KiwiSaver and your first home

Here's a quick guide to check if you can use KiwiSaver for your first home and some answers to popular questions about KiwiSaver and buying property.

When can I use KiwiSaver to buy my first home?

Here's a checklist to see if you can use your KiwiSaver funds to buy property (i.e. your first home or land to build your first home on).

✓   You're buying property in New Zealand
✓   You will either live in the home or on the land you are buying

A first home withdrawal can't be used to purchase a rental or investment property.

✓   You've been with KiwiSaver for a while

You need to have been a member of KiwiSaver (or another complying superannuation fund) for at least three years.

✓   You haven't owned any property before

However, there are some exceptions that may allow you to make a first home withdrawal even if you’ve owned property in the past. For details see the FAQs below.

✓   You haven't made a KiwiSaver first home withdrawal before

You can only make one successful first home withdrawal from your KiwiSaver.

✓   You're not building on land you already own

You can withdraw your KiwiSaver funds to contribute to the purchase of land, but not to the future costs of building a house on that land.

KiwiSaver first home withdrawal form
KiwiSaver first home withdrawal form

Calculator: how much you could save
Calculator: how much you could save

Quiz: am I ready to buy a home?
Quiz: am I ready to buy a home?

Join the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme
Join the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme

Saving to buy your first home?

An overview of your options when you're saving to buy your first home and how KiwiSaver can help.

You can watch more videos on the Media Hub page of our website.

Questions people often ask about
KiwiSaver first home withdrawals

Where do I start?

KiwiSaver is your first stop on the journey to purchasing your first home. Although it’s primarily a retirement savings scheme, KiwiSaver allows you to withdraw most of your savings before retirement in order to buy your first home. It could help you get into your first home sooner than you think.

Below are some helpful tools to get you started on your first home journey and answers to the common questions that come up when you’re getting ready to buy.

Useful tools:
First home calculator – how much could I save in KiwiSaver for my first home?
Fund selector tool – consider moving to a more conservative fund before buying
Financial fitness check

Documents and forms:
KiwiSaver First home withdrawal form – more info on what’s required and the process
Just starting? Join or switch to the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme

How much do I have available to withdraw from my KiwiSaver account?

The first thing you should do is find out what your current KiwiSaver account balance is. This is easy – just ask your KiwiSaver provider for an estimate letter to confirm your eligibility and the approximate amount you have squirrelled away. If you’re a member of the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme we can do this for you. You might need to provide a KiwiSaver eligibility letter when you apply for your home loan pre-approval, so it’s best to be prepared and ready to go.
To get your estimate letter, get in touch with our team by emailing or calling 0800 267 5494.

Can I withdraw everything?

Not quite. You must leave at least $1,000 (and any savings you’ve transferred from an Australian complying super scheme) in your KiwiSaver account.

How long does it take to withdraw my KiwiSaver savings? And where does the money go?

A first home withdrawal at AMP usually takes around 8 to 15 days to process. Timing is everything here, so make sure you allow plenty of time and work backwards from the date you need to pay your deposit (or complete settlement) to ensure all your ducks are in a row. The money is paid to your solicitor – it won’t go to you. Your solicitor will then pass on the money as and when instructed by you.

Is there a cost to withdraw my KiwiSaver savings?

We don’t charge a fee for withdrawal as your KiwiSaver provider. You should confirm with your lawyer whether their costs for assisting you with a KiwiSaver first home withdrawal are included in their overall conveyancing costs. Conveyancing is the process that involves legally transferring home ownership from the person selling the house to you the buyer.

What's the First Home Grant?

If you’re looking to buy or build your first home you could also be eligible to receive a First Home Grant from the government. This could help you purchase:
- an existing home – a grant of up to $5,000 for individuals and up to $10,000 for couples to put towards a deposit.
- a brand new home – a grant up to $10,000 for individuals and up to $20,000 for couples to help with the costs of buying or building.

The First Home Grant is administered by Kāinga Ora, it is not part of the KiwiSaver initiative, but you must be a KiwiSaver member to apply.

What if I’ve owned a home or land in the past?

KiwiSaver first home withdrawals are designed for people buying a home or land for the first time. You cannot make a first home withdrawal from your KiwiSaver account if you have owned a home or land in the past or if you currently own a home or land.

There are some exceptions to this rule. If you have been a previous home or land owner but didn’t use your KiwiSaver towards it and you no longer own any interest or share in the home or land, you might still qualify for a KiwiSaver first home withdrawal if Kāinga Ora decides if you are in the same financial position as a first home buyer. Read more on the Kāinga Ora website.

What happens if I buy at auction?

If the home you have your eye on is being sold at auction, you are likely to need an immediate deposit of 10% upon a winning bid. This means you’ll probably have to pay the deposit yourself and then use your KiwiSaver first home withdrawal towards settlement.

I missed out on a home, what’s next?

If the sale doesn’t quite go through, don’t worry, you don’t lose your KiwiSaver savings. Your solicitor will return your funds back into your KiwiSaver account.
This wouldn’t count as a successful first home withdrawal, so you can re-apply at a later date when you find another property to purchase.

What if my home will be on Māori land?

If your withdrawal is for purchasing an interest in a house to live in on Māori land, please include evidence of your right to occupy the Māori land with your application.

Tips to get to your deposit quicker
Tips to get to your deposit quicker

Calculator: how much you could save
Calculator: how much you could save

Home & Contents insurance
Home & Contents insurance

More about KiwiSaver
More about KiwiSaver

A little extra help from AMP

BetterMoney by AMP
BetterMoney by AMP

The total money management tool to help manage your money life.
Get better budgeting, spending, bills, first home and retirement planning, all in one place, with one complete view across all your finances. Exclusive and free for MyAMP NZ customers.

Media Hub
Media Hub

Lots of articles and videos to help you on your way.

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Important information

AMP Wealth Management New Zealand Limited is the issuer and manager of the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme (the 'Scheme'). The Supervisor of the Scheme is The New Zealand Guardian Trust Company Limited.
For more information, download a copy of the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme Product Disclosure Statement and Fund Update Booklet.
While care has been taken to supply information on this website that is accurate, no entity or person gives any warranty of reliability or accuracy, or accepts any responsibility arising in any way including from any error or omission.
The information provided is of a general nature and does not constitute financial advice or other professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek financial advice or other professional advice relevant to your personal circumstances.
For financial advice, we recommend you contact your Adviser or if you don’t have an Adviser, contact us on 0800 267 5494.