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The Social Housing Reform (Flexible Purchasing and Remedial Matters) Bill was one of several bills introduced under Budget urgency on 21 May 2015.
The bill was divided into four separate bills, which included the KiwiSaver (HomeStart) Amendment Bill, by the committee of the whole House on the same day. The KiwiSaver (HomeStart) Amendment Bill passed through all stages and received Royal assent on 27 May 2015. The new Act amends the KiwiSaver Act 2006.
The new legislation allows members of complying superannuation funds transferring to KiwiSaver to count their previous period of membership towards the three-year eligibility period for a first home withdrawal under the KiwiSaver rules.
Schedule 1 of the KiwiSaver Act 2006, clause 8(1)(ab)
Before 1 April 2015 the KiwiSaver withdrawal rules for the purchase of a first home included an eligibility period of at least three years in one or more KiwiSaver schemes.
The Taxation (KiwiSaver HomeStart and Remedial Matters) Act 2015 extended those rules to recognise previous membership in any complying superannuation fund of three years or more as counting towards the three years eligibility period for a first home withdrawal.
The new legislation allows any previous period of membership in a complying superannuation fund to count towards the three-year eligibility period when a member transfers to KiwiSaver. For example, a member who had been in a complying superannuation scheme for two years would only need to be a KiwiSaver member for one additional year before satisfying the three-year eligibility period.
The amendment came into force for first home withdrawal applications made on and after 1 April 2015.