When and how can I withdraw my money?
The SSRSS schemes are about saving for your retirement, and your savings (other than your voluntary savings) will not be readily available for any other purpose.
The following types of partial or full withdrawals are permitted under the SSRSS rules – specific conditions apply in each case.
You should discuss the implications of making a withdrawal with your scheme provider before filling out the relevant withdrawal form.
Voluntary account withdrawal
Reached NZ Superannuation age
Partially/fully retired and within 10 years of NZ Superannuation age
Reached age 50 and left the State sector
Teachers and principals age 50 or over
Significant financial hardship
First home deposit
You can withdraw funds from the voluntary contributions balance in your scheme account up to twice a scheme year. The minimum withdrawal amount is $1,000 or, if the balance is less, the entire balance in your voluntary account. If you withdraw all of your voluntary balance, your voluntary account does not close and you can continue to make voluntary contributions.
When you have reached New Zealand Superannuation qualifying age (currently age 65) you may choose to withdraw part or all of the total value of your savings.
Your benefit will be paid as a lump sum. Under current law, cash lump sum benefits are tax free in your hands. There is a possibility that fund withdrawal tax may be payable, but if it is payable it will be deducted from your balance before the benefit is paid.
If you choose to withdraw only part of your savings, you must initially leave at least $5000 in your total scheme account balance. Thereafter you can withdraw some or all of the balance of your account from time to time, but you can only make two withdrawals each scheme year and the minimum amount you can withdraw is $1000 or (if the balance is less than $1000) the balance of your account.
You do not need to retire from employment in order to get this benefit, and you are still entitled to make contributions and receive employer subsidy contributions for as long as you continue to work in the State sector.
You may choose to withdraw part or all of the total value of your savings if you are within 10 years of reaching New Zealand Superannuation age (i.e., currently, if you are aged 55 or over) and you:
a) are employed by a participating State sector employer for 30 or fewer hours per week; and
b) have reduced your working hours from full time; and
c) have notified your scheme provider, in writing, that you do not intend to increase your hours in paid employment in the future.
Your request to your scheme provider for a partial retirement benefit must include a signed statement from your employer noting its understanding that your hours in paid employment with that employer will not increase.
You can make further partial retirement withdrawal requests by completing a withdrawal form without additional documentation, as long as, at the time of the withdrawal, your intention not to increase hours in paid employment with your employer has not changed.
You may choose to withdraw part or all of the total value of your savings if you have reached age 50 and:
a) you are no longer employed by any participating State sector employer; and
b) your most recent participating employer has notified your scheme provider that you have left its employment; and
c) you can satisfy your scheme provider that you have no intention of being re-employed by any participating employer, either permanently or under a fixed-term agreement.
Special provision – Teaching Service member
If you are a school teacher or principal and have reached age 50 you can withdraw part or all of the balance in your member account, voluntary account and salary sacrifice account (but not employer subsidy contributions or earnings on them), whether or not you have left the teaching profession or your employer.
If you have permanently emigrated you can withdraw the total value of your savings in your SSRSS account 12 months after you emigrated.
Alternatively, as soon as you emigrate, you can apply to transfer the total value of your savings into another approved locked-in superannuation scheme overseas. Overseas schemes approved for KiwiSaver transfers will be suitable for SSRSS transfers.
If the withdrawal is necessary to alleviate significant financial hardship, your SSRSS scheme trustee may allow you to withdraw all or part of the total value of your savings from your SSRSS scheme. The trustee has discretion as to whether or not to do this, and will consider evidence provided by you in making its decision.
If you want to purchase your first home and have completed 3 years of SSRSS membership you can withdraw part or all of your scheme account balance (excluding the employer subsidy component) to put it towards the purchase price. You will need to contact your scheme provider to check whether you meet certain conditions, and what process you should follow.
You may also be permitted to make a home purchase withdrawal if (despite having owned a home before) you hold a notice from the Housing Corporation confirming that your financial position (in terms of income, assets and liabilities) is what would be expected of a person who has never owned a home.
You may also be entitled to a Housing Corporation KiwiSaver first home deposit subsidy, because SSRSS had Exempt Employer status, details of which can be found on the Housing Corporation website.
Some withdrawal forms are available on your scheme provider's website. If there isn’t a suitable form in the list below please contact your scheme provider to ask what you should do.