From 1 July 2017 (start of 2017/2018 year), eligible Australians are able to make voluntary superannuation contributions of up to $15,000 a year, and a maximum of $30,000 over more than one year, to their superannuation account for the purposes of purchasing a first home. And from 1 July 2018, eligible Australians will be able to apply to their super funds to release these contributions (and associated earnings) for the purposes of purchasing a first home.
The voluntary super contributions can be concessional (before-tax) contributions, or non-concessional (after-tax) contributions. If you plan to make voluntary concessional (before-tax) contributions, you will need to arrange with your employer to salary sacrifice super contributions, or claim the super contributions as a tax deduction in your income tax return).
Background: In the 2017 Federal Budget (announced on 9 May 2017), the government promised to help “Australians boost their savings for their first home by allowing them to build a deposit inside superannuation”. The First Home Super Saver Scheme became law on 13 December 2017.
For a moment, let’s ignore the fact that the Liberal government killed off the previous, and more generous, First Home Saver Account in May 2014. Instead, I will explain why the Liberal government thinks the new scheme “will assist first home buyers to save a deposit for their home faster”.