The benefits of KiwiSaver

KiwiSaver helps first home buyers in two different ways:

1. After three years, you can make a withdrawal from your KiwiSaver account and put the money towards your first home or land (an ‘estate in land’).

2. You may also be able to get a grant of up to $10,000 from the government if you qualify for a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant.

In certain cases, if you have previously owned a home you can also qualify for both of these benefits.

Withdrawal for your first home

After three years of membership in KiwiSaver, you can make a one-off withdrawal from your account for the purchase of an ‘estate in land’. This includes payment towards, or a deposit on, a home, or a land and build package. There are certain conditions. The key ones are that you must not have owned an ‘estate in land’ before – including overseas; the ‘estate in land’ you intend to buy must be in New Zealand; and you must intend to live there.

You can withdraw all of your KiwiSaver account balance except $1,000, as well as any amount transferred to KiwiSaver from an Australian complying superannuation scheme. If your principal place of residence has been outside New Zealand you may not be able to withdraw any Government contributions received during this time.

To apply for a KiwiSaver first home withdrawal from the MAS KiwiSaver Plan, visit our KiwiSaver Forms. You'll need to provide all the documents requested as part of the application, including a copy of the sale and purchase agreement which clearly shows you as the purchaser, and your solicitor's or conveyancer's certificate and undertaking.

Please allow at least ten business days for your withdrawal request to be processed.

KiwiSaver HomeStart grant

This is administered by Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities (Kāinga Ora) and provides eligible home buyers with a grant of $1,000 a year once they have been contributing a minimum percentage to KiwiSaver for three years. The current minimum is 3% of your income, or 3% of the minimum wage for non-earners. If you are purchasing an existing home the maximum grant is $5,000, if you have been contributing to KiwiSaver for five years. If you purchase or are going to build a new home, you may qualify for a grant of up to $10,000.

You can combine your grant with other qualifying KiwiSaver members to increase the grant you receive for a joint first home. For a couple, that’s up to $10,000 in grants for an existing home, and up to $20,000 for a new home.

To qualify for this grant you must be a first home buyer and have made the required minimum KiwiSaver contributions for three years; meet income caps; plan to live in the house for six months or more; and the house has to be under certain price limits. From 1 April 2021 these are:

Region

New property

Existing property

Auckland $700,000 $625,000
Queenstown-Lakes District $650,000 $600,000
Wellington City, Hutt City, Upper Hutt City, Porirua City, Kāpiti Coast District $650,000 $550,000
Nelson City, Tasman District, Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty District, Hamilton District $600,000 $525,000
Christchurch City, Selwyn District, Waimakariri District $550,000 $500,000
Wāipa District, Hastings District, Napier City $600,000 $525,000
Waikato District, Dunedin City $550,000 $425,000
Rest of New Zealand $500,000 $400,000

There are also household income limits of:

• $95,000 a year or less for one buyer;

• $150,000 a year or less for two or more buyers

You also need to provide evidence you have a deposit that is at least 5% or more of the purchase price. Note that this amount may be less than your bank's requirements.

If you have owned a home before

If you have previously owned a home (including overseas) you can also qualify for both the first home withdrawal and the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant, provided Kāinga Ora determines that you are in the same financial position as a first home buyer.

For more information about the eligibility criteria and the application process, visit Kāinga Ora’s website.

Get started now

To help maximise the potential benefits of KiwiSaver when buying your first home, we recommend you join as early as possible. To join the Medical Assurance Society KiwiSaver Plan visit our Kiwisaver page.

There are a number of finer points of the regulations for the first home withdrawal and KiwiSaver HomeStart grant that you may need to be aware of. To talk to a MAS adviser about your particular circumstances, phone 0800 800 627 or email info@mas.co.nz.


This page contains information of a general nature and is correct at 1 April 2021.

Investments are not guaranteed.

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