Once you have been a Member of KiwiSaver for three years, two of its benefits – withdrawals for first home buyers and first home grants – become available to many Members.
First home buyer withdrawal
After three years of saving, first home buyers can make a one-off withdrawal from KiwiSaver and put this money towards a deposit for their first home. Anyone buying their first home may apply – the withdrawal is not means tested. (Previous home-owners may also qualify – see below).
What can I withdraw?
The withdrawal may include everything except a $1000 balance, as well as any amount transferred to KiwiSaver from an Australian compliant superannuation scheme (disregarding positive or negative investment returns on that amount).
First home buyer KiwiSaver HomeStart grant
After three years in KiwiSaver, some people also qualify for a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant. This is worth $1,000 a year for up to a maximum of $5,000 after five years of saving with KiwiSaver. If you purchase or are going to build a brand new home you can double the grant, up to $10,000.
If you have a partner who has KiwiSaver and who also qualifies, you could combine your grants to double your deposit for your first home – up to $10,000 total grant. A couple could obtain $20,000 if they purchase or are going to build a brand new home.
To qualify for the HomeStart grant
- You need to plan to live in the house for six months or more,
- The house has to be under the price limits set by the Government, which are currently;
$600,000 in Auckland, $500,000 in Hamilton City, Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty, Hutt City (Lower Hutt), Upper Hutt, Kapiti Coast, Porirua, Wellington City, Tasman/Nelson, Christchurch City and Selwyn district, Waimakariri, and Queenstown Lakes.
$400,000 for the rest of New Zealand.
- You must earn no more than $85,000 a year for one KiwiSaver member, and $130,000 combined for two or more KiwiSaver members living together
Owned a home before?
Even if you’ve owned a home previously, you might still be able to qualify for the first home withdrawal and KiwiSaver HomeStart grant, if you are deemed to be in the same financial position as a first-time buyer. For more information about this, see Housing New Zealand’s website.