If your circumstances change

Sometimes life throws you curve balls. Learn about the special situations when you can apply to withdraw some or all of your KiwiSaver investment early.


Serious Illness

You may be able to apply to withdraw your funds on the basis of serious illness. A serious illness means an injury, illness, or disability that results in you being totally and permanently unable to engage in work for which you are suited by reason of experience, education, or training, or any combination of those things; or that poses a serious and imminent risk of death.

Life shortening congenital illness has recently been expanded.

To apply, you will need to complete an application which includes a declaration from your doctor.


Permanent Emigration

If you leave New Zealand permanently, after living overseas for 12 months or more, you can apply to withdraw your funds (excluding member tax credits). If you are immigrating to Australia however, you must transfer your funds to an Australian complying superannuation scheme (ACSS) instead.

You must provide evidence of your departure from New Zealand and evidence that you are now permanently living overseas (including Australia).

If you wish to transfer your KiwiSaver account to an ACSS, you don't need to wait 12 months. You’ll need to complete the Australian scheme’s application process and supply confirmation of this to us.

If you’ve permanently emigrated to somewhere other than Australia, please complete an application form.

Significant Financial Hardship

What you need to know before you apply

If you can provide evidence that you're suffering or likely to suffer significant financial hardship, you may be able to withdraw some of your KiwiSaver savings. You’ll also need to provide proof that you’ve explored all other reasonable alternative sources of funding as part of your application such as asking Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) for assistance, contacting IRD about applying for a Savings Suspension and seeking budgeting advice from a Budget Advisory Service.

Significant financial hardship includes if you're:

  • unable to meet minimum living expenses
  • unable to meet mortgage repayments on the home you live in, resulting in your mortgage provider enforcing the mortgage on your property
  • unable to pay rent/board payments
  • modifying your home to meet special needs because of you or a dependent family member having a disability
  • paying for medical treatment if you or a dependent family member:
  • become ill
  • have an injury, or requires palliative care
  • suffer from a serious illness
  • incurring funeral costs if a dependent family member dies.

How much can you apply for?

You can apply to withdraw all your funds less government contributions (formerly MTCs) and kickstart (if applicable). The Supervisor of the GoalsGetter KiwiSaver Scheme is responsible for approving your application and will determine the amount you require to relieve your hardship. This amount will likely be sufficient to cover a shortfall in your minimum living expenses for three months, and an amount to pay overdue bills or arrears.

If you think you’re eligible for a KiwiSaver hardship withdrawal you, need to:

  • Complete all parts of the application form
  • Provide all of the supporting documents listed in the checklist
  • Complete the statutory declaration have this witnessed by a person authorised to take Statutory Declarations
  • Provide certified copies of proof of your identity and address

We’ll check your application and supporting documents and will then contact you if we require any further information. We’ll then assess your application and send it to the Supervisor for a final decision.

Download Significant Financial Hardship Withdrawal


If you die while you’re a member of KiwiSaver, the balance of your KiwiSaver account is paid to your estate. Your Personal Representative(s) will need to apply to make the withdrawal. There are two types of Personal Representatives, depending on your balance of your KiwiSaver account.

If the balance is over $15,000 this will be:

  • The person(s) who has been granted Probate if  you’ve left a Will
  • The person(s) who has been granted Letter of Administration if you didn't leave a Will

If the balance is under $15,000 and no Probate or Letter of Administration has been granted, then a relevant person is able to apply to make the withdrawal. Personal Representatives will need to complete an application form.

Want to know more about KiwiSaver?

KiwiSaver as part of your overall investment strategy

Learn about the role KiwiSaver plays in an overall investment strategy and how to optimise your KiwiSaver savings now, so you can retire with more.

Learn more

Making a withdrawal

Thinking about drawing down on your KiwiSaver early for a first home? Wondering what other situations apply for early withdrawal? Find out when and how much you can withdraw here.

Learn more

If your circumstances

Sometimes life throws you curve balls. Learn about the special situations when you can apply to withdraw some or all of your KiwiSaver investment early.

Learn more

Our fees

GoalsGetter is free to use, but when you invest, standard fees to manage your investment apply. Find out about the types of fees that apply for our Nikko AM retail and KiwiSaver funds.

Learn more