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.
- 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.
If you're with Kiwi Wealth, you can get an estimate and start the ball rolling on the withdrawal process by:
- emailing email@example.com with your IRD number and Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme membership number, or
- phoning 0800 427 384 between 8am – 5pm, Monday to Friday. Have your IRD number and Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme membership number handy.
If you're with Kiwi Wealth and bank with us, you can also keep track of your KiwiSaver balance in internet banking.
Once you've got an estimate and are ready to apply for a first home withdrawal, you'll need to fill out an application form. This needs to be witnessed by a Justice of the Peace or a solicitor. Find out more at kiwiwealth.co.nz.
If your KiwiSaver account is with another provider, you'll need to contact them to find out their 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 or stratum estate (often related to units or apartments). 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
- 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 at least 15 days before the withdrawal is needed. This timeframe 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
Kiwi Wealth recommends getting your application in at least 15 business days before the date you'll need the money for a deposit or settlement, as the process can take a while.
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.
First Home Grant
If you’ve been making regular KiwiSaver contributions for at least three years, you may also be eligible for a First Home Grant – previously known as the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant. This is paid by the government and administered by Kāinga Ora.
What you could get
- If you’re buying an existing home, you could get $1,000 for each year you’ve been contributing to KiwiSaver, up to a maximum of $5,000
- If you’re buying a new home, a proposed home off plans, or land to build a new home, you could get $2,000 for each year you’ve been contributing, up to a maximum of $10,000
- You can also purchase your first home with your partner, family or friends. If each of you qualify, this means you could get up to $10,000 each.
To be eligible for a First Home Grant you have to:
- Be aged over 18
- Have earnt less than the income caps in the previous 12 months. This means you can’t have earnt more than $95,000 before tax (if you’re applying on your own) or more than a combined $150,000 before tax (if two or more buyers are applying)
- Not currently own any property
- Have contributed at least 3% of your total income to your KiwiSaver account for at least three years
- Purchase a property that falls within the regional price caps (see below)
- Agree to live in the house for at least six months
- Have a deposit that is at least 5% of the purchase price of the house or land you want to buy or build
- Be buying an equal share, if you’re buying with other people.
Eligibility for the grant is determined by Kāinga Ora.
How much you can spend
There are house price caps in place, depending on where you live and whether you’re buying an existing property or building a new home:
Standard terms and conditions
Displayed interest rates are subject to change. Kiwibank’s lending criteria, terms and conditions, and fees apply.
The repayment calculator should be used as a guide only. It doesn't take into account all of your individual circumstances and isn't intended as financial advice.
Download the Product Disclosure Statement for the Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme or pick up a copy from your nearest Kiwibank.
Kiwi Wealth Limited is the Issuer and Manager of the Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme (the Scheme) and is a related company of Kiwibank Limited. Kiwibank is a distributor but is not an issuer of the Scheme. Investments made in the Scheme do not represent bank deposits or other liabilities of Kiwibank and neither they nor any other person guarantees the repayment of members’ interests in the Scheme or the payment of any earnings or returns on investment in the Scheme. Investments in the Scheme are subject to investment and other risks, including possible delays in payment of withdrawal amounts in some circumstances and loss of investment value.