First home saver accounts

First home saver account no more

First home saver accounts were a Federal Government initiative to help people save for their first home. These accounts have now been abolished but soon the first home super saver scheme will be available to help first home buyers. Here we explain what to do if you have an old first home saver account and how the new scheme will work.

Changes to first home saver accounts

The Federal Government abolished first home saver accounts effective 1 July 2015.

Here are details of the changes the Government made:

  • Accounts opened after 7:30pm Tuesday 13 May 2014 are not entitled to a government contribution.
  • Existing account holders are not eligible for a government contribution on personal deposits made after the 2013-2014 financial year.
  • Tax and social security concessions ceased on 1 July 2015.
  • Restrictions on withdrawals were removed on 1 July 2015.

Existing first home saver accounts have now been converted to ordinary savings accounts. If you had a first home saver account and are unsure what has happened to it check with your account provider.

Features of first home saver accounts

The main features of first home saver accounts were:

  • The government made a 17% contribution on the first $6,000 you deposited each financial year.
  • The interest you earnt on your account was only taxed at a rate of 15%.
  • You had to save at least $1,000 each year over at least 4 financial years before you could withdraw the money. The 4 years did not have to be consecutive.
  • The maximum account balance was capped at $90,000. After your savings reached this level, only interest and earnings could be added to the balance.

First home super saver scheme

The first home super saver (FHSS) scheme allows first home buyers to save a home deposit within their super fund.

Under the scheme, you'll be able to make voluntary super contributions, within existing contribution caps, and from 1 July 2017 up to $15,000 of those voluntary contributions made in a financial year can be withdrawn to purchase your first home. The maximum that can be released is $30,000 in total, plus an amount that represents deemed earnings.

Withdrawals can be made from 1 July 2018. Non-concessional contributions can be withdrawn tax free. Concessional contributions and total earnings will be taxed at marginal tax rates with a tax offset of 30%.

More information is available on the Australian Taxation Office's website.

First home saver accounts are no longer available and existing account holders now have unrestricted access to their money.

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Last updated: 24 Aug 2018