What is the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS or scheme)?
As a way to try assist first home buyers in Australia, legislation has passed that will enable eligible first home buyers to save for the deposit in the concessionally taxed superannuation system under the new scheme.
In lay terms, the government will allow eligible first home buyers to put additional savings into their super account so it is not going to be used for other spending (i.e. holidays).
By placing funds into an account where it cannot be accessed, the first home buyer has a better chance of reaching their goal of saving a deposit.
There is a great tool which has been developed by the government to allow eligible first home buyers estimate the potential benefits of using the FHSSS. There are comparisons between pre-tax contributions and post tax savings. The estimator can be found at https://www.ato.gov.au.
Important items to note about this FHSSS are:
- Contributions can be made to the scheme from 1 July 2017.
- You can withdraw the funds from 1 July 2018.
- $15,000 limit per year in voluntary contributions.
- $30,000 max voluntary contributions to the FHSSS.
- Your contributions will earn interest which the Australian Taxation Office will calculate on your behalf.
- The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will calculate the associated earnings and will also determine the amount that can be released after allowing for applicable taxes.
- You can apply to withdraw your funds before you find a home to buy, but a purchase must occur within 12mth of withdrawal.
Voluntary contributions from personal, salary sacrifice and additional employer contributions will count towards your FHSSS balance. Your standard compulsory employer contributions are not eligible for this FHSSS.
The FHSSS voluntary contributions is not on top of the existing contribution caps so it’s essential that you have a conversation with your accountant to ensure you know what your limits are and how much could be contributed voluntarily.
For more extensive details on the FHSSS you can go to the ATO website.