If you are thinking of buying your first home or land to build your first home, you could be able to use some of your KiwiSaver savings to help you get onto the property ladder. Using KiwiSaver funds can be a great help towards your deposit, or used towards the purchase price at settlement.
To be eligible for a KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal you must:
- Have been a member of a KiwiSaver scheme or complying superannuation fund for a minimum of 3 years;
- Have not previously owned a home or land before (whether in New Zealand or overseas), in some instances, homeowners can still be eligible as outlined below;
- Be buying a home or land in New Zealand;
- Live in the home, or in the case of bare land, intend to live there once you have built, for at least the first 6 months;
- Have not made a first home withdrawal before.
If you meet these requirements, then you are eligible for a KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal!
If you are a previous homeowner but have not made a KiwiSaver first home withdrawal previously, you may still be eligible to use your KiwiSaver. You will still need to meet the criteria listed above and also gain approval from Kāinga Ora by confirming your financial position is similar to that of a first home buyer. Contact Kāinga Ora to find out if you are eligible as a previous homeowner.
If you are in the process of looking for your first home, you can apply for a pre-approval letter from your KiwiSaver provider or complying fund provider which will confirm your eligibility. This will also give you an indication of the amount that you can withdraw, which is usually your KiwiSaver balance including government contributions, less $1,000.00 which must be left in your KiwiSaver account as a minimum balance. If you have lived overseas for a period of time, you may not be entitled to the government contributions made to your KiwiSaver during that time. The pre-approval letter will also come in handy if you are obtaining bank lending to fund your purchase.
The time frame for withdrawing your KiwiSaver varies between providers but will generally be around 10-15 working days from the date your application is submitted. If you have a conditional sale and purchase agreement you can apply to withdraw your KiwiSaver funds to put towards a deposit.
If you are thinking of using your KiwiSaver for your purchase then it is important that that you factor in enough time to make a withdrawal. You can contact your KiwiSaver provider or complying fund provider directly to apply for a first home withdrawal or contact TODD & WALKER Law and we can get this process started for you. As part of the application, you will need to see a solicitor to sign a statutory declaration. Your solicitor will need to provide a letter of undertaking to accompany your application.
If you are considering purchasing a property and have questions about applying for a KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal, then contact our experienced Property Law Team on [email protected] or 03 441 2743.