Early access to KiwiSaver for people with life-shortening congenital conditions

The majority of New Zealanders are able to withdraw their KiwiSaver savings at the time they qualify for NZ Superannuation (65 years old). However some people are born with a condition that shortens their life expectancy below this age.

The Government is proposing changes to the KiwiSaver Act to allow a person that has a life-shortening congenital condition to withdraw their savings early in order to spend a reasonable portion of their adult life in retirement.

The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has released a Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) which will create a new early withdrawal category in the KiwiSaver Act for people with life-shortening congenital conditions. This new early withdrawal category allows those people to withdraw their savings before they are 65 for the purposes of retirement on the basis of sufficient medical evidence.

To give certainty to people with such conditions, there will be a set list of congenital life-shortening conditions named in regulations as qualifying for withdrawal. However, a person that has a (perhaps rare) congenital condition will still be able to apply for a withdrawal if they are able to provide medical evidence that they have a congenital condition that shortens their life below the age of 65.

The SOP proposes changes to the Taxation (KiwiSaver, Student Loans, and Remedial Matters) Bill, which was introduced into Parliament on 27 July 2019 and is currently before the Finance and Expenditure Committee for consideration.

Last updated: 13 August 2019