Using your KiwiSaver is a straightforward process there’s only a few times you can use it.


  1. To buy your first home.
  2. When you retire.
  3. If you’re in dire financial hardship or medical emergency, you can potentially pull your funds out under a hardship withdrawal.


How much can you withdraw for a first home?


You can withdraw all your funds except for $1,000. You need to leave something in there so you’re not starting from scratch. You can get all your Kiwisaver out with the exception of $1000 no matter how much you earn or what you buy.

Where most people get confused is the difference between KiwiSaver first home withdrawal and the KiwiSaver First Home Start Grant. The KiwiSaver first home start Grant is a grant from housing New Zealand that if you meet the eligibility criteria you can get extra funds potentially up to $10,000 each towards your first home. We will be doing another article on the KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant next week.


So you’re ready to buy your first home what do the banks require?


To withdraw your funds for a first time you need to have been contributing continuously for at least three years. The bank will require proof of your eligibility to withdraw your KiwiSaver funds. You can request a copy of this from your KiwiSaver provider alternatively ask your KiwiSaver advisor to organise it for you.

TipBanks don’t differentiate between cash savings and KiwiSaver funds. When it comes to putting down your 20% deposit.

Pro Tip. Increase your KiwiSaver contribution when you’re saving for a house this will help you get to your deposit faster. KiwiSaver will grow twice as fast as a savings account.

KiwiSaver for retirement.


Once you hit retirement age your KiwiSaver fund is possibly the best bank account you can have. Whether you’re still working or not you can pull your KiwiSaver funds out to do with as you please. Whether that’s travel or to pay off any mortgages still owing. If you would prefer to set yourself up with an automatic direct debit to a bank account, you can continue to pay yourself a wage.

Tip. Don’t need your money right now? The old strategy of retirement is to put your funds into a term deposit. This strategy is not as effective, leaving your money in KiwiSaver will double or Triple the returns of a typical term deposit these days.

Pro Tip.  Most people don’t need all their money straight away so you can set up a portion of your funds to continue as a growth fund, so you earn money well until your 70s and 80s. If you are reading this as a son/daughter, the best tip we could give you is to help you’re not so tech savvy parents get their retirement funds right. 60% of Kiwis say they are worried they don’t have enough money for retirement.


Tanta Financial Advisers – Mortgage, Insurance & Kiwisaver Advice on Auckland’s Northshore

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