How it works
The concessional contributions cap is currently $25,000 pa. From 1 July 2018, eligible members who contribute less than the cap will be able to ‘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.
As it relates to contributions made from 1 July 2018, the first year in which you can access your unused concessional contributions is 2019-20. Unfortunately you won’t be able to access the unused portions of your cap from before 1 July 2018.
EligibilityTo 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.
Example from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO):
Kate's employer contributions are $10,000 in 2018-19 and her total superannuation balance at 30 June 2018 is less than $500,000. In 2018–19, Kate makes $10,000 in concessional contributions (that’s the contributions her employer has paid).
This leaves an unused amount of the concessional contribution cap of $15,000, which Kate can carry forward for up to five years to increase her concessional contribution cap.
In 2019–20, in addition to her normal $25,000 concessional cap, Kate can use the $15,000 of unused cap from the previous year. Kate’s total concessional cap for 2019–20 is $40,000.
Calculating your contributions
Pre-tax (concessional) contributions include employer paid super, 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.