Withdrawal Options

KiwiSaver is about saving for your retirement, but there are other times when you might be able to access your savings. There are several withdrawal options within KiwiSaver.

It could be that you are moving overseas; you may need make a withdrawal due to a serious illness; you may be arranging a withdrawal on behalf of someone who has died; you may need to withdraw from KiwiSaver due to financial hardship. There are also options to withdraw from KiwiSaver to purchase your first home and you may well be eligible for the Housing New Zealand HomeStart grant.

Withdrawal type*  How much can I withdraw, if eligible? Who handles my application?
You are buying a home or land for a home Any amount but you must leave any Australian sourced funds and at least $1,000 in your account We do
You die The value of your account We do
You become seriously ill Any amount, up to the value of your account The Supervisor does
You are suffering significant financial hardship Any amount, but you can’t take out any Government kick-start payment** or Government contributions The Supervisor does
You permanently emigrate to Australia You can’t withdraw your money, but you can transfer all of the money in your account to an Australian complying superannuation scheme that accepts KiwiSaver transfers*** We do
You permanently emigrated to a country other than Australia, a year or more ago Any amount including the Government kick-start payment* (if received), but you can’t take out Government contributions or Australian sourced funds We do
You want to pay tax or student loan liabilities arising because you’ve transferred overseas superannuation money to your account Enough to cover the tax or student loan payment, but not to pay penalties or interest on it (the maximum allowed will depend on the value of your account and your tax position) We do

 * The Government has proposed withdrawal provisions in cases of life-shortening congenital conditions but these have not been passed into law.

** If you joined KiwiSaver before 2pm on 21/05/2015, the Government kick-started your account with a tax-free contribution of $1,000.

*** You can find a list of Australian complying superannuation schemes at www.superfundlookup.gov.au

Please note, you are unable to separately withdraw investment earnings out of your KiwiSaver account.

From acceptance of your application to withdraw you should allow up to ten business days  for your withdrawal to be paid.

It’s my 65th birthday – can I withdraw my KiwiSaver investment now?

Happy Birthday! The Government currently sets the qualifying age for New Zealand superannuation at 65, and that’s when you can withdraw your KiwiSaver. You must have been a member of a KiwiSaver scheme, or a complying superannuation fund, for at least five years. 

You can make a one-off full or partial withdrawal, or set up regular withdrawals from your KiwiSaver account.  

Any withdrawal you make from the Summer KiwiSaver scheme will be tax free. You do not have to withdraw, and it’s fine if you’d like to remain a member of the Summer KiwiSaver scheme so that your money can work alongside any other investment arrangements you have. 

You can continue to make contributions to KiwiSaver after 65, although your employer is not obliged to continue with their contributions, and you are no longer eligible to receive the Government contribution.

If you no longer wish to have deductions from your salary and wages, make sure you talk to your employer.  

How do I withdraw?

If you meet the criteria, simply complete a withdrawal form and we will arrange to make a payment to your nominated account once approved.

What's next?

Planning what to do with your KiwiSaver proceeds is an important decision, and the right advice can make a difference to your ongoing income during your retirement years. We can help you connect with a Forsyth Barr Authorised Financial Adviser who is experienced in advising on portfolios that aim to achieve specific investment objectives.

You can contact Forsyth Barr in confidence and without obligation to discuss, and we’ll be happy to help you connect with someone in your region.


Moving overseas

Sometimes people leave this beautiful country. If you are emigrating permanently to anywhere other than Australia, once the withdrawal is approved, you can transfer your KiwiSaver account balance as a cash payment once you have been away for more than 12 months. This includes your contributions, employer contributions and the Government kick-start* (if received), however it excludes any Government contributions and amounts transferred from an Australian complying superannuation scheme. 

Can I transfer my KiwiSaver investment to Australia if I emigrate there?

Trans-Tasman portability is an important feature of KiwiSaver. You can’t receive a cash payment, if you permanently emigrate, but we can transfer your Summer KiwiSaver Scheme balance to an approved Australian complying superannuation fund for you. Find out more about Australian transfers.

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Serious illness

You can withdraw from KiwiSaver due to serious illness. A decision on this withdrawal is made by the supervisor of your KiwiSaver scheme, and you’ll need to provide medical evidence.

Serious illness is defined as an injury, illness or disability that:

  • Results in you being totally and permanently unable to engage in work for which you are suited by reason of experience, education or training or any combination of those things; or
  • Poses a serious and imminent risk of death 

To make an application for a serious illness withdrawal complete the withdrawal form and return it to us, or contact us and we can assist you.



In the event of death, the balance of your KiwiSaver account will be paid in full to the executors or administrators of your estate. 

If the balance of your account is below the prescribed amount (which is currently $15,000) and meets other requirements, we may be able to pay it direct to a surviving partner, caregiver, or other approved recipient. 

To make arrangements for a withdrawal due to a death complete and return the withdrawal form or contact us and we can assist you.


Financial hardship

You can withdraw from your KiwiSaver account due to significant financial hardship. A decision on this withdrawal is made by the supervisor of your KiwiSaver scheme, and you’ll need to provide evidence.

Significant financial hardship is defined as:

  • An inability to meet minimum living expenses, such as food, power or transport costs. Minimum living expenses do not include credit card debt, travel, hire purchase payments, fines etc. 
  • An inability to meet rent, board or mortgage repayments on your main family home resulting in your mortgage provider seeking to enforce the mortgage on your home
  • The cost of modifying your home to meet special needs arising from your or a dependant’s disability
  • The cost of medical treatment for your or a dependant’s illness or injury
  • The cost of palliative (long-term relief) care for you or a dependant
  • The cost of a funeral for a dependant
  • When you’re suffering from a serious illness.

The supervisor must be satisfied that all reasonable alternative sources of funding have been exhausted.  They will require a statutory declaration about your assets and liabilities. 

Withdrawals made due to financial hardship aren’t eligible to receive any government contributions made to the account. 

You may also wish to find out more about taking a ‘savings suspension’.

To make an application for a significant financial hardship withdrawal complete the withdrawal form and return it to us with supporting evidence, or contact us and we can assist you.

The more information you provide with your application, the better it will be able to be assessed. Requests for additional information can increase the processing time.

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