Significant Financial Hardship Application Process


To make a KiwiSaver significant financial hardship application, please contact SuperLife on 0800 27 87 37.

Under KiwiSaver, if the supervisor of the SuperLife KiwiSaver scheme (i.e. the Public Trust) determines that you meet the “significant financial hardship” test, you can apply to withdraw part of your savings. You cannot withdraw the government paid $1,000 kick-start or the annual government contribution.

Significant financial hardship is defined in the KiwiSaver Act 2006 and includes significant financial difficulties that arise or are likely to arise in the near future because you are:

  • Not able to meet minimum living expenses.
  • Not able to meet mortgage repayments on your family home, resulting in your mortgage provider seeking to enforce the mortgage on your property.
  • Modifying your home to meet special needs arising from you or a dependent family member having a disability.
  • Paying for medical treatment if you or a dependent family member becomes ill, has an injury or requires palliative care.
  • Suffering from a serious illness.
  • Incurring funeral costs if a dependent family member dies.

Even if one of the above circumstances applies, it does not automatically result in significant financial hardship. The supervisor must also be reasonably satisfied that alternative sources of funding have been explored and been exhausted. Payments from KiwiSaver are a last resort.


The supervisor will require evidence of your financial difficulties. You will need to present the supervisor with a case that supports your view that you are experiencing significant financial hardship. You will need to explain what has happened and show the supervisor evidence that you have financial hardship problems that cannot be solved by other means. In many cases, the supervisor would expect to see evidence that you have sought budgetary advice and assistance. You should provide the following to support your application:

  • An explanation of the hardship and your personal circumstances that have given rise to your hardship, including your family situation
  • Statement of income and expenditure as per the SuperLife withdrawal request due to significant financial hardship form
  • Statement of assets and liabilities as per the SuperLife withdrawal request due to significant financial hardship form
  • Bank and credit card statements
  • Letters and invoices from people who want payment
  • A written quotation from someone like a doctor (for medical expenses), or builder (for essential home modifications)
  • Letters from your mortgage provider showing the arrears, and seeking to enforce the mortgage
  • Correspondence from WINZ showing what you are entitled to from WINZ.

All financial information that you supply will be kept confidential to the Manager, the supervisor and its advisors.


If the supervisor agrees to a withdrawal due to significant financial hardship, the amount that is available to be withdrawn is limited to the amount that, in the supervisor's opinion, is required to alleviate the financial hardship.


Where a withdrawal is approved, it may be paid directly to your creditors to alleviate the financial hardship.

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