Early access to KiwiSaver now available for those with life-shortening conditions



At the end of July this year, KiwiSaver announced that savings accessibility will be changed for people with shortened life expectancies due to congenital health conditions.

Under previous rules, savings could not be accessed before the age of 65, however people with life-shortening congenital conditions can have a life-expectancy below this age. As a result, people with such conditions were not joining KiwiSaver, as it was a redundant retirement option for them, or had joined KiwiSaver and were not able to withdraw their savings when needed.

The change allows people with life-shortening conditions to withdraw their savings at whatever age they choose to retire, and enable them to support a comfortable retirement with the benefits associated with KiwiSaver. While part of KiwiSaver’s success as a retirement savings scheme has been credited to only being able to access funds after you turn 65, this system does not take into account different health and retirement situations. The update acknowledges citizens’ different living circumstances and aims to make the system fairer for people who may otherwise be at a disadvantage.

The new withdrawal policy has a set list of conditions outlined that would automatically qualify certain users to be able to access their savings early. People can qualify for withdrawal by providing a medical certificate or other related evidence to certify early access.

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