Generally, when you contribute to your superannuation fund, you won’t see that money for a long time. Because of this, and to encourage you to save for your retirement, your superannuation is taxed differently to your personal income.

Investment earnings within your superannuation fund are generally taxed up to 15%. The tax you pay on withdrawals from your superannuation fund depends on how you withdraw it, how long you have held a superannuation account and how old you are. You find more information about withdrawals in the Product Disclosure Statement.

Your superannuation is also subject to tax at three different points:

  • when you contribute;
  • when your investment earns money;
  • and when you withdraw your funds.

How you contribute to your superannuation fund will determine if these contributions will be taxed or not (see concessional contribution and non-concessional contributions below).


The tax you pay on contributions depends on how and when you contribute to your super. Concessional contributions (contributions made from your pre-tax income, including the superannuation guarantee, salary sacrifice, any other employer contributions and contributions claimed as a tax deduction) are generally taxed at 15%.

A concessional contributions cap (limits) applies to these sorts of contributions. If you exceed the cap in any financial year, the amount over the cap will be taxed at your marginal tax rate. The concessional contributions cap for the 2020/21 financial year is $25,000 for individuals regardless of age.


Non-concessional contributions (contributions made from your post-tax income) do not generally attract tax, as you have already paid tax on your income. However, a non-concessional contributions cap applies. The non-concessional contributions cap for the 2020/21 financial year is:

  • $100,000 a year; or
  • $300,000 in a rolling three-year period under the bring forward provision.

If you exceed the above limits; you have the choice to release the excess contributions (plus any interests) or leave them in the fund and you may be subject to penalty tax of up to the highest marginal tax rate.

The tax you pay on withdrawals is detailed in the Product Disclosure Statement. You may also wish to speak to a First Super Financial Planner to discuss your plans to access your superannuation, and any tax implications.

This is a sponsored advertising promotion by First Super Pty Limited (ABN 42 053 498 472, AFSL 223988) as trustee of First Super (ABN 56 286 625 181).  This publication may contain general advice which has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consult the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before making any investment decision. Before making a decision to combine your superannuation, you should consider any costs, change to insurance cover or loss of benefits that may apply and, if necessary, consult a qualified financial adviser. Past returns are not a reliable indicator of future returns. Content was accurate at the date of issue in July 2020, but may subsequently change. Please contact First Super on 1300 360 988 for updated information or to obtain a copy of the PDS. No commissions or fees are paid to NZ Relo as part of this promotion, apart from advertising costs.


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