Ask Paul: Can I top up my teens' super to help them buy property one day?


Hi Paul,

I have two daughters who are 16 years old. They have both opened a super account through Hostplus.

Am I able to give them money to put into super to be used in the future for the First Home Super Saver scheme?

ask paul clitheroe top up teens super first home super saver scheme

If so, what is the limit and does the money need to come from their accounts or can it be done from my account?

I have been saving a regular amount for the past 10 years and would like to transfer this amount (about $10,000 each) into super or into an exchange traded fund, as the accounts are only earning a small amount of interest. - Kim

This is great, Kim. Teaching our kids about money and kickstarting them is brilliant.

Under-18s have the same caps and limits as adults, so you could add their money to super.

What worries me, though, is whether you want the money locked away for possibly over half a century? This decision depends on you and your kids' personal situation.

There are times when investments are better locked away for decades.

I strongly agree you need to get that money growing.

But in your situation, with kids your age, I am left thinking that access to the money at some point in time would be very helpful, maybe as part of a house deposit.

Your call, but I'd be heading for the other option you mention, a good ETF or indexed fund, such as those offered by BlackRock, Vanguard and quite a few other huge, low-cost managers.

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Paul Clitheroe AM is founder and editorial adviser of Money magazine. He is one of Australia's leading financial voices, responsible for bringing financial insight to Australians through personal finance books, the Money TV show, and this publication, which he established in 1999. Paul is the chair of the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board and is chairman of InvestSMART Financial Services. He is the chair of Financial Literacy at Macquarie University where he is also a Professor with the School of Business and Economics. Ask Paul your money question. Unfortunately Paul cannot respond to questions posted in the comments section. View our disclaimer.
April 9, 2022 11.38am

The Industry Super Fund states the following:

" If you're a first home buyer, you can use part of your super to help buy your first home. You can ask the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to release up to $30,000, plus the associated earnings, of your voluntary after-tax contributions or salary sacrifice payments made after 1 July 2017, which can help with your deposit. The government has proposed that from 1 July 2022, this amount will increase to $50,000 plus associated earnings. This measure is not yet law."

So putting this amount into super would still be an options, yes?