Changes to KiwiSaver

Wooden toy house in front of coins

Finally, some good news for kiwis in the property market. The people have spoken and KiwiSaver have listened; rules around withdrawals for property have been loosened. As of 1 July 2016 there are no longer any income caps for second-chance homeowners (people who have previously owned a home) who want to make a withdrawal from their KiwiSaver. In the past, the income cap was $80,000 for individuals and $120,000 for a couple. This change means second-chance homeowners are now able to access their KiwiSaver funds to help buy a home regardless of how much they earn. All the other eligibility criteria remain the same. Including meeting the test of having realisable assets of no more than 20% of the regional house price cap for your area. At the moment, the cap for Auckland is $550,000; other major metropolitan areas $450,000; and $350,000 across the rest of New Zealand.

So who will benefit from this change?

Second-chance homeowners will be able to nab that second chance more easily and Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith believes this will be especially beneficial for mid-life, middle-income earners who are finding it difficult to get back into the market, particularly those who have been through a separation or business failure. Remember, it can take a few weeks to get your Letter of Determination approval from Housing New Zealand, so it's a good idea to apply as early as possible. Squirrel advisers have plenty of knowledge and experience with KiwiSaver so if there are any questions around this, they are always happy to provide clarification.