Can you withdraw your KiwiSaver funds early?

3 MIN READ November 2, 2022
It can be tempting to think about withdrawing your KiwiSaver funds, but can you access your KiwiSaver savings before you’re 65? There’s a pretty strict criteria you’ll need to meet so we’ve put together everything you need to know.

When can you withdraw your KiwiSaver funds?

You’re buying your first home

KiwiSaver can be a great (and often necessary) means of helping you get into your first home but it’s important to remember that it’s first and foremost for your retirement.

Make sure you consider all aspects of withdrawing for a first home, including how much you’d like to have when you retire, how much of it you need now for your first home, and how much you will keep contributing to it.

There are a few things to keep in mind when withdrawing from your KiwiSaver fund for a first home deposit:

  • You’ll need a lawyer to receive your KiwiSaver fund and transfer it on your behalf before the settlement date
  • You’ll need to notify your provider, they need proof of identity, a copy of the sale and purchase agreement and a letter from your lawyer
  • You need to leave $1,000 left in your KiwiSaver account

You’re experiencing financial hardship

If you’re experiencing significant hardship, you might be able to withdraw some of your savings. However, the criteria is very strict and should be considered a last resort.

Your provider will require solid proof of your hardship such as bank statements, payslips, expenses and any demands made against you (eviction notices). It takes time for your provider to consider and it may take weeks, even then they might still say no.

You might be eligible if:

  • You can’t meet minimum living expenses
  • You can’t afford your mortgage repayments and your provder is taking action against you
  • You can’t afford the cost of medical treatment for you or a dependent for a serious illness or injury
  • You need to pay for a funeral of a deceased family member.

If your provider grants your request, they might not give you access to all of your KiwiSaver money, only enough to alleviate the hardship.

If you think your hardship is only temporary you can apply to suspend your contributions, that way it’s frozen and ready to grow once you’re back on your feet.

You’re leaving New Zealand

You can apply to withdraw your KiwiSaver fund if you have lived overseas for one year, unless you have been in Australia. If you’ve emigrated to Australia, you can transfer your funds to an Australian superannuation scheme.

If you’ve moved anywhere else in the world, you can withdraw your KiwiSaver funds by submitting an application. It must include proof of evidence such as permanent residency, letters from employers, rental or sale agreements and bank statements.

Get in touch with our friendly team today to talk about your KiwiSaver!

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