Save faster for your home by using your super

If eligible, you can make additional voluntary contributions into your superannuation and let them earn investment returns. When you’re ready to put down a deposit, you can withdraw those voluntary contributions, plus the deemed associated earnings and use the money to purchase your first home.

  • You’ll probably pay less tax if you use salary-sacrifice or tax-deductible super contributions. Before-tax super contributions are generally taxed at 15%, which is likely less than your income tax rate.
  • The investment returns you earn might also be greater than the interest earned on a cash savings account. Please note, although a comparison of past performance may make investing and saving in super attractive, past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

How it works

To use the FHSSS, you need to make voluntary contributions to your super account. These can be before-tax or after-tax contributions.

When you’re ready to buy your home, you apply to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to withdraw your money. You can apply to receive a maximum of $15,000 of your voluntary contributions from each financial year and a total of $50,000 across all years. If your application is approved, we’ll release eligible contributions plus any deemed associated earnings. Broadly, you’ll have a year from the date you make a valid release request to sign a contract to buy or build a home.

Please note you’ll need to apply to the ATO for an FHSS determination, which will determine how much you can withdraw, before you sign a contract to buy your home or land.

You can find out more on the ATO website.

Eligibility criteria

Broadly, to be eligible for the FHSSS you need to be:

  • aged 18 or over (although you can start contributing when you’re younger)
  • buying or building your first home in Australia
  • planning to live in the home for at least six of the first 12 months of owning the house and being able to move in.

Other eligibility criteria may apply. Visit the ATO website for more information.

Things to consider

  • The usual caps on super contributions apply and you can’t use mandated employer contributions or other contribution types like spouse contributions or government contributions. For the 2023-24 financial year, the before-tax contributions cap is $27,500. Read more about the caps that apply to super, including on the after-tax contributions cap.
  • Defined Benefit Division (DBD) members can only release voluntary contributions from their accumulation component (not employer contributions or default member contributions to the defined benefit component) as part of the FHSSS.
  • If you don’t sign a contract to buy or build a home within a year of withdrawing your contributions, you can either transfer the money back into super (less any tax withheld) or keep it and pay tax equal to 20% of the amount. The ATO can extend this timeframe for a further 12 months if needed.

Ask an expert

Our super consultants can provide information and general advice on a range of topics at no extra cost. You don’t have to be a UniSuper member to meet with a super consultant. Book an appointment in-person, online or over the phone, or call 1800 823 842.

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