The KiwiSaver Scheme Rules currently allow withdrawals to be made from the BCF Scheme in the following circumstances:
- Reaching your “Qualifying Date”: This is generally when you qualify for New Zealand Superannuation (currently at age 65). However, if you join aged 60 or more, your Qualifying Date is when you complete 5 years’ membership. You will be able to withdraw some or all of your BCF Scheme balance at any time after you reach your Qualifying Date.
- Purchasing a home: You will be able to make a withdrawal from the BCF Scheme to help purchase your first home if you intend it to be your main residence and you have saved through KiwiSaver for 3 or more years. If you have owned a home before, you may still be able to make a home purchase withdrawal if you provide the Trustee with written confirmation from Housing New Zealand stating that it is satisfied that your financial position is the same as would be expected of a person who has never owned a home. After the withdrawal, you must leave a minimum of $1,000 in your BCF Scheme account (as well as any amount you may have transferred from an Australian Scheme).
- Permanently emigrating: One year after permanently emigrating from New Zealand to any country except Australia, you can withdraw your BCF Scheme balance (excluding all Government contributions other than the $1,000 ‘kickstart’ you may have received – these must, in that case, be repaid to Inland Revenue).
- If you permanently emigrate to Australia then:
– you cannot make a cash withdrawal; but
– you can choose between remaining in the BCF Scheme and transferring your entire balance, including all Government contributions, to an approved Australian scheme
- Significant financial hardship: In certain circumstances (prescribed in the KiwiSaver Scheme Rules), you will be able to make a partial withdrawal from the BCF Scheme if we are satisfied that you are suffering (or likely to suffer) from significant financial hardship. We must be reasonably satisfied that you have explored and exhausted reasonable alternative sources of funding.
- Serious illness: You will be able to make a full withdrawal from the BCF Scheme if we are reasonably satisfied that you are suffering from an injury, illness or disability:
– making you totally and permanently unable to engage in work for which you are suited by reason of experience, education or training; or
– that poses a serious and imminent risk of death.
- Death: If you die then your full balance will be paid to the executors or administrators of your estate on request (unless it is less than a prescribed amount – currently $15,000 – and certain other conditions are met, in which case it may be paid direct to a surviving spouse or caregiver).
- Withdrawals required by other legislation: We must comply with any legislation or court order requiring us to release any of your funds from the BCF Scheme.