Helen Twose

Helen Twose on KiwiSaver and you

Helen Twose: Investment property funding ruled out

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The first home buyer's withdrawal is available for the purchase of a first home where the land is intended to be your principal place of residence. Photo / Paul Estcourt
The first home buyer's withdrawal is available for the purchase of a first home where the land is intended to be your principal place of residence. Photo / Paul Estcourt

My partner and I have been living in Australia since the start of the year because we can save more here than we could ever in New Zealand for a house.

We are planning to come back at the end of 2015 and purchase a property.

We do, however, have an option of getting an investment property next year with one of our parents.

We can do this without KiwiSaver, but it would be nice to help as we have nearly $20,000 between us in KiwiSaver.

As we are going in with other people who already own a home are we still eligible to use our KiwiSaver?

Or can we only use our KiwiSaver when we look at purchasing our own property at the end of 2015?

We are also planning to transfer our Australian Super back to New Zealand to bulk up our KiwiSaver amount.

The first home buyer's withdrawal is available for the purchase of a first home where the land is intended to be your principal place of residence.

In addition, the Housing New Zealand "Buying your First Home with KiwiSaver" brochure explicitly states that KiwiSaver funds cannot be used to buy an investment property.

Therefore, you would not be able to use the KiwiSaver funds to purchase the investment property.

Furthermore, it is a requirement that a member applying to withdraw under the First Home Buyers clause has not, at any time prior to making a withdrawal under the clause, held an estate in land.

Therefore, purchasing the investment property in your own names will likely make you ineligible for a KiwiSaver withdrawal for your own home at a later date.

You would need to apply to Housing New Zealand for approval as a previous home owner, and meet their eligibility criteria regarding income and house prices.

Please refer to the Housing New Zealand website for the rules regarding using your KiwiSaver as a previous home owner.

Please be aware that Australian-sourced superannuation funds cannot be withdrawn to help you purchase your first home.

* Blair Turnbull, ASB executive general manager of wealth and insurance.

Is ACC required to pay KiwiSaver superannuation on weekly compensation?

No - ACC does not make an employer contribution to your KiwiSaver account.

While you may continue to have your KiwiSaver contribution deducted from your ACC payments, ACC does not reimburse employer contributions to injured employees' KiwiSaver accounts.

If necessary, your deductions can be stopped by applying for a contributions holiday.

* Peter Christensen, Camelot Group chairman.

My son has been separated for a number of years from his wife who believes that when they divorce she is entitled to have half of his KiwiSaver.

I do not know if she has a KiwiSaver account of her own.

KiwiSaver Scheme Rule number 7 states that KiwiSaver funds are subject to the Property Relationship Act, so the short answer is yes, his KiwiSaver funds will be treated as relationship property.

* Peter Christensen, Camelot Group chairman.

I have been a KiwiSaver member for the past five years and am about to retire.

I would like to access my savings and I am unsure as to whether my contributions will continue.

Can you advise how I could access these funds?

I am not eligible for the first home buyer, the second chance scheme or possibly the undue hardship clause.

I am 56 and hope to retire from a government department before I turn 57. I am a member of the Government Superannuation Fund.

Under the KiwiSaver rules, because you joined before age 60, you cannot withdraw your savings until you reach the state pension age (currently age 65) unless you qualify for one of the permitted earlier benefit options.

You have indicated that you will not qualify for these and early retirement is not one of the permitted options.

Your current balance is therefore locked in until the state pension age.

Until that date if you continue to contribute $1043 a year (assuming that you can afford to) the Government will continue to pay $521 a year.

Just think of your KiwiSaver savings as part of the money that you will spend in your retirement beyond age 65 and spend part of your other savings between now and then.

* Michael Chamberlain, SuperLife principal.

Disclaimer: Information provided is stated accurately to the best of the respondent's knowledge at the time of publication.

It is general in nature and should not be construed, or relied on, as a recommendation to invest in a particular financial product or class of financial product. Readers should seek independent financial advice specific to their situation before making an investment decision.

To have your KiwiSaver questions answered by the Herald's panel of industry players email Helen Twose, helentwose@gmail com

- NZ Herald

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