Super for self-employed people
Build your own super
If you are self-employed or work as a contractor, you need to
think about super. If you don't act now, you might not have enough
money to live on when you retire.
to super when you are self-employed?
When you're employed, your employer will make contributions to
your super fund over your working life, which accumulate until you
retire. These contributions along with investment returns can then
be used to pay you a tax-free income when you retire. But what
happens when you are your own employer?
When you work for yourself it's up to you to provide for
your retirement income. Many self-employed people receive income
primarily for their labour, which means when you stop working you
stop getting paid. You can plan for that day by putting part of
your income away in a super fund. You can make regular
contributions or make lump sums less frequently, to suit your cash
Super is an environment that gets preferential tax treatment,
meaning you generally pay less tax on earnings within super, and
you can usually get better investment returns than a bank savings
account. Your money will be locked away until you retire, but that
can be a good thing if you're not so good at saving.
Claiming a tax
deduction for super contributions
If you are self-employed you can claim a tax deduction for
your super contributions.
If you're self-employed, always confirm the details of any super
contributions with your accountant or tax agent.
You can contribute up to $25,000 per year in concessional
super contributions (those you claim a tax deduction for) and an
additional $100,000 a year in non-concessional super contributions
(those you don't claim a tax deduction for).
These rules have recently changed. See the Australian Taxation
Office for information on claiming deductions for personal super
How to be eligible for
government super contributions
If you earn less than $36,813 per year you could be eligible for
a government super contribution of up to $500. Even those earning
up to $51,813 may still be eligible for some government
contributions. Consider making after-tax contributions to super to
qualify for the co-contribution from the
If you earn $37,000 or less per year, the government may make a
further contribution of up to $500 to your super to compensate you
for contributions tax paid as your money goes into super. See
income super tax offset for more details.
Super may not be at the top of your priority list if you're
self-employed. But don't leave it too late - putting super money
away now will make sure you have enough to live on later.
Last updated: 18 Jul 2017