Making a Serious Illness Withdrawal

31 July, 2023

While your KiwiSaver savings are primarily meant for your retirement, they can also provide a safety net for you in the event that you are totally and permanently unable to work or you suffer a condition which poses a serious and imminent risk of death.

In that event you can apply for a “serious illness” withdrawal, subject to the requirements of the KiwiSaver Act.

 

Before you get started:

To be eligible for a serious illness withdrawal, your medical condition must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Results in you being totally and permanently unable to engage in work for which you are suited by reason of experience, education or training or a combination of those things; or
  • Poses a serious and imminent risk of death.

To complete the application process:

  • We'll need to verify your proof of address and identification before we can process your withdrawal application.
  • We'll need proof of your bank account.
  • You need to have your medical practitioner or specialist complete the medical practitioner’s declaration in section 8 of the serious illness withdrawal form.
  • You're required to make a Statutory Declaration. You must take your application form to a solicitor, Justice of the Peace, or Registrar of a New Zealand Court.  You'll need to sign the Statutory Declaration in front of them and they will witness your declaration. 

 

Who decides if I can withdraw?

The “External Supervisor” of our scheme is Trustees Executors Limited. The Supervisor will evaluate your withdrawal application, taking into account your individual circumstances and the requirements of the KiwiSaver Act.

 

How much can I apply to withdraw?

You have two options to withdraw from your KiwiSaver account. You can choose to apply for either a full withdrawal or a partial withdrawal from your KiwiSaver account. The amount will still need to be determined by our external supervisor.

 

Full Withdrawal:

If you apply for and are approved for a full withdrawal, we'll close and pay out the total sum of your account.

Please note that if your account is closed, any future entitlement to Government contributions and/or compulsory employer contributions will stop, until such time as you rejoin a KiwiSaver Scheme.

Partial Withdrawal:

If you apply for and are approved for a partial withdrawal you must withdraw a minimum amount of $100 per withdrawal. However, you must maintain a balance of at least $500 to keep your Lifestages KiwiSaver account open. If you select this option, you will still be entitled to any future Government contributions and/or compulsory employer contributions, if any.

Your investment will be withdrawn proportionally from each investment fund you are invested in to cover the amount approved for withdrawal as well as any tax liability and other expenses, if any.

For subsequent serious illness withdrawals, we may require a new withdrawal application including evidence of your continued serious illness from your medical practitioner.

How do I apply?

  1. Complete the Serious Illness Withdrawal Form available here.
  2. Gather all of the supporting documents listed in the checklist of page 1 of the application form.
  3. Take your application form to a solicitor, Justice of the Peace, or Registrar of a New Zealand High Court. You'll need to sign the Statutory Declaration in front of them and they will witness your declaration.
  4. Post or courier your completed application form to us at Lifestages KiwiSaver Scheme, PO Box 10445, Wellington 6143.

 

What happens once you receive my application?

We will process your application as promptly as possible. If anything is missing, we’ll let you know before we submit your application to the Supervisor. 

Processing your application can take some time and once your application is approved, payment may take up to 15 working days to arrive in your nominated bank account.

This process can be a bit overwhelming, but we are here to help you through at every step.  If you require assistance completing your serious illness application form, please contact us on 0800 727 2276 or email us at contact@lifestages.co.nz – one of the team will be in touch as soon as possible to help.

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