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Super opportunity for first home buyers

Eligible first home buyers can save for their deposit in the concessionally taxed superannuation system, using the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS or scheme). If you qualify, this scheme may help you accumulate a larger deposit when compared to saving outside super. The Government has produced an online estimator you may use to explore the potential benefits of the scheme. It compares making pre-tax super contributions with saving the same amount (less tax at personal rates) in a standard deposit account.

The estimator can be found at

Key dates

Contributions made to the scheme from 1 July 2017 can be withdrawn from 1 July 2018.

What and how much can you contribute?

Only voluntary contributions you make to super will count towards your FHSSS balance.

Voluntary contributions include personal, salary sacrifice and additional employer contributions, but not compulsory employer contributions (such as Superannuation Guarantee) and certain other amounts.

Voluntary contributions are limited to $15,000 per year and a total of $30,000. These contributions also count towards the existing contribution caps.

How much and when can you withdraw?

Withdrawals are capped at $30,000 plus associated earnings. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will calculate the associated earnings based on a formula, not the actual earning rate. They will also determine the amount that can be released after allowing for applicable taxes.

You can withdraw from the scheme before you have found a place to buy, but you’ll need to buy within 12 months of withdrawing. If not, the ATO may grant a 12 month extension.

Who can participate?

To participate in the scheme, you generally need to be aged 18 or over, have not used the scheme before and have never owned real property in Australia. You may still be eligible if you plan to purchase a home with a partner who doesn’t meet the criteria.

What can you buy?

You must buy a ‘residential premises’ with any amount withdrawn using the FHSSS. This includes vacant land if you’re planning to build. The premises has to become your home (not an investment property) and you need to occupy it for at least six months after you buy or build it.

What happens if you don’t buy?

If you don’t buy within the required timeframe, you can contribute the released amount back into super or keep the money and pay tax equal to 20% of the assessable amount.

Could you benefit from the FHSSS?

We can help determine whether saving for a home deposit using the FHSSS is a suitable option for you and assess other options.


This information is current as at 30/07/18. This article has been prepared by Heart1Stop, a social media brand owned by Heart Mortgage Services and Heart Financial Advisers. The information contained in this article is an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter nor relied upon as such. The views expressed here are not those of Heart1stop, Heart Mortgage Services, Heart Financial Advisers, shareholders, directors or staff and associated contractors and business associates. This article has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this, you should, before acting on any information contained in this article, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation or needs. Any taxation information contained in this article is a general statement and should only be used as a guide. It does not constitute taxation advice and is based on current laws and their interpretation. Each individual’s situation may differ, and you should seek independent professional taxation advice on any taxation matters. While the information contained in this article may contain or be based on information obtained from sources believed to be reliable, it may not have been independently verified. Where information contained in this publication contains material provided directly by third parties it is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be accurate at its issue date. It is not the intention of Heart1Stop or Heart Mortgage Services and Heart Financial Advisers that this publication be used as the primary source of readers’ information but as an adjunct to their own resources and training. To the maximum extent permitted by law: no guarantee, representation or warranty is given that any information or advice in this publication is complete, accurate, up to date or fit for any purpose; and no party of Heart1Stop or associated entities as mentioned is in any way liable to you (including for negligence) in respect of any reliance upon such information. This article may also contain links to websites operated by third parties ("Third Parties") who are not related to Heart1Stop. These links are provided for convenience only and do not represent any endorsement or approval by us.

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