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Get started saving in super for your first home

Did you know that you can use the benefits of saving in your super to help buy your first home sooner? Under the First Home Super Saver (FHSS) scheme, you may now be able to save more money to put towards purchasing your first home by using the tax advantages around super.

Since 1 July 2017, if you are eligible, the FHSS scheme has allowed you to make voluntary concessional (before-tax) and non-concessional (after-tax) contributions into your super fund which can be accessed from 1 July 2018 and used towards buying your first home.

Less tax, more savings

By putting your before tax money into super and not after tax money in a savings account, you can make the most of the 15% superannuation tax rate which in many cases may be less than your personal income tax rate, and could leave you with more money to put towards buying your first home.

Know your limits

Under the FHSS rules, you can apply for the release of a maximum of $15,000 of your voluntary contributions from any one financial year included in your eligible contributions, up to a total of $30,000 contributions across all years. Any associated earnings1 that relate to these contributions are also available to be withdrawn.

Couples can combine forces and access a total of $60,000 of their eligible contributions, plus associated earnings.

Saving in your super

To get started, you can begin saving in super by choosing to make your own voluntary personal super contributions or by entering into a salary sacrifice arrangement with your employer.* 

Please be aware that some employers may not offer salary sacrifice arrangements to their employees.

Before you start saving the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) also recommends that you should:

  • Make sure you are eligible for the FHSSS
  • check that your nominated super fund/s will release the money
  • ask your fund about any fees, charges and insurance implications that may apply
  • be aware that if you receive FHSS amounts, it will affect your tax for the year in which you make the request to release . You will receive a payment summary, and you will need to include both the assessable and tax-withheld amounts in your tax return.

If you have previously owned a home and would like to be considered to be eligible under the financial hardship provision then you should ask the ATO to determine if these provisions apply to you before you start saving.

What are eligible FHSS contributions?

You can make the following existing types of contributions towards the FHSS scheme:

  • voluntary concessional contributions – including salary sacrifice amounts or personal contributions for which a tax deduction has been claimed. These are taxed at 15% in most cases instead of your marginal tax rate
  • voluntary personal after tax contributions where no tax deduction has been claimed. These have already been taxed at your marginal tax rate and no further tax applies on contribution.

Also, be aware that there’s no change to the amount of money you can contribute to your super – the existing superannuation contribution caps still apply. Under the FHSS scheme, your contributions still count towards your contribution caps for the year in which they were originally made.

How the FHSS scheme can help you

To better understand the potential advantages of getting started saving for a home through superannuation, use the government’s online FHSS estimator or speak to a financial adviser.

Colonial First State Investments Limited ABN 98 002 348 352, AFSL 232468 (Colonial First State) is the issuer of the FirstChoice range of super and pension products from the Colonial First State FirstChoice Superannuation Trust ABN 26 458 298 557. Colonial First State also issues interests in products made available under FirstChoice Investments and FirstChoice Wholesale Investments. This document may include general advice but does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Financial Services Guide (FSG) carefully, assess whether the information is appropriate for you, and consider talking to a financial adviser before making an investment decision. The PDS and FSG can be obtained from or by calling us on 13 13 36.