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 life-shortening congenital condition or 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 have a life-shortening congenital condition Any amount, up to the value of your account 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

 

* 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. 

If you joined KiwiSaver at aged 60 or over, prior to 1 July 2019, the five-year membership requirement has now been removed. One important point to note is that should you choose to make a withdrawal once you reach 65, you are no longer eligible for Government or compulsory employer contributions.

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 you are eligible to withdraw, 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. When processing the withdrawal, PIE tax is deducted according to your prescribed investor rate (PIR). You can find more out about tax here and you can check the current PIR that we hold on your account by logging into your account and going to My Profile.

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 apply to withdraw from your KiwiSaver account 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.

 

Life shortening congenital illness

You can apply to withdraw from your KiwiSaver account if you suffer from a life-shortening congenital condition.

Life-shortening congenital condition means a condition that exists for a person from the date of their birth and is likely to reduce their life expectancy, or persons generally with the condition, below the New Zealand superannuation qualification age.

What is a life shortening congenital illness? 

The Government will publish a list of conditions but as yet, this list is not available. Please contact us to discuss how you can progress an application for withdrawal until this list is available.

To make an application for a life shortening congenital illness withdrawal please complete the withdrawal form, or contact us for assistance.

 

Death

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.

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