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.
Significant financial hardship is when you can’t pay minimum living expenses.
Significant financial hardship includes when you:
• 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
• Dependants are people who are financially dependant on you. This could be your partner, relative or children (under 18 years)
• 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
• travel (other than basic transportation)
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.
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.
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 here.
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 26 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.
(If a New Zealand Covid-19 alert level 2 or higher is in effect in your region or you are self-isolating while completing the application form, please click here for more information.)
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