There is help available if you are having trouble saving your deposit:
- Your deposit can be gifted by a relative
- You can also use two features provided by KiwiSaver:
- If you are a member of KiwiSaver and have been contributing regularly for at least three years, you may be eligible for a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant and a KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal.
- HomeStart grant: The KiwiSaver HomeStart grant was introduced on 1 April 2015, replacing the KiwiSaver first-home deposit subsidy. Like the KiwiSaver first-home deposit subsidy, the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant provides eligible first-home buyers with a grant of up to $5,000 for individuals and up to $10,000 for couples to put towards the purchase of an existing home.
- In addition, the new KiwiSaver HomeStart grant also provides eligible first-home buyers with up to $10,000 for individuals and up to $20,000 for couples to help with the costs of purchasing a brand new home.
- First-home withdrawal: Changes to the KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal were also introduced on 1 April 2015 that means eligible members can withdraw their KiwiSaver contributions (including tax credits). However at least $1,000 must remain in their KiwiSaver account.
To find out more about the HomeStart grant and the first-home withdrawal go to www.kiwisaver-homestart.co.nz (external link)
Not yet a member of KiwiSaver? Go to www.kiwisaver.govt.nz (external link) to find out about joining.
What is KiwiSaver
KiwiSaver is a voluntary, work-based savings initiative to help you with your long-term savings for retirement. It has a range of membership benefits including your own contributions, contributions from your employer and from the Government. Over time your savings will be augmented with investment returns from your savings.
Whilst KiwiSaver is primarily targeted at allowing you to accumulate savings for your retirement, the scheme also has two features to help you buy your first home: the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant and the KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal.
How to join KiwiSaver
There are 3 ways to join KiwiSaver - automatic enrolment when you start a new job, opting in through a KiwiSaver provider or opting in though your employer.
- When you start a new job, if you're not already a member and are eligible, your employer will automatically enrol you in KiwiSaver
- You can choose to join the KiwiSaver scheme of your choice. You'll need to contact the provider of that scheme directly.
- You can join KiwiSaver through your employer by asking them for an employee information pack and completing a KiwiSaver deduction form.