The First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSS scheme) allows you to make voluntary super contributions of up to $15,000 each financial year. If eligible, a maximum of $30,000 can be released from your super to use as a deposit for your first home. From 1 July 2022 this amount is increasing to a maximum of $50,000 that can be released.
All contributions for the FHSS scheme must be voluntary contributions, so contributions such as Superannuation Guarantee (SG) amounts paid by your employer aren’t eligible to be used as part of your deposit. The voluntary contributions you make under this scheme, which includes salary sacrifice contributions you receive from your employer, must also be within the current contribution caps.
^ contribution caps for 2021/22 and the 2022/23 financial years
When you buy your first home, you may be eligible to use the money you’ve voluntarily contributed for this purpose, plus any deemed earnings on it, towards your deposit.
Eligibility for the FHSS scheme is determined by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) – so confirm with them before you start making additional voluntary contributions to your super for use toward your home deposit.
As a guide, to be eligible, you must:
If you suffer from financial hardship, you may still be able to access the FHSS scheme for a new home to buy (and live in), even if you have previously owned a home. Refer to ato.gov.au for more information on the financial hardship provision of FHSS Scheme.
The Government estimates that for most people, the FHSS scheme could boost the savings they can put towards a deposit by at least 30 per cent compared with saving through a standard deposit account1.
This is due to the concessional tax treatment of superannuation and that the current interest rate on most deposit accounts is lower than the deemed interest rate that will be applied to your FHSS scheme contributions2.
You can apply to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) when you are planning on purchasing your first home. The ATO will assess your eligibility and calculate your deemed earnings on your additional contributions2. Consider approaching the ATO as soon as you are starting to look for a home, to allow enough time for the ATO process of assessing and then releasing your money. The ATO will then notify your super fund as to how much of your super savings the fund can release to you, and any tax considerations for you to be aware of. More information on this process can be found on the ATO website.
If you’re going to use the FHSS scheme, it’s important to plan ahead. You must apply for and receive an FHSS scheme determination from the ATO before you sign a property contract or apply for the release of your FHSS scheme amounts. Once the money is released from your super account, you then have 12 months to either purchase or construct a property. Or if you decide not to go ahead with buying/constructing at that time the ATO may grant you an extension for a further 12 months, or you can recontribute this money to your super account.
The FHSS scheme is currently the only scheme purposely designed so you can use super to buy a house. And you can use any super account, including a BT Super account, to help you save for a home deposit as part of this strategy. For more information, visit the ATO website.
1 2017 Budget Speech
² The amount of earnings that can be realised will be calculated using a deemed rate of return based on the 90 day Bank Bill rate plus three percentage points (as per the Shortfall Interest Charge). The ‘deeming rate’ is the rate of income the government assumes a person’s financial assets to earn. It assumes assets, such as your super, earn a set rate of income, no matter what they really earn. Your actual returns could be higher or lower than the deeming rates.
Information current as at 16 March 2022.
The article was prepared by BT, a part of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 233714.
This information does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to your personal objectives, financial situation and needs having regard to these factors before acting on it. This article provides an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such.
Superannuation is a means of saving for retirement, which is, in part, compulsory. The government has placed restrictions on when you can access your investment held in superannuation. The Government has set caps on the amount of money that you can add to superannuation each year on both a concessional and non-concessional tax basis. There will be tax consequences if you breach these caps. For more detail, speak with a financial adviser or visit the ATO website.
BT cannot give tax advice. Any tax considerations outlined in this article are general statements, based on an interpretation of the current tax law, and do not constitute tax advice. The tax implications of superannuation can impact individual situations differently and you should seek specific tax advice from a registered tax agent or registered tax (financial) adviser.
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