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FHSS maximum releasable amount increased

14th Apr, 2022

The maximum amount that individuals can take out of their superannuation under the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSS) will be increased to $50,000 for any release requests made on or after 1 July 2022. The scheme was originally envisaged as a tax-effective way for first home buyers to save for a deposit, and the increase in the maximum releasable amount presumably reflects the rapidly escalating housing price increases. The scheme is available to both first home buyers and those intending to build their first home, subject to certain conditions of occupation.

The first step in releasing eligible funds is to obtain a FHSS Determination from the ATO which sets out the maximum amount that an individual can have released under the scheme. It’s imperative to make sure you’ve finished making all your voluntary contributions under the scheme before applying for a Determination, and of course, to check the accuracy of the Determination issued by the ATO.

There is a limit of $15,000 of eligible contributions that can be released each financial year (up to a total limit of $30,000 currently, or $50,000 from 1 July 2022).

TIP: To access part your super under the scheme, you must have a FHSS Determination from the ATO before any contract to purchase or build is signed.

When you have a FHSS Determination and subsequently sign a contract to purchase, a valid release request must be given to the ATO within 14 days. After the release of money, if you haven’t signed a contract to purchase or construct a home within 12 months, the ATO will generally grant an extension for a further 12 months automatically. You also have the choice to recontribute the amount back into your super fund, or to keep the money and pay a flat 20% tax on assessable FHSS released amounts.

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First Home Super Saver scheme: ATO guidance

12th Sep, 2018

Law Companion Ruling LCR 2018/5, issued by the ATO on 15 August 2018, provides guidance on the First Home Super Saver (FHSS) scheme.

TIP: The FHSS scheme is designed to help eligible first-home buyers by allowing them to make voluntary superannuation contributions and then withdraw those amounts and associated earnings to use when purchasing a first home.

People who meet the eligibility criteria can access the scheme by applying to the ATO for a determination and a release authority. They must make superannuation contributions that are eligible for release under the scheme, namely voluntary concessional or non-concessional contributions that come within the relevant contributions cap.

There are limits on the amounts withdrawn ($15,000 per financial year and $30,000 in total, subject to the contribution caps).

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Housing affordability measures now law

01st Feb, 2018

Legislation has been passed to implement the 2017–2018 Federal Budget housing affordability measures. The following will start on 1 July 2018:

  • the First Home Super Saver (FHSS) Scheme, which allows individuals to use specific amounts from their super to buy or construct a first home; and
  • the option for individuals aged 65+ to make “downsizing” contributions of up to $300,000 to their super from selling a home they have owned for at least 10 years.
TIP: An exemption from meeting the FHSS Scheme “first home” requirement will be available for people suffering financial hardship. “Financial hardship” criteria are likely to include circumstances where someone has limited savings, is currently renting and had a past interest in a home that was in a cheaper real estate market or when the person was in a relationship that has since broken down.

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Legislation for First Home Super Saver scheme and downsizer super contributions

16th Nov, 2017

A Bill has been introduced into Parliament to establish the First Home Super Saver (FHSS) scheme and allow people aged 65 or over to make “downsizer contributions” to their super.

The FHSS scheme will allow people to make voluntary contributions into super, take advantage of the associated tax concessions, and later withdraw the contributions and associated earnings to buy their first home.

The downsizer contribution changes will allow older Australians who sell their main residence from 1 July 2018 to make non-deductible contributions of up to $300,000 to their superannuation from the sale proceeds.

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