KiwiSaver withdrawals before you turn 65
You can withdraw some or all of your money from KiwiSaver before you turn 65 if you’re buying your first home, moving overseas permanently, develop an illness or suffer serious financial hardship.
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Using KiwiSaver to buy your first home
Once you’ve been a member of KiwiSaver for 3 years, you can withdraw some of your KiwiSaver savings to help buy a property. Contact your KiwiSaver provider to arrange this.
If you have a partner who has also been a member of KiwiSaver for at least 3 years, they can also withdraw their savings to put towards your first home.
You can withdraw as much as you choose, but you must leave a minimum balance of $1000 in your account.
You must live in the house that you buy — it can’t be an investment property.
If you’ve owned a home before
You might still be eligible to withdraw your savings or get a First Home Grant to buy a home if you can show Kāinga Ora that:
- you’re in the same financial position as a first-home buyer
- you no longer own a stake in the home you’ve bought previously, and
- you haven’t already:
- made a first-home KiwiSaver withdrawal
- received a First Home Grant, or
- received the HomeStart Grant or its predecessor, the KiwiSaver deposit subsidy.
Moving overseas permanently
Moving to a country other than Australia
If you move overseas permanently, you can withdraw your funds from KiwiSaver 1 year after you leave.
You can withdraw everything in your account except any Member Tax Credits you’ve earned — your provider returns these to Inland Revenue.
You’ll need to contact your KiwiSaver provider with:
- a statutory declaration stating that you’ve permanently emigrated from New Zealand
- evidence that you’ve:
- left NZ, for example your passport records, and
- lived at an overseas address since leaving NZ.
Moving to Australia
If you move to Australia, you can:
- leave your funds in a New Zealand KiwiSaver scheme, or
- transfer your funds to an Australian complying superannuation scheme — you don’t have to wait a year to do this.
If you return to New Zealand you can join KiwiSaver again if you’re eligible.
Significant financial hardship
If you can show that you’re suffering significant financial hardship, you may be able to withdraw some of your KiwiSaver savings.
You’ll need to show that you:
- can’t meet your minimum living expenses
- can’t make mortgage repayments on the home you live in
- need to modify your home because someone in your family has a disability
- are paying for medical treatment because you or a family member is sick or injured, or
- are paying funeral costs because a dependent family member has died.
The amount you can withdraw may be limited. You can’t withdraw any government contributions, including the $1000 kick-start (if you received it).
You may be able to withdraw your KiwiSaver savings early if you’re suffering from an illness, injury or disability that means you:
- are permanently unable to work, or
- may die.
You can withdraw the total funds in your account, including all the government contributions.
If you transfer a foreign pension
If you transfer a foreign pension to a KiwiSaver account, you can use it to pay:
- tax on your foreign pension, or
- any student loan liabilities that arise from the transfer of your foreign pension.