The First Home Super Saver (FHSS) scheme was introduced in the Federal Budget 2017–18 to reduce pressure on housing affordability. The scheme allows people to save money for their first home inside a superannuation fund, helping first home buyers to save faster. Changes introduced to the FHSS scheme in the Treasury Laws Amendment (2019 Measures No. 1) Bill 2019, will come into effect on 1 July 2019.
The FHSS can now only be applied to a first home that is bought in Australia, as opposed to previously being in any location.
Another change is that individuals must now also apply for and receive a FHSS determination from the ATO before signing a contract for their first home or applying for the release of FHSS amounts. A contract can be signed to purchase or construct a home either:
- From the date a valid request to release your FHSS amounts is made;
- Or up to 14 days before a valid request to release your FHSS amounts is made.
There is no longer a waiting period between the first FHSS amount being released and signing a contract to purchase or construct the home.
Individuals now have 12 months from the date they make a valid release request to do one of the following:
- Sign a contract to purchase or construct the home and notify the ATO within 28 days of signing;
- Or recontribute the assessable FHSS amount (less tax withheld) into their super and notify the ATO within 12 months of the valid release request date.
These changes apply retrospectively to valid FHSS release requests and contracts entered into on or after 1 July 2018.