Withdrawing from KiwiSaver funds for significant financial hardship


Individuals may choose to apply to withdraw money from their fund if they are suffering significant financial hardship.

To qualify as suffering significant financial hardship, one or more of the following criteria needs to be met as per the official government website:

  • Cannot meet minimum living expenses
  • Cannot pay the mortgage on the home you live in, and your mortgage provider is seeking to enforce the mortgage
  • Need to modify your home to meet your special needs or those of a dependent family member
  • Need to pay for medical treatment for yourself or a dependent family member
  • Have a serious illness
  • Need to pay funeral costs of a dependent family member


Before you withdraw money from the account, it might be worth considering if stopping kiwisaver deductions is a better alternative. This might provide some temporary relief by reducing expenses. The criteria for suspending contributions is different depending on the length of time you have been making contributions.

  • A year or more: Suspend contributions for 3 months to 1 year without needed to provide a reason
  • Less than a year: Apply for suspension and provide reasons (one of which may be financial hardship)

Posted on 22 Oct 2020, under Super.