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Sometimes life doesn't go to plan and throws curve balls or you chart a different course. There are some ways you can access your KiwiSaver savings in exceptional circumstances.

Early withdrawals may be available (subject to criteria) for:

Serious illness

Serious illness

Serious illness is defined in the KiwiSaver Act as meaning an injury, illness or disability that:

  • results in the member being totally and permanently unable to engage in work for which he or she is suited by reason of experience, or training, or any combination of those things; or
  • poses a serious and imminent risk of death.
Permanent emigration

Permanent emigration

If you have permanently emigrated from New Zealand and you have lived overseas for at least 12 months you may be eligible to withdraw your funds under permanent emigration, excluding Government Member Tax Credits. If you have permanently emigrated to Australia you are not able to apply for a withdrawal on the grounds of permanent emigration, however, you will be able to transfer all of your KiwiSaver savings to your Australian superannuation scheme (please note that some Australian providers do not accept these transfers).

Significant financial hardship

Significant financial hardship

If you are suffering or likely to suffer from significant financial hardship you can apply to withdraw some of your savings. Significant Financial Hardship is defined in the KiwiSaver Act as significant financial difficulties that arise because of:

  • a member's inability to meet minimum living expenses
  • a member's inability to meet mortgage repayments on his or her principal family residence resulting in the mortgagee seeking to enforce them mortgage on the residence
  • the cost of modifying a residence to meet special needs arising from a disability of a member or member's dependent
  • the cost of medical treatment for an illness or injury of a member or a member's dependent
  • the cost of palliative care for a member or a member's dependent or the cost of a funeral for a member's dependent; or
  • the member suffering from a serious illness.

If you need clarification on any of the above circumstances and how they may apply to you, please contact our client services team on 0800 772 837 or email us.

Buying your first home

Buying your first home

After three years membership, you can withdraw everything from your account except $1,000 (and any funds you have transferred from an Australian super fund).

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