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Contributions caps and taxation of contributions

Standard 'Bring-forward rule'

Section: 5.15

Members under age 65 at any time in a financial year may effectively bring-forward up to two years' worth of non-concessional cap for that income year, allowing them to contribute a greater amount (ie up to $300,000 in 2019-20) without exceeding their non-concessional cap. This is known as the 'bring-forward rule'.

The number of years' that may be brought forward into the current financial year is determined by the member's total superannuation balance at 30 June 2019, as shown in the table below.

Total superannuation balance at 30 June 2019 Standard non-concessional contribution cap for 2019-20 Allowable number of years bring-forward Max NCC for 2019-20 including bring forward (clients under age 65)
Less than $1.4 million $100,000 2 x $100,000 $300,000
At least $1.4 million but less than $1.5 million $100,000 1 x $100,000 $200,000
At least $1.5 million but less than $1.6 million $100,000 Nil $100,000
$1.6 million or more Nil Nil Nil

If maximum contributions are brought forward into the current financial year, the person will not be able to make further non-concessional contributions during the bring forward period.

The 'bring-forward rule' is not retrospective. That is, if a person has not made non-concessional contributions for several years in the past, this cannot be added to their non-concessional contribution limit for the current financial year. The non-concessional contributions caps operate on a 'use it or lose it' basis.

Once non-concessional contributions are made in excess of $100,000 in a financial year, the 'bring-forward rule' is automatically invoked (no election is required).

$1.6 million total super balance threshold applies throughout bring forward period

Where a member has triggered the bring forward rule, it is important to note that if their total superannuation balance just prior to year 2, or year 3 (if applicable), of their bring forward period is $1.6 million or more, their non-concessional contributions cap for that financial year is reduced to nil.


Cliff (age 60) has a total superannuation balance of $1.35 million on 30 June 2019. In 2019-20, he makes non-concessional contributions of $240,000, triggering the bring-forward rule. On 30 June 2020, his total superannuation balance has increased to $1.65 million.

While Cliff would normally have the remaining unused $60,000 of his $300,000 bring-forward amount available in 2020-21, as his total superannuation balance at 30 June 2020 is at least $1.6 million, his non-concessional cap for 2020-21 is instead nil

2019 Federal Budget proposal

Bring-forward rule extended to age 66: Effective 1 July 2020

The Government proposed that people age under age 67 at any time during a financial year (eg age 65 or 66) will be able to trigger the non-concessional bring-forward rule.The ability to use the bring-forward rule will remain subject to the member's total superannuation balance on 30 June prior to the financial year of the contributions.At the time of writing, this proposal is not yet law.

Examples of how 'bring-forward rule' can be used

The following table shows various ways that a member could make use of the 'bring-forward rule' without breaching their non-concessional cap. The examples below assume the client is under the age of 65 and has a total superannuation balance of less than $1.4 million at 30 June in each financial year.

  Non-concessional cap Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3 Scenario 4
FY 1 $100,000 $300,000 Nil $110,000 Nil
FY 2 $100,000 Nil $110,000 Nil
FY 3 $100,000 $300,000 $80,000 $290,000
FY 4 $100,000 $300,000 $50,000 Nil
FY 5 $100,000 $100,000 $10,000
FY 6 $100,000 $100,000 $90,000 Nil

'Bring-forward rule' and indexation

The non-concessional cap increases from time to time due to the indexation of the concessional cap. This effectively means that a member who triggers the 'bring-forward rule' may miss out on an increased non-concessional cap that others have access to because of indexation during financial year 2 and 3 of the 'bring-forward period'.

'Bring-forward rule' for clients approaching age 65 - need to also consider eligibility to contribute

Members aged 63 or 64 during 2019-20 may use the 'bring-forward rule' regardless of their intentions for future gainful employment or retirement from the age of 65. For example, a client aged 64 can still trigger the 'bring-forward rule' and make a non-concessional contribution of $300,000 in the current financial year, even though they may not have been able to make contributions in financial years two and three of the 'bring-forward period'.

However, it is important to understand that a member must be eligible to make non-concessional contributions each time a contribution is made.

Where a member triggers the 'bring-forward rule' in the financial year that they reach age 65, the timing of such contributions will therefore be determined by whether the client has met the work test during the financial year. If the work test has not been met, the member can only make contributions (and therefore trigger the 'bring-forward rule') prior to reaching age 65. If the work test has been met, however, the member can trigger the 'bring-forward rule' by making after tax contributions at any time during the financial year in which they reach 65 (including contributions made after their 65th birthday).

Last modified: Wednesday, July 24, 2019