16 Oct 2017
Eligible first home buyers could soon use their super account to save for a home deposit through the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS). Here are some of the Scheme’s key facts, including the rules around how much you can save and withdraw.
First home buyers could soon use voluntary super contributions to help save for a home. It's proposed that from 1 July 2018, these contributions (and associated investment earnings) can be withdrawn and used for a first home deposit. To qualify, you must be 18 or over and not previously have owned property in Australia.
Voluntary contributions include any extra super contributions you’ve made (before or after tax).
The Government hopes the Scheme will give savers access to higher investment earnings and lower fees often available through super compared with those generally available in ‘typical non-super’ savings accounts.
How will the First Home Super Saver Scheme work?
The Scheme applies to voluntary contributions made to super after 1 July 2017. Savers can contribute up to $15,000 per year, and $30,000 in total per person. Voluntary contributions include:
- concessional (before-tax) contributions, including salary sacrifice contributions, and
- non-concessional (after-tax) contributions.
The contributions will still count towards the applicable super contribution caps, so if you’re considering adding more to your super, it’s worth keeping track of your balance against these caps. You can do this quickly and easily on MemberOnline.
Any compulsory super contributions your employer pays won’t count towards the Scheme, so you can’t apply to withdraw them.
At this stage, this proposal isn’t yet law.
Before making any changes to your super, you should consider speaking to a qualified financial adviser who can help you understand how recent changes to superannuation law affect you.
Contact UniSuper Advice
To qualify to withdraw, you must be intending to purchase a residential home or land you intend to build a home on. You must also occupy the property for at least six months in the first year of ownership after it’s practical to do so.
What do I do if I’m ready to withdraw?
You’ll need to apply to release these funds with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), who manages and administers the Scheme. The ATO will then determine how much you can withdraw and let us know when a request has been made. We will process it in line with their instructions.
You’ll have 12 months from the time you release the savings to purchase a home. If you don’t comply with the rules, you must either transfer the funds back into super or pay tax equal to 20% of the amount released.
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