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Recently a family successfully withdrew some of their Kiwisaver funds to pay for a second Cochlear Implant for their child. The withdrawal was made under section s11(1)(d) of the Kiwsaver Scheme Rules (part of the Kiwisaver Act 2006). Essentially these rules allow a contributor to withdraw their and their employer’s contributions – but not the government’s contributions – in the event that either they or a dependent requires medical treatment and there is no way of funding that through the family budget.

For many families (and adult recipients) this may be an easy short term way of funding a second Cochlear Implant.

The process appears to involve contacting your Kiwisaver provider, requesting a “Significant Financial Hardship – Serious Illness Withdrawal” form (see the linked example) and submitting evidence of the need. This would include a letter from your Cochlear Implant Programme stating the need and the costs, a weekly budget showing that funding the $30,000-50,000 is not financially manageable and a statement that you have no assets that are easily realisable without having a detrimental impact on your day-to-day lives (ie you can’t sell the car because you need it to drop the kids to school).

If you take this approach you are welcome to run your application past the family who have successfully made this withdrawal. You can contact them via the “Contact Us” page. They are also willing to help if your Kiwisaver provider rejects your application.

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