Have you been considering downsizing your home?
Did you know you may be able to contribute this to a more tax effective environment? If you’re 65 or over, you may be able to contribute the proceeds of selling your home into super and be exempt from some of the normal super contribution rules and limits.
What are downsizer contributions?
From 1 July 2018, if you’re aged 65 or older and have owned your house for at least 10 years, you may be able to contribute up to $300,000 ($600,000 per couple) into super from the proceeds of selling your home.
Benefits of Making Downsizer Contributions
Downsizer contributions provide a way to top up your super balance with no work test or age limits applying to downsizer contributions.
The usual annual contributions caps don’t apply to downsizer contributions (Concessional & Non-concessional) which are $25,000 and $100,000 a year respectively and can be made in addition to any concessional and non-concessional super contributions you may be eligible to make.
Downsizer contributions are not subject to the $1.6million total super balance restriction. While you can’t make non-concessional contributions into your super at all if your total super balance is $1.6 million or above as at 30 June of the previous financial year, this rule doesn’t apply to downsizer contributions.
Once you have sold your main residence there is no requirement to buy a new home and finally both members of a couple can take advantage of the downsizer contribution rule, which means up to $600,000 per couple can be contributed toward super.
Am I eligible and other considerations?
- You must be aged 65 or older to make a downsizer contribution
- The property that’s sold needs to have been your (or your spouse’s) main place of residence at some point in time, and you need to have owned the home for at least 10 years
- The sold property must be in Australia and excludes caravans, mobile homes and houseboats
- A downsizer contribution must be made within 90 days of receiving the sale proceeds
- A downsizer contribution form must be submitted to your super fund before, or at the time of making your contribution
- You can’t have previously made a downsizer contribution to super
- You can only transfer a maximum of $1.6 million in super savings (not including subsequent earnings) into a tax-free pension account
- Downsizing your home may impact Age Pension eligibility. There is no special Centrelink means test exemption for making downsizer contributions
- There are costs involved in selling a property and buying another one which should be considered. You will need to take into account any additional property-related costs
- Downsizer contributions are not tax deductible.
Downsizer Contributions: A Case Study
Malcolm and Tracy are 73 and 75 years old and retired. They sell their home on 15 September 2019 after owning it for 13 years and receive $1.5 million.
They can both make a non-concessional super contribution of $300,000 ($600,000 in total). They can do this even though Malcolm doesn’t meet the contribution ‘work test’ and Tracy is over age 75.
They can make these contributions regardless of how much they already have in their super accounts and the contributions won’t count towards the non-concessional contributions cap. It does not matter if the house was only owned by one of them.
This information has been prepared by IFBA Pty Ltd T/as Pacific Finance Australia ABN 60 108 622 644 Australian Credit Licence No. 391682. Pacific Finance Australia accepts no obligation to correct or update the information or opinions in it. This advice is general and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the advice is suitable for you and your personal circumstances.