When can I use my KiwiSaver to purchase a house?

When can I use my KiwiSaver?

KiwiSaver is a voluntary, work based retirement savings scheme available to all citizens and permanent residents living or normally living in New Zealand. If you're between 18 and 65, starting a new job and eligible, you'll automatically be enrolled in KiwiSaver. 

 

Eligibility Criteria for Using KiwiSaver for a First Home Purchase

First home buyer in New Zealand KiwiSaver Scheme


1. Minimum Membership Duration

  • Three-Year Requirement: You must have been contributing to a KiwiSaver scheme for at least three years. This includes both your contributions and any contributions made by your employer.


2. First Home Buyer Status

  • First Home: You must be buying your first home. The home must be intended as your primary place of residence and not an investment property. 
  •  Second-Chance Buyer: If you have previously owned a home, you may still qualify as a second chance buyer if Kāinga Ora (formerly Housing New Zealand) determines that your financial situation is similar to that of a first home buyer. This is based on your current income, assets, and overall financial situation. However, if you have already used your KiwiSaver funds to purchase a home, you cannot use them again for this purpose.


3. Withdrawal Components

You can withdraw most of the funds in your KiwiSaver account. This includes:

  • Your personal contributions: Withdraw everything but $1,000.00
  • Employer contributions: Government contributions (member tax credits).
  • Any returns on investments: Withdraw any funds your investment has made.

Exception: You must leave a minimum balance of $1,000 in your KiwiSaver account and funds transferred from an Australian Complying Superannuation scheme cannot be withdrawn.

 

Application Process

 KiwiSaver Scheme first home buyer application process

Preparation: Begin by confirming your eligibility and understanding the requirements. It is beneficial to discuss this with your KiwiSaver provider and possibly a mortgage adviser.

Documentation: Gather necessary documents, including proof of contributions, details about the property, and identification documents.

Withdrawal: Apply to your KiwiSaver provider for the withdrawal. This will require filling out specific forms and possibly providing a copy of the sale and purchase agreement for the home.

Additional Considerations

First home buyer in New Zealand KiwiSaver Scheme Application Process


Financial Planning: Using your KiwiSaver funds for a home purchase can significantly impact your retirement savings. Consider seeking advice from a financial adviser to understand the long-term implications.


Timing: The process for withdrawing KiwiSaver funds can take time. Start the process early to avoid delays that could affect your home purchase.


Legal and Compliance: Ensure you comply with all legal and procedural requirements when buying your home. Your solicitor can assist with ensuring that all conditions outlined in the sale and purchase agreement are met. This includes checking that the property title is clear, handling any necessary paperwork, and making sure all legal obligations are met to protect your interests.


Conclusion

Utilising your KiwiSaver to buy a home is a significant financial decision with long-term implications. It can provide substantial assistance in making homeownership more accessible, particularly for first-time buyers.

By meeting the eligibility criteria, understanding the process, and planning accordingly, you can make effective use of your KiwiSaver savings to achieve your homeownership goals. For the most accurate and personalised advice, consulting with your KiwiSaver provider and a financial adviser is recommended.

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