Opening an account for your partner
At Super SA, we can open a Triple S account for your spouse (or putative spouse) if you’re an active Triple S member yourself.
Making contributions to your spouse’s account could make a difference to both of your retirement savings, especially if your spouse is not working or on a low income.
At the same time, you may be able to reduce your tax with a tax offset.
How can a Triple S member contribute to their spouse’s account?
If you’re a Triple S member, you could consider contribution splitting or salary sacrificing into your partner’s account, provided they meet the definition of spouse or putative spouse.
You can split up to 100% of your:
- Employer contributions
- Salary sacrifice contributions (while Triple S has no annual cap1 on salary sacrifice contributions, a Triple S spouse account has an annual concessional cap of $27,500 for 2022-23).
You cannot split:
- Rollover amounts
- Amounts subject to family law conditions
- Personal after-tax contributions
- Government co-contributions
- Amounts you have received as a spouse contribution split.
A contribution split can be made once a year:
In the following financial year in which the contributions were received in your account.
In the same financial year in which the contributions were received in your account, IF the entire split is rolled over, transferred or cashed by the receiving spouse before the end of that financial year.
These options are only available while you are employed with the SA Government (regardless of your spouse’s employment status).
Definition of a spouse and putative spouse
At Super SA, we define your spouse as the person to whom you are legally married.
Additionally, if you are in a relationship (but not married) your partner (including same sex partner) may be recognised as your putative spouse, if you have:
- been continuously living together for the last three years,
- lived together for a total of no less than three out of the last four years, or
- have had a child together.
Your partner is also recognised as your putative spouse if you’ve registered your relationship with Births, Deaths and Marriages (within the meaning of the Relationships Register Act 2016).
The components of a spouse (or putative spouse) account
A Triple S spouse account can include any or all of the following three components. By law, Super SA can’t accept your spouse’s employer contributions.
To receive personal after-tax contributions made by the spouse member and eligible contributions made by the Triple S member.
Spouse contribution account
To receive all eligible rollovers from complying super funds and all payments received through contribution splitting.
To receive any commonwealth government co- contributions.
What is the spouse contribution tax offset and how does it work?
By making contributions to your partner’s super you could become eligible for a spouse contributions tax offset of up to $540.
However, there are some conditions you need to consider.
Firstly, to be eligible for a spouse contributions tax offset, your contribution needs to be a spouse contribution. This means you have informed your spouse’s super fund that the contribution you have made is listed as such.
The amount you can claim depends on how much your partner earns annually and the size of your contribution.
- If your partner earns $37,000 or less a year and you make a spouse contribution of up to $3,000, you could qualify for the maximum tax offset of up to $540.
- If your partner earns between $37,000 and $40,000, you could be eligible for a partial tax offset.
- If your partner earns more than $40,000, you might not be eligible for the tax offset but you can still make contributions to their super1.
At the end of the day, both you and your partner could benefit over the long run whether your contribution to your partner’s super is big or small.
There are annual caps on how much you can put away in super before paying extra tax on contributions. Spouse contributions will count towards the receiving spouse’s non-concessional contributions cap, $110,000 per year for the 2021-22 financial year. Refer to the relevant Product Disclosure Statement for more information.
Payment of Triple S spouse member entitlements
A Triple S spouse member may transfer all or part of their account balance to any complying super fund at any time.
A cash entitlement from a spouse account can be released when one of the following occurs:
- the Triple S member ceases SA Government employment or transfers their entire benefit out of Triple3 and the spouse member meets a condition of release, or
- the spouse member suffers a physical or mental disablement and the Super SA Board approves the release of the account, or
- the spouse member is no longer the spouse of the Triple S member, and meets a condition of release, or
- the spouse member has reached age 65 or dies.
For more information on spouse member entitlements, please see the Triple S Reference Guide.
Death Only Insurance for spouse members
Spouse members have the option to take out Death Only Insurance with Super SA. They may also, within 60 days of becoming eligible for a benefit, transfer their insurance from a Triple S spouse account to a Flexible Rollover Product spouse account on the same terms, conditions and restrictions. Any limitations that applies in Triple S will continue to apply.
For more details, please refer to the Death and TPD and Death Only fact sheet.