions totalling $10,000, which is $17,500 less than the annual cap amount of $27,500.

Since Susie’s total super balance at the end of 30 June of the previous financial year is less than $500,000, Susie can carry forward $60,000 in unused pre-tax contributions from the 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years when she makes her pre-tax contributions in the 2021/22 financial year. This means if Susie wants to contribute more than $27,500 in the 2021/22 financial year, i.e. up to $77,500 (this figures includes the $10,000 from her employer mandatory pre-tax contributions), she can and won’t be exceeding the cap. 

Financial year Annual pre-tax contribution cap  Carried forward cap available at the start of the financial year  Pre-tax contributions made during the financial year Unused cap carried forward from end of financial year 
 2018/19  $25,000  $25,000  $0  $25,000
 2019/20  $25,000  $50,000  $15,000  $35,000
 2020/21  $25,000  $60,000  $0  $60,000
 2021/22  $27,500  $87,500  $10,000  $77,500

How to catch up

If you have an unused cap amount that you’d like to carry forward from an earlier year, you can make contributions to your account two ways. 

1. You make catch-up pre-tax contributions through salary sacrificing:

  • Telstra employees:  nominate an amount to contribute through Workday
  • Non-Telstra employees:  contact your payroll team and let them know you’d like to start making contributions from your pre-tax salary.  

2. You can make a post-tax contributions by BPay and then claim a deduction for it. This will then count towards your pre-tax contribution cap.  Or you make a post-tax contribution by cheque and claim a deduction at the same time, by completing the Member & Spouse Contribution form.

Need help developing a tax effective strategy?
At TelstraSuper we’re here to help you build a secure financial future. TelstraSuper Financial Planning has a team of phone based Advisers who can provide you with simple advice to help you work out how to maximise your tax savings through super. If you’d like to discuss growing your super or if you have any other financial advice queries contact us on 1300 033 166 or fill in our online contact form. There's no additional cost for our phone based advice as this is included in your TelstraSuper membership.