If you live in New Zealand, and are aged over 18 and under 65, you could be entitled to contributions from the government (up to $521.43 a year) and your employer (equal to 3% of your before-tax pay).
Once you’ve been in a KiwiSaver scheme for three years or more, and you’re eligible, you could then withdraw most of your savings - including Member Tax Credits - to put towards your first home.
You might also qualify for a HomeStart grant through Housing New Zealand of up to $10,000.
Using your KiwiSaver to buy your first home
If you’re buying your first home or land to build your first home (or you’re in the same financial position as someone who is buying a first home), you may be able to withdraw most of your KiwiSaver savings to help pay for it. You:
- Must have been a KiwiSaver member, or a member of a complying Superannuation fund, for a combined total period of three years or more.
- Can only apply if you’ve never owned a house or land before (limited exceptions regarding land holdings apply). However, in some cases you may qualify as a previous home buyer and be considered by Housing New Zealand to be in the same financial situation as a first home buyer.*
- Must be buying a home or land in New Zealand.
- Must be planning to live in the property as your main place of residence.
- Can withdraw money for a deposit, with any balance to be used at settlement, if the sale and purchase agreement is conditional. If your sale and purchase agreement is unconditional, you can use the money for settlement.
- Can make only one first home purchase withdrawal. This can include your Member Tax Credits and employer contributions (and any investment returns on these amounts), but not any money transferred from Australian superannuation schemes.
- Must leave a balance of at least $1,000 in your KiwiSaver account.
For full details, see Withdrawing money for your first home.
* Please refer to the Housing New Zealand website.
KiwiSaver HomeStart grant
If you’ve been making regular contributions to a KiwiSaver scheme for at least three years, you can also apply for the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant through Housing New Zealand.
Buying an existing or older home?
You could be eligible for a $1,000 grant for each year you’ve contributed to KiwiSaver, up to a maximum of $5,000.
Buying a newly built home, or planning to build a home?
The grant doubles, to $2,000 per year (after three years of contributing) up to a maximum of $10,000 (after five years of contributing).
Buying with a partner, family or friends?
Each of you could qualify for a grant, up to a maximum total of $20,000 towards your first home.
KiwiSaver HomeStart grants are paid by the government and administered by Housing New Zealand. There are various criteria around who is eligible, including minimum contribution levels and regional purchase price caps.
Find out more at www.hnzc.co.nz or by calling Housing New Zealand on 0508 935 266.
Contributions: from you, your employer and the government
With KiwiSaver it’s easy to save for your first home, directly through your pay. You choose to contribute 3%, 4% or 8% of your before-tax pay.
Your employer will usually also make contributions. These will be equal to 3% of your before-tax salary or wages.
With Member Tax Credits (assuming you’re eligible to receive them), the government will add 50 cents for every dollar you save, up to a maximum of $521.43 a year. So if you contribute $1,042.86 or more to your KiwiSaver account by 30 June each year – that’s just over $20 a week – you could get more than $500 extra a year from the government.
See more about Member Tax Credits here.