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Coronavirus: Can I withdraw from my KiwiSaver if I’m out of work?

Experiencing financial hardship due to coronavirus? Here’s what you need to know about making a withdrawal from your KiwiSaver

With many Kiwis now facing job loss or reduced income due to COVID-19, the thought of how you can possibly get through this uncertain time is forefront in many people’s minds.

If you have been making contributions to KiwiSaver, you may be wondering if you can tap into your account to ensure your rent, mortgage, living or medical expenses are covered. And more importantly, is it the right thing to do?

Can I take money from my KiwiSaver because of the Coronavirus

If at any time you are experiencing significant financial hardship, you may be able to withdraw funds from your KiwiSaver. As it is predicted that many Kiwis will be in this situation as a result of COVID-19, this option may be one that is seriously considered.

To make a withdrawal, you need to meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • You’re unable to meet your mortgage payments
  • You’re unable to afford your minimum living costs
  • You’re suffering from a serious illness
  • You need to pay for medical treatment for yourself or a dependent family member
  • You need to pay for funeral costs for a dependent family member
  • You need to modify your home for a family member that has a disability.

The amount you can withdraw is the value of your own and your employer’s contributions. You can’t withdraw any Government contributions.

If you’ve been a KiwiSaver member for less than three months, you need to contact Inland Revenue to apply. Otherwise, you can contact your KiwiSaver provider.

You need to show that you have explored all reasonable avenues to come up with the funds that you require. You also need to complete an asset and liability statutory declaration and provide other supporting documentation.

Is withdrawing money from my Kiwisaver the right move?

Withdrawing from your KiwiSaver is a big step and you should think carefully before deciding to make a withdrawal. The money you withdraw now is money that won’t be available to you later on.

Before looking at withdrawing from your KiwiSaver, you should first look at other ways that you can get the financial help you need.

What else can I do?

If you find yourself affected financially by COVID-19, there are a few avenues for you to explore during this time.

  • All major banks are offering financial support to their customers. Depending on which bank you are with, you may be eligible for a loan repayment holiday, access to a temporary overdraft facility, a loan term extension or other assistance.
  • A credit card or personal loan may help you cover your bills if you are affected by coronavirus.
  • If you lose your job due to COVID-19, you may be able to make a claim on your income protection insurance.
  • Work and Income provide financial support if you are struggling to meet living costs. You can also apply for a benefit if you are eligible.

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