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What is the FHSS scheme (FHSSS)?

The First Home Super Saver (FHSS) scheme is a way of using super for a house deposit, if you’re buying your first home and you've added extra money to your super.

You can add voluntary contributions or extra savings to your super and then take out up to $15,000 in a financial year (total $50,000 across all years) when you're ready to buy.

And if you're buying together with someone else, they can also add to their superannuation and take out $50,000 towards the deposit – so up to $100,000 for a couple.

Eligibility criteria

Check these eligibility criteria to see if you can use the First Home Super Saver scheme:

At least 18 years old

Never owned property in Australia before (unless you lost your first property because of special circumstances or divorce)

Haven't already tried to use your super for a first home deposit

Plan to live in the home you buy for at least 6 months of the first 12 months you own it

Make voluntary super contributions to your super

How to apply for the FHSS scheme

There are a few steps to follow if you want to use the FHSS scheme and your superannuation to help buy your first home:

Add money to your super

You can only do this by adding voluntary contributions (direct debit or BPAY) or salary sacrifice to your super.

Prepare to buy a home

The ATO needs you to apply for your super (step 3) before you sign a house sale contract or home loan contract, but you'll want to have everything ready to go. For example, applying for home loan pre-approval can help you decide if you're ready to buy yet. Find out more with

Apply with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

a) Part 1: Determination

Click on the ATO in myGov, then apply for a FHSS scheme determination. The ATO will let you know the maximum you can withdraw from your super.

b) Part 2: Release

You then apply for a release of super from the ATO in myGov. Do this step very carefully, because you can only apply once, even if you accidentally withdraw less than the maximum you're allowed.

Get your money

The ATO will ask your super fund to withdraw and send your FHSS savings to them and they may use it to pay off any outstanding debts you have with the ATO or the government. (This doesn't include a HECS/HELP student loan.) You'll need to include the withdrawn FHSS savings in your tax return.

Buy your home

You can now sign a sale contract and a home loan (mortgage) for your first home. Congratulations! (If you don't manage to buy a home within 12 months, contact the ATO for an extension or to add the money back into your super.)

File your tax return

Speak with your tax adviser about where to list your FHSS scheme amount, tax paid, and the tax offset in your tax return.

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Is the FHSS worth it?

Deciding whether the FHSS scheme is right for you depends on things like your income, your normal tax rates, how soon you expect to buy, and much more. So it's a good idea to get personal financial advice first.

We can refer you to a financial adviser who can help you decide if it's a good idea based on your whole financial situation. Your membership with us also includes financial advice about the best way to make FHSS scheme contributions into your ART account.

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FAQs about the Super Saver scheme

If you have questions about how the First Home Super Saver scheme works, or you'd like to be referred to a financial adviser, please call or email us.

13 11 84

8:00am-7:30pm AEST Monday to Friday

When overseas +61 7 3333 7400

There are a few things to think about before using the FHSS scheme, because it's not designed for every first home buyer's situation.

Possible benefits

  • You might be able to save for your deposit faster, if the government's deemed investment return is higher than the interest rate in your normal savings account.
  • The money is locked away in your super until you're ready to buy, so you can't accidentally spend it.
  • If you use salary sacrifice to add extra money to your super, you'll have paid 15% contributions tax on that money (plus any withdrawal tax) instead of your normal income tax rates (up to 47% including 2% Medicare levy).

Things to consider

  • Getting your money out through the ATO usually takes 20 business days, according to the ATO, so you might not be able to act quickly if you happen to find a property.
  • You can only save $50,000 in your super, so this may not be your entire deposit – you'll still need to have other savings.
  • If you don't manage to buy a home in the time limits, you get taxed extra when you take it out (or you'll need to add it back into your super).
  • You only have 12 months from the time you take your super out to buy a home – or 24 months with an extension – which can be a challenge in Australia's housing affordability crisis.
  • There are contribution caps that limit how much you can add to your super each year without paying extra tax.

You don't need to apply to join the FHSS scheme.

You need to add up to $15,000 of extra money per year to your super, up to a total of $50,000. When you've saved enough, you can ask the ATO to withdraw the extra you added to your super and use that as part of your deposit.

Yes, the government has created a FHSS scheme Calculator that you can use to see how this might work for you.

Or you can use our Contributions Calculator to see how making a once-off payment or regular, ongoing payments could grow your super, save on tax, and more.

If the person you're buying with has previously owned a home, you can still use the FHSS scheme for your deposit, as long as you're eligible.

The maximum you could get is the sum of:

  • 100% of eligible non-concessional contributions (after-tax)
  • 85% of eligible concessional contributions (before-tax)
  • associated earnings calculated using a deemed rate of return.

The ATO will withhold any applicable tax and offset it against any outstanding Commonwealth debts you may have. Learn more at

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.

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