Government Incentives

Did you know that the government has incentives to help you grow your super?
There are three key incentives that you might be eligible for – the Super Co-Contribution, the Low Income Superannuation Tax Offset (LISTO) and the First Home Super Saver Scheme. You don’t need to apply for any of these incentives, but you will need to make sure you have added your Tax File Number (TFN) to your account.

Incentive 1, Super Co-Contribution

The super co-contribution is some help from the government to boost your super account when you make personal contributions.
To be eligible for this co-contribution, you must:
  • A.
    check if you earn less than the threshold (before tax):
    • Less than $57,016 between 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023
    • Less than $58,445 between 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024
  • B.
    earn 10% or more of your total income from employment (i.e. income from a job),
  • C.
    make a personal contribution to your super account and
  • D.
    lodge a tax return for the year you made the personal contribution.
If you meet the eligibility – the government will automatically pay you 50 cents for every $1 you contribute (up to a maximum of $500). The ATO has a handy co-contribution calculator you can use to check your eligibility.
You can do this every year that you meet the ATO’s criteria!
Another upside is that as you’re making personal contributions, you can withdraw them later to buy your first home under the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS).
YearLower income thresholdHigher income thresholdMaximum contribution
In July 2023, Jessica has a part-time job and meets the criteria of having an income under $58,445 p.a., In fact, Jessica earns less than $43,445, so she’s eligible for the best rate of co-contribution.
She transferred $1,000 from her bank account to her super account. In July, she will do her annual tax return, and the ATO will automatically transfer Jessica $500 into her super account. Too easy!

Incentive 2, Low Income Super Tax Offset (LISTO)

The upside of this government incentive is that you don’t need to do anything to receive the benefit!
If you’re eligible, after you lodge your tax return, the ATO will automatically pay this into your super account. Just make sure you’ve added your Tax File Number (TFN) to your account.
If your total income is below the tax-free threshold, the government won’t charge you any tax. However, 15% tax would have been automatically deducted from the super contributions made by your employer.
This tax offset refunds this tax into your super account. The aim is to help you grow your super account by ensuring you’re not paying more tax on your super than you are on your income.
To be eligible for this incentive, you must:
  • A.
    earn $37,000 or less per year,
  • B.
    add your Tax File Number (TFN) to your super account, and
  • C.
    lodge your tax return.
The maximum amount you will receive per financial year is $500. If you want to calculate how much LISTO you will receive, you can check out the ATO calculator.

Incentive 3, First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS)

The FHSSS was introduced to help Australians save quicker for their first home by using their super.
Why use the FHSSS?
The main advantage of saving for a home deposit inside your super is the special tax treatment that super receives. Super is generally taxed at 15%. This can be much lower than the tax rate applied to bank accounts - interest earned in a bank account is taxed at the same rate as your personal income tax which can be as high as 47%.
How much can you save using your super?
You can add up to $15,000 per financial year into your super account to contribute towards your home deposit. The total you can save inside your super for a deposit is $50,000. You can withdraw your savings plus associated earnings when you’re ready to buy your first home.
Read more about the FHSSS and eligibility on the ATO’s website.