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KiwiSaver Membership Benefits

KiwiSaver has a range of membership benefits including contributions from your employer and the Government, as well as help buying your first home.

Member tax credit

To help you save, the Government will make an annual contribution towards your KiwiSaver account as long as you are a contributing member aged 18 or over.

Who gets the member tax credit?

The member tax credit will be paid each year (around July/August) to members of a KiwiSaver scheme or a complying fund until you’re eligible to withdraw your savings, provided:

  • you’re 18 or over, and
  • you mainly reside in New Zealand (conditions and exceptions apply)

Compulsory employer contributions

If you're eligible, your employer will also contribute an amount equal to 3% of your pay to your KiwiSaver savings.

If you're a KiwiSaver member making contributions from your pay, your employer also has to put money in. This is equal to 3% of your pay.

Your employer does not have to make compulsory contributions to your KiwiSaver scheme if:

  • they are already paying into another eligible registered superannuation scheme for you (if your existing scheme meets certain criteria)
  • you are under 18 years of age
  • you are over 65 years of age, or have been a member of KiwiSaver for five years, whichever date is later
  • you are not contributing (for example on a contributions holiday or on leave without pay)

Savings withdrawal for your first home

You may be able to withdraw some or all of your KiwiSaver savings (except for the $1,000 kick-start and member tax credit) to put towards buying your first home.

Some complying funds don't allow you to withdraw your savings for your first home. If you’re a member of a complying fund and want to use your savings for your first-home withdrawal you'll need to check with your provider to see if they offer this.

Making a first-home withdrawal

You must have been a KiwiSaver member or member of a complying fund for three or more years. You can only withdraw money to buy your first home - not an investment property.

If you have owned a home before, in some circumstances you may still be eligible to withdraw your savings. Your scheme provider may require you to contact Housing New Zealand to determine if you're in the same financial position as a first-home buyer.

First-home deposit subsidy

After 3 years of contributing to KiwiSaver, you may be entitled to a first-home deposit subsidy. The subsidy is administered by Housing New Zealand and will be paid to your solicitor on the day the purchase of the property is settled.

What the deposit subsidy is worth

The first-home deposit subsidy is $1,000 for each year you've been contributing to KiwiSaver, up to a maximum of $5,000 for five years.

If you're a couple buying a house together and you both qualify for a subsidy, you could receive a combined subsidy of up to $10,000.

To be eligible for the first-home deposit subsidy, you must:

  • have contributed at least 2% of your income to a KiwiSaver scheme, or a complying superannuation scheme, for at least 3 years
  • be buying your first home*
  • be planning to live in the house for at least 6 months

Income and house price caps will apply.

* If you've owned a home before, in some circumstances you may still be eligible for the first home deposit subsidy. Housing New Zealand will need to determine that you are in the same financial position as a first home buyer.

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Mark Jones

Want to find out more? Simply give Mark Jones a call on 0800 404 202 or send him a message