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Work test

Section: 2.4

The work test must be met in order for the trustee of a super fund to accept member contributions or voluntary employer contributions if the member is age 65 or over at the time of the contribution, but is under the maximum age for that type of contribution.

The work test does not apply to members who, at the time of the contribution, are under the age of 65.

A member meets the work test if the member has been gainfully employed for at least 40 hours in a period of not more than 30 consecutive days in the financial year.
  • The work test, if applicable, must be met prior to the contribution being made.
  • The trustee cannot take prospective employment into account. The member must have worked at least 40 hours within 30 consecutive days in the financial year before the trustee can accept the contribution.
  • The work test does not apply to people who at the time of the contribution are under the age of 65.
  • From age 65, a member must meet the work test at some point in the financial year prior to making member contributions or receiving voluntary employer contributions.
  • From age 75, a member may not make member contributions or receive voluntary employer contributions regardless of the member's work status.
  • Mandated employer contributions may be made at any age without the member meeting the work test.
  • The work test can be satisfied anywhere in the world.

Gainfully employed

Gainfully employed is employed or self-employed for gain or reward in any business, trade, profession, vocation, calling, occupation or employment.

The concept of 'gain or reward' envisages receipt of remuneration such as salary or wages, business income, bonuses, commissions, fees or gratuities, in return for personal exertion.

Voluntary or charity work arrangements are unlikely to satisfy the definition of gainfully employed, even where they involve the provision of meals or reimbursement of expenses.

The work test and periods of leave

Where a client takes a period of paid leave, it will generally be considered as a period of gainfully employment. Therefore, where a client is working full-time and takes a six weeks of annual leave at full pay. they will be considered to remain gainfully employed on a full-time basis during their period of leave.

It is unclear whether periods of unpaid leave count as gainful employment.

It is important to note that lump sum leave payments received after a client's termination of employment do not count as a period of gainful employment.

Last modified: Thursday, August 24, 2017