KiwiSaver: significant financial hardship

KiwiSaver is set up to help you save for your first home or retirement. However, if you're experiencing significant financial hardship, you might be eligible for an early withdrawal.

There are many factors that influence how and when you may be able to access your KiwiSaver savings. These rules, along with the requirement to provide evidence, are set by the Government.

What is significant financial hardship?

Significant financial hardship is when you can’t pay minimum living expenses.

Significant financial hardship includes when you:

  • can’t meet minimum living expenses
  • can’t pay the mortgage on the home you live in, and your mortgage provider is seeking to enforce the mortgage
  • need to modify your home to meet your special needs or those of a dependent family member
  • need to pay for medical treatment for yourself or a dependent family member
  • have a serious illness
  • need to pay funeral costs of a dependent family member.

What are minimum living expenses?

Minimum living expenses include:

  • basic food and groceries
  • mortgage, rent and board payments
  • basic clothing
  • utility bills: power, water, electricity, phone bills
  • basic transportation costs, petrol, bus fares
  • medical or care costs for yourself or any financial dependents

Minimum living expenses are not:

  • credit card debt
  • hire purchase payments for non-essential items
  • fines, infringement notices, WINZ debt or an amount payable under a Court Order
  • debt collection agency bills
  • holidays
  • travel (other than basic transportation)

Consider a KiwiSaver savings suspension

If you are employed but continue to suffer from significant financial hardship, you may apply to Inland Revenue for a savings suspension (i.e. to stop future employee contributions coming out of your pay and into your KiwiSaver account). A savings suspension lets you take a break from making contributions to your KiwiSaver for 3 to 12 months to help you meet your on-going living expenses. This option is only available if you have contributed and been a KiwiSaver member for 12 months or more.

Note that stopping your employee contributions will also stop the contributions made by your employer, unless your employment agreement states otherwise. Taking a savings suspension could also mean you may not contribute enough to receive the annual Government contribution.

Visit the Government’s KiwiSaver website for more information on savings suspensions.


How do I apply for significant financial hardship?

Complete the online form by logging into MyAMP

If you haven’t registered for MyAMP yet it only takes two minutes and you will be able to submit the form online. The online form is the quickest and easiest way to apply for Financial Hardship: Register for MyAMP

If you cannot apply online please give us a call so we can help on 0800 267 5494

Documents you may need

The Significant Financial Hardship Withdrawal (Hardship) online application requires a number of supporting documents to be provided in order for an assessment to be made. You will need to have the following documents ready to provide with your online application:

Bank statements showing the daily transactions for the last 3 months for all your bank accounts (and your partner's if applicable)

Evidence of your living arrangements:
- your most recent mortgage statements if a homeowner,
- a copy of your tenancy agreement or
- the completed living arrangement form (available for download in step 4 of the application)

Proof of income:
- 3 of your most recent payslips
- if you are self-employed, please provide a letter from an accountant confirming the drawings for the last 3 months. Alternatively, please provide a screenshot of your IRD income summary for the last 3 months.
- If you are unemployed, we will require either a letter from WINZ confirming your request for assistance has been declined or a letter confirming the benefit entitlement you will be receiving.

Overdue bills:
- The must be less than 30 days old & outline the outstanding balance and regular minimum payments required.
- This includes utility bills (e.g. electricity), store cards, personal or car loans or any other overdue accounts

If you find you need additional documents when you are completing the online form you can easily save and come back later.

How the process works

Log into MyAMP and complete the Online Hardship Application. There are steps that the form will guide you through to ensure all the requirements are submitted.

Collect all your supporting documents and upload them to your online application.

Print and take the statutory declaration to a Justice of the peace (JP), Solicitor, Notary Public, or other person authorised to take a statutory declaration.

Log into MyAMP and upload the statutory declaration and submit your online application to AMP. We’ll provide you with confirmation once submitted to us.

We’ll assess your application and contact if you if we require anything further. If a completed application and all supporting documents are provided, we will be able to assess your financial situation and give you an outcome within 15 working days.

Significant financial hardship FAQs

Will I qualify for a significant financial hardship withdrawal?

When it comes to experiencing significant financial hardship, we understand that not all situations are the same. Making a significant financial hardship withdrawal is a last resort.

Before applying for a withdrawal from your KiwiSaver account, you need to explore all other options first including Government financial support and mortgage or loan deferrals offered by your bank or other lenders.

What do I do before I apply for a significant financial hardship withdrawal?

You’ll need to provide evidence that you’re experiencing significant financial hardship and show you have tried to use all other reasonable options to meet the shortage.

• Ask Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) for assistance. Whether they can help you or not, we’ll need to see evidence that you’ve talked to WINZ.
• Talk to your finance/debt provider to see if they can help you with any payment or loan holidays or other financial relief solutions. You can also check out financial mentor support or seek other government tools like which can help with budgeting advice.

What can I withdraw?

You can only access your member and employer contributions (not any Government contributions). The amount you can withdraw will be limited to the amount required to relieve your hardship. Generally, this will be up to 13 weeks’ worth of your minimum expenses.

Significant financial hardship applications are assessed and approved by the New Zealand Guardian Trust, the Supervisor of the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme. The Supervisor is a legally appointed, independent guardian of AMP investments and investors. They will decide how much you can withdraw based on your circumstances. AMP will help submit your application so that it will be considered by the Supervisor.

Who are my dependants?

Dependants are people who are financially dependant on you. This could be your partner, relative or children (under 18 years).

Where else can I seek help?

Government Covid-19 website - financial support
Work and Income - WINZ
Savings suspension - apply to Inland Revenue
Budgeting help - Sorted or Money Talks
Advice - Citizen's Advice Bureau
Justice of the Peace - JP Finder