KiwiSaver withdrawals and early access 

When can I withdraw money from my KiwiSaver account?

You can withdraw all of your KiwiSaver funds when you become eligible for NZ Superannuation, as long as you have been with KiwiSaver for at least five years.

You may be able to access all or part of your savings early if you:

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Can I use my KiwiSaver savings to buy my first home?

If you're buying your first house and have been a member of KiwiSaver for at least three years, you may be able to withdraw some of the money in your KiwiSaver account – but you must leave at least $1000 in the account.

To use your KiwiSaver funds to buy your first home, contact your KiwiSaver provider before you begin.

It is worth checking whether you are eligible for a HomeStart grant, which is money from the government towards the deposit on your home.

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I’m emigrating - can I withdraw my KiwiSaver funds early?

If you are planning on moving overseas to another country permanently, you can withdraw your KiwiSaver funds after you’ve been gone one year. The Government will reclaim the amount of their contribution, but you can keep the $1000 kick-start from the Government (if you enrolled before 21 May 2015), your own contributions and your employer's contributions.

To make a claim (a permanent emigration withdrawal), you should contact your KiwiSaver provider and include:

  • a Statutory Declaration stating you have permanently left New Zealand, and 
  • evidence that you have:  
    • departed from New Zealand (for example, your passport records) and 
    • lived at an overseas address at some time during the year after your departure from New Zealand.

If you return to New Zealand after you have claimed your KiwiSaver fund, you can re-join, but you won't get another $1000 kick-start contribution.

If you leave New Zealand permanently to live in Australia you won’t be able to withdraw your KiwiSaver funds. Instead, you can choose between leaving your funds in your KiwiSaver scheme or transferring it to an Australian superannuation scheme.

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I’m having financial problems - can I withdraw some of my KiwiSaver funds early?

If you're suffering what is defined as significant financial hardship, you may be able to withdraw some of your KiwiSaver funds.

Significant financial hardship includes if you're:

  • unable to meet minimum living expenses; 
  • unable to meet mortgage repayments on the home you live in;
  • modifying your home to meet special needs because you or a dependent family member has a disability;
  • paying for medical treatment if you or a dependent family member: 
  • suffering from a serious illness;
  • paying funeral costs when a dependent family member dies.

How much you can withdraw might be restricted to only what you need to cover these costs. You can withdraw the funds that you and your employer(s) have put into the account, but not the government tax credits or kick-start contribution (if you received one).

If you're an employee and it has been less than three months since you joined KiwiSaver, you can apply to Inland Revenue or complete a KS5 form.

If it has been more than three months since you joined you will need to contact your KiwiSaver provider.

You'll need to provide

  • evidence that you have tried to find other sources of funds; 
  • a statutory declaration about your assets and liabilities; 
  • any other information that will prove your financial situation and need for the money.

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Can I withdraw my KiwiSaver funds early if I can’t work due to serious illness or injury?

In case of serious or terminal illness or permanent disability affecting your ability to work, you may be able to withdraw your full KiwiSaver fund including any $1000 kick-start and government tax credits.

If you're an employee and it's been no more than three months since you joined KiwiSaver, you should contact Inland Revenue to request a withdrawal. Otherwise, contact your KiwiSaver provider.

You may be asked to provide medical evidence to support your application.

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What happens to my KiwiSaver funds when I die or if my relationship ends?

When you die your KiwiSaver funds will become part of your estate, so it’s important to consider this when making your will.

Any funds that have accumulated in your KiwiSaver account since the start of your relationship, become relationship property.