Withdrawing Your KiwiSaver Funds

You can withdraw your KiwiSaver
savings at the following times. Any withdrawals
from your KiwiSaver account are tax-free.

1. When you reach the age of eligibility for New Zealand Superannuation.

This is currently age 65.  At this time, depending on your financial situation, you may choose to withdraw your funds, or leave them invested in KiwiSaver.  The decision that you make will depend on your goals and objectives and need for the funds.  As part of our clients financial planning, Moneyworks assists our clients with making this decision.

2. When you purchase your first home.

After you have been a member of KiwiSaver for three years, you may be able to withdraw your KiwiSaver balance (less $1,000 and any Australian Superannuation transfers), ($1,000 must remain in your account), towards the purchase of your first home.  These funds are paid to your lawyer towards the house purchase price, and can be to purchase and existing house, or land to build a house on that you are going to live in.

You may also be eligible for a first home grant.  This will depend on a number of factors including:
  1. How long you have been contributing to KiwiSaver (of at least the minimum allowable percentage of your total income).  If you are a non-earner, there are specific rules about hoe much you must contribute, based on the minimum adult wage for a 40 hour week.
  2. What your income is when you purchase your first home
  3. What the value of your house is (this depends on the location of the house you are purchasing.)
  4. You have to be aged 18 or over.

This grant provides $1,000 a year for each year that an eligible person has been a contributing member of KiwiSaver, to a maximum of $5,000.  From 1st April 2015 these subsidies will double to $2,000 a year with a maximum of $10,000 if you are building a first home.

Some previous house buyers may also be eligible to withdraw their funds and for the first home grant. Housing New Zealand determine the eligibility of previous home owners for both the grant and whether they can withdraw their KiwiSaver funds.  In addition to the above criteria,  a previous house owner cannot have realisable assets totalling more than 20% of the house price cap for the area that they are buying in.

You may also be able to use a Welcome Home Loan to assist you with purchasing your home.

For more information, make sure you are familiar with the rules, which are outlined at Housing New Zealand.  Click on the button below and it will take you there.

3. Accessing KiwiSaver if you move overseas permanently.

You can withdraw most of your funds in your KiwiSaver account if you move to a country other than Australia, and you have lived overseas for one year or more.
You can access your contributions, your employers’ contributions and earnings on these contributions.  You can also access the $1,000 kickstart from the Government. However, you cannot withdraw the Member Tax Credits.  These are returned to the Government when you withdraw your funds.  The $1,000 kickstart payment for new KiwiSaver members ended on 21st May 2015.
The process for accessing these funds is administrative.  For more information, review the information on the official KiwiSaver site by clicking on the orange button below.

4. Accessing KiwiSaver if you have significant financial hardship.

If you can provide evidence that you’re suffering significant financial hardship, you may be able to withdraw some of your KiwiSaver savings.

Significant financial hardship includes if you’re:

  • unable to meet minimum living expenses
  • unable to meet mortgage repayments on the home you live in, resulting in your mortgage provider enforcing the mortgage on your property
  • modifying your home to meet special needs because of you or a dependent family member having a disability
  • paying for medical treatment if you or a dependent family member:becomes ill
  • has an injury, or
  • requires palliative care
  • suffering from a serious illness
  • incurring funeral costs if a dependent family member dies.

You can only access your own contributions and your employer contributions and the earnings on these contributions.  You cannot withdraw the Government kickstart if you received it (it was paid to new members until 21st May 2015) or member tax contributions.

The process for withdrawing these funds is administrative.  For more information, review the information on the official KiwiSaver site by clicking on this orange button.

5. How to claim funds from KiwiSaver if you suffer a serious illness.

You may be able to claim funds from your KiwiSaver savings early if you have an illness, injury or disability that either permanently affects your ability to work or poses a risk of death. You may need to provide medical evidence to support your application.

Under this withdrawal option, you can withdraw all the funds in your account.

The process for withdrawing these funds is administrative.  For more information, review the information on the official KiwiSaver site by clicking on this button.

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