Guide to Downsizer Contributions: Maximising your nest egg

If you are considering selling your home and want to boost your retirement savings, this is the blog for you. Downsizer contributions are a valuable strategy that many people are not fully aware of, but one that can make a significant difference in the size of your nest egg.

In this guide, we delve into the ins and outs of downsizer contributions, explaining how they work, who is eligible, and the potential benefits they offer. Whether you’re nearing retirement or considering downsizing your home, this guide will provide you with the essential information you need to make informed decisions regarding your financial future.

What are downsizer contributions?

Downsizer contributions are a valuable strategy that allows individuals to boost their retirement savings by selling their home and contributing to their superannuation. It is an option available to those aged 55 or older who meet certain eligibility criteria.

When you sell your home, you can contribute up to $300,000 from the sale proceeds into your superannuation fund. This can be done regardless of your current total superannuation balance or the contribution caps that apply to other types of contributions. Downsizer contributions are a one-time opportunity that can have a significant impact on your retirement savings.

The primary purpose of downsizer contributions is to provide individuals with an incentive to downsize their homes and free up housing stock for younger families. However, it also presents a unique opportunity for retirees to bolster their superannuation balance and ensure financial security in their golden years.


Benefits of downsizer contributions

One of the key benefits of downsizer contributions is the ability to supercharge your Super balance without being constrained by the usual contribution caps. This means that even if you have reached your concessional or non-concessional contributions cap for the financial year, you can still take advantage of downsizer contributions.

Furthermore, downsizer contributions are not subject to the work test, which means that even if you’re not currently employed, you can still make a contribution to your superannuation through this strategy. This can be especially beneficial for individuals who have retired but want to increase their superannuation balance for a more comfortable retirement.

You are able to put a maximum of $300,000 per person into Super, which means that in a couple, you could get up to $600,000 into your Super funds.

Key Point:

  • You can make full downsizer contributions regardless of your Total Super balance (TSB). This is a feature that is not shares with other types of contributions like Non-concessional Contribution, Carry forward Non-concessional and catch-up contributions.

Key Considerations:

  • While the downsizer contributions can be made regardless of your TSB, they will add to your TSB after they have been made
  • This may limit your ability to make other contributions in the future, like catch up concessional contributions (TSB goes over $500,000) and Bring-forward Non- Concessional Contributions (TSB over $1.68m)
  • For this reason, it is important to carefully plan out the timing of your downsizer contribution, especially if you expect to have large capital gain events down the track where you might require your concessional caps to offset the gain.

    Now that we’ve explored the benefits of downsizer contributions, let’s take a closer look at the eligibility criteria you need to meet in order to take advantage of this strategy.

Eligibility requirements

  1. You must be aged 55 or over from 1 July 2023
  2. The amount of the contribution is an amount equal to all or part of the sale proceeds (capped at $300,000 per person) of a qualifying main residence, where the contract of sale of the main residence was exchanged on or after 1 July 2018.
  3. The home was owned by you or your spouse for 10 years or more prior to the sale. Further, your home must be in Australia and must not be a caravan, houseboat or other mobile home.
  4. The proceeds of selling your home are either fully exempt or partially exempt from capital gains tax under the main residence exemption or, if the home was acquired before 20 September 1985, would have been exempt.
  5. You make the downsizer contribution within 90 days of receiving the proceeds of sale (ie, usually settlement date).
  6. You complete the ‘Downsizer contribution into super form’ (NAT 75073) which is available on the ATO website and provide it to your superannuation fund either before or at the time of making the downsizer contribution.
  7. You have previously not made a downsizer contribution from the sale of another home.

    It’s important to note that downsizer contributions can only be made for the sale of one home. If you and your spouse jointly own a home, both of you can make a downsizer contribution, but the total amount contributed cannot exceed $300,000 for each individual.

Age Pension Entitlements
If you’re considering downsizing your home and making a downsizer contribution, you should consider the effect that it will have on your Age Pension entitlements.

By taking money from a non-asseassable asset (primary residence) and putting money into assessable assets like Superannuation, this will have an impact on the assets tests for Centrelink entitlements and reduce your entitlements.

For this reason, it’s crucial to consult with a financial advisor before making a downsizer contribution. They can provide personalized advice based on your individual circumstances and help you navigate any potential pitfalls or complexities associated with this strategy.

Conclusion

In conclusion, downsizer contributions present a valuable opportunity for individuals to boost their retirement savings and ensure financial security in their golden years. If you are considering selling your home and want to discuss the merits of downsizer contributions, reach out to one of our experienced Advisers through this website or by contacting the office on 07 3378 9681 or admin@p3fp.com.au.