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Yes, if you are buying your first home and you add extra money to your super, there is a way you can access your super to buy a house or another type of home, called the First Home Super Saver (FHSS) Scheme.

Can I use my super to buy a house?

First home buyers need to know this

Can I use my super to buy a house?

First home buyers need to know this

 

Can I withdraw my super to buy a house?

Yes, if you are buying your first home and you have added extra money to your super, there is a way you can access your super to buy a house or another type of home, called the First Home Super Saver (FHSS) Scheme.

Who can use super to buy a house?

You may be able to use your super for a first home deposit if:

  • You're 18 or older
  • You've never owned a property in Australia before, including an investment property
  • You haven't already tried to use your super for a first home deposit
  • You're planning to live in the home you buy for at least 6 months of the first 12 months you own it.

 

Step 1

Make extra super contributions

Step 2

Save up to $15,000 per financial year*

Step 3

Apply to the ATO to use the First Home Super Saver Scheme

Step 4

Withdraw money from your super

*The total you can withdraw across all years is $50,000 for a single person or $100,000 for two eligible individuals.

How does it work?

You can't use your existing super; you need to add up to $15,000 extra money per year to your super, up to a total of $50,000. When you've saved enough, you ask the ATO to withdraw the extra you added to super, and use that as part of your deposit.

You can add house savings to your super either before tax by salary sacrificing , or after tax by making voluntary contributions.

Note that you'll probably save less than $15,000 per year, because contributions get taxed 15%, and because there's a yearly limit for adding money to super – $27,500 per year including your employer's required contributions.

This method of saving is not for everyone, so make sure you check all the pros and cons below before you access super to buy a house.

Is it right for me?

Benefits if you access your super to buy a house

When you're struggling to get into the housing market, using your super account to save for a deposit can be appealing for a few main reasons:

 

  • Earn returns
    The investment returns you can withdraw from the FHSSS (see the ATO website ) and the investment returns on the money you add to your super account may be more than you'd get in a savings account or term deposit with the bank.

     

  • Potential tax savings
    Your super is only taxed at 15% plus another few percent when you take it out – which could be lower than your normal tax rate, helping you to save money faster.

     

  • Buy a house with a partner
    If you're buying the house with someone else (e.g. partner or flatmate), they can also add $15,000 per year to their own super to help save for the deposit, as long as they also meet the criteria.

     

  • Timeframes
    You have 12 months to buy a house with the money (or 24 months with an extension).

     

Potential downsides of using super to buy a house

  • Tax on your deposit
    • If you're on a lower income, there's much less tax benefit to storing money in super for a deposit.
    • If you sign a contract to buy a property before taking out your super, the ATO may charge you an extra 20% tax, which means you could be worse off than if you'd put your money in a bank.

     

  • Time pressure
    • The ATO says it takes 25 business days for them to release your super for your deposit – long enough that you may miss out on your dream home.
    • You only get one shot to use your super for a house, so if it's unsuccessful this time, you don't get to try again later.

     

  • Pressure on your budget
    • You'll probably have less take-home pay whether you salary sacrifice or make after-tax super contributions, which you may not be able to afford.
    • You can only save up to $50,000 total in your super, which may not be enough.

     

  • Limits on properties you can buy
    • You can only use it for a first home, so if you've already owned a property, you can't use the scheme.
    • You also can't use this scheme for investment properties, vacant land (unless you have a contract to build), or alternatives in affordable housing, such as houseboats, caravans, or tiny homes.

     

  • Locked up savings
    • If you add money to your super and aren't able to use it for a house deposit, you can't then take that money back out again. It has to stay in your super until you retire.

Ready to start saving for your deposit?

Don't spend any more time out of the market. Start saving super for your first home deposit today.

FAQs about using super to buy property

If you can't successfully buy a house using the amount from your super within 12 months, you can:

  1. Apply for an extension to give you another 12 months (2 years total) to keep looking for a property.
  2. You can keep the money, but the ATO will charge extra tax on it.
  3. You can put back into your super all of the money you took out.

Find out more.

No, the First Home Super Saver Scheme only lets you use your super to buy a home you're planning to live in yourself.

However, if you live in that house for 6 of the first 12 months you own it, then you're allowed to turn it into an investment property if you want to.

If you add the maximum of $50,000 to your super, you can use that much for your house deposit. If you're buying the house with a partner or flatmate, you can use a total of $100,000 from super ($50,000 from each of you).

But ultimately, how much you can use for a house deposit depends on how much you can realistically afford to save.

You can access super to buy a house without using the First Home Super Saver Scheme if you’ve reached the age you can access your super, which is 58-60 depending on when you were born.

  1. Retire: Once you've reached your access age and permanently retired, you can withdraw any of your super. If you're under 60, you may need to pay tax on the money you take out.
  2. Turn 65: When you turn 65, you get full access to withdraw your super, even if you haven't retired yet.
  3. Open a Transition to Retirement account: If you open a Transition to Retirement account, you can withdraw some of your super each year while still working.

It can be complicated to choose between these options because of how they are taxed, so you should get personal financial advice before you decide what to do with your super account.

If you have an SMSF, you can buy an investment property with your super, but you can't buy a home to live in, so this is not an option for first home buyers. And of course, there's even more to think about with an SMSF when it comes to tax and managing your super, and it can be expensive and time-consuming.

If you're considering an SMSF, you should get personal financial advice about whether your super fund also has product options that might suit you, without the complexity and expense of an SMSF.

Start making contributions

If you want to use extra contributions for your home deposit, you can start making contributions or learn more about different types of contributions.

Join Australian Retirement Trust today and start saving

It only takes a few minutes to join, and the right choice today could make a big difference to your future.