SMSF Strategy Guide: Online Library

Contribution rules & limits

SMSF Education
Smsf strategy guide: Online library

What are the age limits and work tests for contributions?


One of the obligations that SMSF trustees take on when they establish a SMSF, is to only accept allowable contributions into the fund. Therefore, as trustee, you will need to understand what these allowable contributions are, and who they can be accepted for. This is generally based on the age of the member to whom the contribution relates.

Contributions to SMSFs can be accepted in the following circumstances:

Under age 65

For members under the age of 65, all types of mandated and non-mandated contributions can be accepted regardless of the member’s working status. The exception to this is that downsizer contributions can NOT be accepted (the member must be over age 65 in that instance).

Age 65 or over but under age 75

For members under age 70 but over age 65, all types of mandated and non-mandated contributions can be accepted if the member is gainfully employed at least part time (40 hours in any consecutive 30 day period). Downsizer contributions however can be accepted regardless, and are not subject to the work test.

Age 70 or over but under age 75

For members age 70 or over, but under age 75, then mandated contributions can be accepted as above, but for non-mandated contributions only personal contributions and employer non-mandated contributions (like salary sacrifice) can be accepted. If a member is turning 75, then they have until the 28th of the month following the month they turn 75 to make those contributions. As above, downsizer contributions can also be accepted regardless of work status.

Age 75 or over

For members age 75 or over, only mandated contributions can be accepted (such as employer contributions). Downsizer contributions can also be made, however non-mandated contributions such as personal contributions


  • Gainfully employed does not include unpaid or voluntary work. It must be work for gain or reward.
  • The SMSF must hold the member’s tax file number to accept super co-contributions, personal contributions and spouse contributions.

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