KiwiSaver first home withdrawal
If you’ve been in KiwiSaver for at least three years and you meet the eligibility requirements, you may be able to withdraw some of your KiwiSaver savings to go towards buying your first home.
You can withdraw everything in your account except:
- $1,000; and
- Money that has been transferred into your KiwiSaver account from a complying Australian superannuation scheme.
To be eligible to make a withdrawal:
- You need to have been in KiwiSaver or a complying superannuation fund for at least three years.
- You can’t have made a withdrawal from KiwiSaver to buy a home or land before.
- You have to be a first-time buyer, intending to live in the home or land you buy.
- The home or land needs to be in New Zealand and/or you have the right to occupy Māori land.
- If you’ve previously owned a house, there are some circumstances where you might be able to make a KiwiSaver withdrawal to go towards a house purchase. You’ll need to contact Kāinga Ora, who will determine if you’re in the same financial position as a first-time buyer
- If you're planning on buying a house with a partner, if eligible you can both apply for a first home withdrawal.
Making a withdrawal
The first step in the withdrawal process is getting an estimate of how much you’ll be able to withdraw. You’ll need this if you want to get conditional approval for a home loan. You’ll also need a letter from your KiwiSaver scheme provider confirming your eligibility to make a first home withdrawal.
Once you've got an estimate and are ready to apply for a first home withdrawal, you'll need to fill out a KiwiSaver scheme provider application form. This needs to be witnessed by a Justice of the Peace or a solicitor.
You'll need to contact your KiwiSaver scheme provider to find out the process.
What you can use the money for
As soon as you have a conditional sale and purchase agreement for your first home or land, you can apply to withdraw funds for the deposit. (Note: at this stage, you can’t make a withdrawal for a deposit on a property selling at auction.)
You can use these funds to purchase a freehold, leasehold, stratum estate (often related to unit or apartments) or an interest in a dwelling house on Māori land. This could be an existing house, a vacant residential section, an apartment off the plans, or even a house and land package. It's important to know that if you already own land you are not able to withdraw your KiwiSaver funds to help build your first home.
If you’re applying to use your KiwiSaver funds at settlement, you’ll require an unconditional sale and purchase agreement.
This is what you’ll need:
- A copy of the sale and purchase agreement listing you as the purchaser.
- A completed first home withdrawal form from your KiwiSaver provider.
- A completed solicitor’s or conveyancing practitioner’s letter, which can be submitted to us by either you or your solicitor.
Please ensure you apply and provide all required documentation well in advance of the date you'll need the money for a deposit or settlement. Timing is crucial if you’re using funds for settlement, as you can’t make a first home buyer’s withdrawal after the property purchase has settled. As soon as you have a conditional sale and purchase agreement for your first home or land, you can apply to withdraw funds for the deposit. (Note: at this stage, you can’t make a withdrawal for a deposit on a property selling at auction.)
Time is of the essence
You'll need to get your KiwiSaver withdrawal application in well in advance of the date you'll need the money for a deposit or settlement, as the process can take a while. Each KiwiSaver provider is different, so you'll need to check with your provider to find out when you need to get your application to them.
If you’re slow off the mark and your application isn’t processed before your settlement date you'll either have to push out your settlement, or miss out, as you can’t make a first home buyer’s withdrawal after a property purchase has gone through.
Things to be aware of
- Once your application has been processed and approved, the money is then paid to your lawyer’s trust account. Your lawyer will forward the money to the vendor on settlement day (which is the day you’ll take ownership of your new home)
- If your purchase falls through (and this isn't due to any default on your part as a purchaser), in most cases your lawyer needs to return your money to your KiwiSaver account
- You can’t apply for a KiwiSaver first home withdrawal after your settlement date – so get onto it.