KiwiSaver and your first home

Think KiwiSaver is just for retirement? Think again. It could be key to securing your first home.

KiwiSaver and first home ownership

While the KiwiSaver initiative is designed to be a long-term investment plan for your retirement, you may be able to access your money sooner than you think, as you can withdraw almost all of your savings to buy your first home.

After working hard to save a deposit for your first home, the savings you have built up in your KiwiSaver account can provide a welcome boost, helping you to step onto the property ladder sooner.

What’s more, between employer, government and your voluntary contributions, and the First Home Grant, you can get quite a lot of help building up the deposit for your first home!

But using your KiwiSaver retirement savings to fund your first home purchase is a very important and very personal decision, so in this guide we’ll take a closer look at the whats, whys and hows.

Am I eligible for the KiwiSaver first home withdrawal?

You can draw money from your KiwiSaver Scheme account as a first home buyer if you meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You haven’t owned property before (some exceptions apply – see FAQ below) or Kainga Ora has confirmed your eligibility for a second chance home withdrawal.
  • You have been a member of KiwiSaver (or another complying superannuation fund) for at least three years.
  • You haven't made a KiwiSaver first home withdrawal before (as you can only make one successful first home withdrawal from your KiwiSaver).
  • You are buying property in New Zealand.
  • You will live in the home or on the land you are buying (rental and investment properties are ineligible).
  • You are 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.

Useful tools to help you with your first home deposit

Plan your first home savings

Use our calculator to find out how much you could save in KiwiSaver for your first home, or how long it might take to reach your savings goals, and what you can change to get there faster.

Are you ready to buy your house?

Check the health of your KiwiSaver and finances in just five minutes.

Need a little help choosing a fund?

In just three clicks, our Fund Selector Tool can help you find the AMP KiwiSaver fund that may help you achieve your first home goals. Learn more about choosing the right fund in the video below.

Watch our video to learn more about choosing the right fund.

How do I make a KiwiSaver first home withdrawal?

At AMP we’ve simplified the process of withdrawing KiwiSaver funds for your first home.

The first step is to determine if you are eligible for a KiwiSaver first home withdrawal. Check if you meet the eligibility criteria above or, if you’re unsure, contact us on 0800 267 5494 to confirm if you’re eligible. Then, once you’ve found property or land that you would like to buy, have agreed to a purchase price, and the wheels are in motion, you can then follow this application process:

1. If you are eligible to make the withdrawal and are ready to do so, download and complete the withdrawal application form

2. Email the completed first home withdrawal form and all supporting documents as mentioned below to

3. If your application is approved, the funds will be sent directly to your solicitor’s trust account.

Supporting Documents:

  • Signed form witnessed by an authorised person
  • Solicitor’s Certificate
  • A copy of the sale & purchase agreement
  • Trust account bank deposit slip
  • Copy of proof of residential address, dated within the last 6 months
  • Letter of determination from Kainga Ora confirming eligibility (if applying for a second chance home withdrawal)
  • Evidence of your right to occupy Māori land (if withdrawal is for purchasing an interest in a dwelling house on Māori land)

How long does it take to withdraw my KiwiSaver savings?

We usually take 8-15 days to process your application. The timeframe of the withdrawal process is critical, as your KiwiSaver funds cannot be paid out after the settlement of the purchase. You must ensure you have enough time, working backwards from your settlement date to identify key deadlines.

Can I withdraw all my KiwiSaver money?

Almost, but not quite. If you have been in KiwiSaver for at least three years, you can withdraw your contributions, employer contributions, government contributions, any interest that you’ve earned and any fee subsidies you may have received.

But you must leave at least $1,000 in your KiwiSaver account, plus any savings that you may have transferred over from an Australian complying superannuation scheme.

Is there a cost to withdraw my KiwiSaver savings?

As your KiwiSaver provider, AMP does not charge you a fee to withdraw funds for your first home purchase.

It’s wise to confirm with your lawyer if assistance with your KiwiSaver first home withdrawal is included in their conveyancing fee (conveyancing is the process of legally transferring home ownership from the seller to you, the buyer).

How much do I have in my KiwiSaver account to withdraw?

Finding out your current KiwiSaver account balance, and how much you can withdraw for your first home, is easy – just ask us!

If AMP is your KiwiSaver Scheme provider, we can provide an estimate letter to confirm your eligibility and the approximate amount you have available. You may need to provide this letter when you apply for your home loan pre-approval, so it’s best to get it sooner rather than later.

To obtain yours, you can email our expert KiwiSaver team at or call 0800 267 5494.

Expert assistance from our Financial Advisors

How can you make the most of your KiwiSaver savings to buy your first home? Our expert financial advisors are here to offer guidance and advice.

KiwiSaver: the key to your first home?

If you need help deciding whether early withdrawal from KiwiSaver for your first home is the right move for you, get in touch with our experts today.

Book a consultation and we’ll get in touch at a time that suits you.

We recommend speaking to a financial adviser when looking for financial advice. By speaking with a financial adviser, you can find out – how your plan is working (or not) for you, and they can provide guidance on some suggested changes if needed.

As an AMP KiwiSaver Scheme customer you have access to financial advice whenever you need it which can be obtained either through AMP or an external Adviser. The financial advice that can be provided by an internal AMP Adviser is limited to AMP products, whereas an external Adviser may be able to advise you on a broader range of financial matters.

The next steps on your KiwiSaver journey

Ready to learn more about using KiwiSaver to buy your first home? Explore your options by following the links below.

How much do I have to save for my deposit?

Is it as simple as ‘20% of the property value’? Well, it’s complicated. The size of the deposit you require to secure your first home depends on a number of factors such as risks, liabilities and repayment scenarios, and there are also other costs and fees that you should be aware of. 

Learn more

Tips to save for your first home deposit quicker

The main obstacle between you and your first home will probably be saving a deposit. Here are a few tips that can help you to grow your savings a little quicker, and get you into your first home sooner.

Home deposit tips


Can I withdraw KiwiSaver if I’m a previous homeowner or landowner?

KiwiSaver first home withdrawals are designed for people buying a home or land for the first time – but there are some exceptions to this rule.

If you have previously bought land or a home but didn’t use your KiwiSaver, and you no longer own any interest or share in the land or home, you may still qualify – but only if Kāinga Ora (formerly Housing New Zealand) decides you are in the same financial position as a first-time homebuyer. Head to the Kāinga Ora website – – to find out more.

My first home purchase fell through – what now?

If your property purchase didn’t go through for whatever reason, don’t worry: you may get a second chance. You won’t lose your KiwiSaver savings, nor your opportunity to take advantage of the first home withdrawal.

Your solicitor will return your funds back into your KiwiSaver account, and you are welcome to reapply when you find another property you’d like to purchase.

What's the First Home Grant?

The KiwiSaver first home withdrawal isn’t the only way you can boost your home deposit. If you are looking at using KiwiSaver to build a house or buy your first home, you may be eligible to receive a First Home Grant (previously called the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant) from the government. This grant can be used to 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. Note that house price caps also apply.

What happens if I buy the house at auction?

If the home you have your eye on is being sold at auction, you are likely to need an immediate deposit upon winning a bid (though you should always read the purchase agreement thoroughly to check). This means you’ll probably have to pay the deposit yourself and then use your KiwiSaver first home withdrawal when the time comes to settle.