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 Government contributions - to put towards your first home.
You might also qualify for a First Home Grant through Kainga Ora 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 Kainga Ora 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 apply to withdraw the total amount in your KiwiSaver account, except $1000 and any amount transferred from an Australian complying superannuation scheme.
If your sale and purchase agreement is conditional, you can withdraw money for a deposit, with any balance used at settlement. As you can only make one first home purchase withdrawal, if you make a withdrawal for the deposit, you cannot make a second withdrawal at settlement.
If your sale and purchase agreement is unconditional, you can use the money for settlement.
For full details, see Withdrawing money for your first home.
* Please refer to the Kainga Ora website.
First Home Grant
If you’ve been making regular contributions to a KiwiSaver scheme for at least three years, you can also apply for the First Home Grant through Kainga Ora.
Buying an existing or older home?
You could be eligible for a $1,000 grant for each year (after three years of contributing) 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 of $10,000 each, towards your first home. The first home grant is capped at $20,000 per property regardless of the number of purchasers that are eligible for the grant.
First Home Grants are paid by the government and administered by Kainga Ora. There are various criteria around who is eligible, including minimum contribution levels and regional purchase price caps.
Find out more at kaingaora.govt.nz or by calling Kainga Ora 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%, 6%, 8% or 10% 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 Government contributions (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 Government contributions here.