Catch up

Carmella and Anna are both 50 years old. They both want to retire at 65 and are looking for ways to maximise their super balance before then. Both earn $110.000 p.a. before tax and super but have only had their employers’ Super Guarantee paid into their super.

Carmella and Anna read about the ‘catch-up’ contribution rules available on Under these rules, they can make additional before-tax contributions to their super to ‘catch up’ on their unused before-tax contributions over the previous five years. 


Carmella decides to take advantage of the additional concessional contributions of $10,000 a year.


Anna decides not to add anything extra.

Here is where their super balances are after 15 years, when they are both ready to retire.




Current age 50 50
Income p.a before tax and super at start



Age at retirement  65 65
Starting super balance per fund1 $99,520 $99,520
SG rate at start2 10% 10%
SG contribution at start $10,000 $10,000
Additional concessional contribution amount at start $10,000 (or 10% of income) $0



Super balance before fees $323,258 $323,258

Fees (Incl. lost compound earning)

Final balance





Anna's final balance is $7,990 more than Carmella


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Important information

These calculations use ASIC MoneySmart Superannuation Calculator. They are presented in today’s dollar and take into account the concessional before-tax contributions tax rate of 15%; an administration fee of $50 p.a.; invested in a moderate fund (assuming 4.4% long-term return before tax and fees); investment fees of 0.40% p.a.; an indirect cost ratio of 0.60%; wage inflation of 2% p.a. at start, 1.2% increase year on year; and insurance fees at start $100 p.a.

1 ASFA superannuation account balances by age and gender Oct 2017 for female
2 Incrementally increase to 12% by FY2025
3 Concessional contribution cap is $25,000 p.a. 2019/20