If you are under Age 65 you do not need to pass a Work Test or meet the Work Test Exemption Criteria to make a voluntary Concessional or Non Concessional Contribution. Before 1 July 2020, if you are aged over 65 (but under 75) you can only make voluntary Concessional or Non Concessional Contributions into your SMSF if you pass a Work Test or meet the Work Test Exemption Criteria. From 1 July 2020, the Work Test related rules only apply if you are aged over 67 (but under 75).
The "Work Test" requires that an Individual is "Gainfully Employed" for at least 40 hours in a period of not more than 30 consecutive days in that Financial Year. The term "Gainfully Employed" is defined to mean employed or self-employed for gain or reward in any business, trade, profession, vocation, calling, occupation or employment. Gain or reward essentially means that you are remunerated in return for the personal services provided (e.g. as a salary, business income, bonuses and commissions that are fully documented and declared for tax purposes). Gain or reward does not include passive investment income (e.g. rental income or dividend income). In addition, volunteers are generally not considered to be gainfully employed as they do not receive remuneration for their services. You should also take care if you involve family and friends in an attempt to satisfy the definition of "gainful employment". If you assist another family member by say, babysitting or gardening, the particular circumstances surrounding the arrangement will be critical. For example, if you look after your grandchildren while their parents are on holiday, it is likely that your motive for doing so would be for personal or domestic reasons rather than to derive financial gain as per a normal employer / employee arrangement. In this case, even if you are paid for your services, the definition of gainful employment may not be satisfied.
From 1 July 2019, if you have a total superannuation balance below $300,000 as at the previous 30 June, you will be able to make voluntary contributions for 12 months from the end of the Financial Year in which you last met the Work Test – this is known as the Work Test Exemption.