To help those nearing retirement boost their super balances, those aged 65 and over are able to make a downsizer contribution of up to $300,000 from the proceeds of the sale of their home. This measure was originally envisaged as a way to encourage older people to get into more suitable homes as well as increase the level of housing stock in a bid to reduce soaring house prices.
Downsizer contributions are separate from concessional and non-concessional contributions, which means that amounts contributed do not count towards the contribution caps (ie $27,500 for concessional and $110,000 for non-concessional). However, these amounts will count towards the transfer balance cap which applies when super is moved into the retirement phase.
As part of a suite of measures introduced to provide more flexibility for those contributing to super, from 1 July 2022 the age limit for those making downsizer contributions will be decreased to those individuals 60 years or over. Optimistically, the government expects this decrease in age will encourage more older Australians to downsize sooner and “[free] up the stock of larger homes for younger families”.
If you or your spouse are thinking of selling the family home to capture a premium, especially in regional areas, besides the age qualification, other criteria that must be satisfied in order to make a downsizer contribution to super include:
the location of the home must be in Australia;
the home must have been owned by your or your spouse for at least 10 years;
the home must not be a caravan, houseboat, or another mobile home;
the disposal must be exempt or partially exempt from CGT under the main residence exemption; and
a previous downsizer contribution must not have been made from the sale of another home or from the part sale of the current home.
The downsizer contribution must be made within 90 days of receiving the proceeds of the sale (ie from the date of settlement), and your super fund must be provided with the appropriate downsizer contribution form before or at the time of making the contribution
Each individual is able to make the maximum contribution of $300,000, so for a couple, a total contribution of $600,000 can be made. However,, the total contribution amount cannot be greater than the total proceeds from the sale of the home. In instances where a home is owned only by one spouse and is sold, the spouse that did not have ownership is also able to make a downsizer contribution or have one made on their behalf, provided all other requirements are met.
There is no maximum age for downsizer contributions. As long as the individual or couple is 60 years or older on 1 July 2022 and satisfies the other conditions, a contribution up to the maximum amount can be made.