Inland Revenue has announced that those experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 may be eligible to withdraw their KiwiSaver funds early. In addition to applying for an early release, you can also apply for a KiwiSaver savings suspension in the event that you want to stop further contributions being made from your wages within the first 12 months of experiencing financial hardship.
To be eligible for an early release of your KiwiSaver funds, you must prove that you are experiencing significant financial hardship in the form of you:
- Being unable to meet minimum living expenses;
- Being unable to pay the mortgage of the home you live in (and your provider is enforcing the mortgage despite your financial circumstances);
- Needing to modify your home to meet the special needs of a dependent family member;
- Needing to pay for medical treatment for yourself or a dependent family member;
- Having a serious illness;
- Needing to pay funeral costs for a dependent family member.
Once meeting one or more of the above conditions for financial hardship, you can apply with the Inland Revenue for an early release of your KiwiSaver funds. Keep in mind that if your application is accepted, you can only withdraw your and your employer’s contributions to your KiwiSaver. Your application will also only be considered during the first two months after Inland Revenue has received your first contribution. After the first two months, you will have to contact your KiwiSaver provider. The Inland Revenue recommends contacting your provider for those who are self-employed and pay their own KiwiSaver contributions.
To apply for your KiwiSaver funds early, first gather your relevant information including a list of your assets and liabilities, details of your income and your costs and your bank account details (for a refund if Inland Revenue approves your application). Next, you will need to fill out an application from the Inland Revenue’s website coded KS5 2020 and submit it online or through postal services.
After reviewing your application, you will either receive a confirmation letter with a refund into your bank account or a rejection letter with reasons explaining your ineligibility. The Inland Revenue may also contact you if more information on your financial circumstances is necessary.